Our researchers

Professor Grant Morahan
Director at WA's Centre for Diabetes Research

Professor Grant Morahan is one of Australia’s leading genetic scientists and the head of Western Australia’s Centre for Diabetes Research. Grant's research includes the genetics of complex diseases, Type 1 diabetes, systems genetics, advanced genetic technologies and gene - diet interactions.

In 2015, we celebrated the Centre’s tenth birthday and Professor Morahan and his team’s important advances in diabetes research.

Diabetes Research WA were integral in bringing Professor Grant Morahan to Perth in 2005 where he quickly established WA's Centre for Diabetes Research (housed at The Perkins Institute ), bringing in over $15m in research funding to help uncover the mysteries surrounding diabetes and its complications. 

Dr Karen Rothacker
Princess Margaret Hospital

Endocrinology and Diabetes Fellow, Princess Margaret Hospital

Karen has experience in the care of adults and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. She has co-authored two papers analysing laboratory data which examined the thyroid function relationship in a cross-sectional population and within the individual. Her involvement in several research publications has provided her with experience in data analysis, writing papers and the publication process.

Karen was awarded an $80,000 research grant in November 2016 to investigate exercise and hyperglycaemia.

Assistant Professor Vance Mathews
Research Fellow School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia.

Vance's research goals are to identify novel molecular and cellular mechanisms which regulate obesity and insulin resistance. This work will potentially lead to therapeutic strategies to treat obesity-induced insulin resistance in humans. This could result in significant benefits to Western Australian and Australian citizens who are plagued with the metabolic syndrome. Vance has a strong track record in the fields of cytokine biology and metabolic disorders.

Vance has received 2 research grants; a $75,000 grant in 2013 to investigate a protein (TNFSF14) and its role in obesity and type 2 diabetes and an $80,000 grant in 2016 to investigate the role of the sympathetic nervous system and type 2 diabetes.

The group’s work has now been published online in Nature Publishing Group journal Immunology and Cell Biology and was recently presented at the Australian Diabetes Society Meeting in Perth, shows that adipose tissue and the liver are key sources of TNFSF14, as are hematopoietic cells (cells within the bone marrow that produce cells that circulate in the blood).

“We’ve also discovered that a lack of TNFSF14 can exacerbate chronic liver injury, inflammation and dysregulation of mitochondrial function in the liver,” Assistant Professor Matthews, from The University of WA’s School of Biomedical Sciences, explained. You can read more about this here

Assocate Professor Gerard Hoyne
Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia Fremantle

Gerard's research work has investigated how the immune system regulates immune responses to self and foreign proteins. This has important implications in the development of autoimmune diseases such as allergy and diabetes.

Gerard was awarded a $75,000 grant from Diabetes Research WA in 2014 to examine a mutant protein which may cause some type 1 diabetes cases.

Dr Aron Chakera
Head of the Translational Renal Research; Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

Dr Aron Chakera is a renal physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, with an interest in immune function as it relates to transplantation, autoimmune diseases, and peritoneal mesothelial cells.

Dr Chakera received a $75,000 research grant for a project to investigate if early intervention can help slash the number of kidney transplant patients who develop type 2 diabetes.

Mathew Cooper
PhD student at The Telethon Kids Institute

Matt works at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and has been working on a research project that helps us know the incidence of diabetes, the complications and issues surrounding diabetes. This is important work and helps fine-tune diabetes management and research.

Matt received a $75,000 research grant in 2011 to to investigate the complications and comorbidities of type 1 diabetes in young adults with childhood-onset disease.

Dr Shelley Gorman
Researcher at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth WA

Shelley Gorman is a Senior Research Fellow based at the Telethon Kids Institute with expertise in the effects of sun exposure and vitamin D on health. She investigates the mechanisms by which ultraviolet radiation modulates metabolic dysfunction, inflammation, and immunity. Her expertise lies in establishing physiologically relevant animal disease models. 

Shelley was awarded an $75,000 in 2015 to explore the role of brown adipose tissue in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children.


to advance research
to help find a cure
to raise awareness