Targeting the Brain to Treat Type-2 Diabetes

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Garron Dodd garron.dodd@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type-2 diabetes, represents the biggest biomedical challenges of our time. With the ever-increasing metabolic disease epidemic and the insurmountable costs of treating comorbidities (cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke), there has never been a more desperate need to discover novel pharmacological treatments.

Project Details

"Type-2 diabetes is one of the world’s fastest-growing conditions, affecting over >9% of the population and costing >$537 billion of world health expenditure. Current therapeutics have limited long term efficacy and confounding side effects. The discovery of effective treatments for type-2 diabetes is identified as an international health priority.
When we eat, insulin is secreted from the pancreas where it travels, via the blood, to signals to neurons in the brain's hypothalamus. Insulin signalling in neurons of the hypothalamus tells our brain to stop eating. This insulin-brain axis is imperative as it keeps blood glucose levels within a safe range.
During the development of type-2 diabetes, neurons in the hypothalamus become encased in an extracellular matrix, which blocks insulin signalling. As a result, insulin can no longer inform the brain that blood sugar levels are too high and type-2 diabetes ensues. Understanding how this extracellular matrix makes neurons insulin resistant and how this can then be targeted by drugs is a critical roadblock in the fight against diabetes. 
In this state-of-the-art project, you will use the latest in vivo transgenic approaches including CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in the brain, stereotaxic surgery and whole brain tissue clearing to genetically dissect out the components of the hypothalamic matrix underlying neuronal insulin resistance. The outcomes of this project will identify novel therapeutic targets to treat neuronal insulin resistance and identify undiscovered disease mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes."




Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


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