Preventing gestational diabetes

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Martha Lappas

Project Details

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) complicates 15–20% of all pregnancies – a complication that reverberates into the future. The severe health and economic impacts of GDM can extend well beyond pregnancy and childbirth, leading to a significant increase in lifelong morbidity or mortality for mothers and babies.

While some interventions aimed at treating or preventing GDM have been tried, so far an effective intervention that can mitigate its long-term adverse health outcomes has proved elusive. In parallel with the obesity epidemic, the rate of GDM is now increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, finding a safe and effective intervention that can reduce the burdens of GDM is clearly a major public health imperative. Recently, our team has discovered the exciting possibility that flavonoids – natural compounds found in many common fruits and vegetables – can disrupt the key pathways involved in the pathogenesis of GDM. In this Project, we propose an exciting series of in vitro and in vivo studies that will test the hypothesis that flavonoids can prevent the development of GDM and reduce neonatal and offspring adverse outcomes. If confirmed, our study has the potential to significantly improve maternal, neonatal, and offspring outcomes.

The fact that flavonoids are already available as cost-effective dietary supplements and are known to be safe for the general population means this study has enormous translational potential. Uncovering a cheap, safe, and effective GDM intervention will take pressure off the Australian healthcare system and ensure the health of generations of Australians yet to come.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
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.


Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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