Diabetes research receives NHMRC Investigator grant

Professor Michael Cowley.
Professor Michael Cowley.

Congratulations to Professor Michael Cowley, Head Department of Physiology at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, on receiving a Leadership level Investigator grant of $1,600,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Professor Cowley’s project, titled ‘New treatments for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease’, proposes to conduct animal and clinical studies to discover and develop new therapies to help control body weight, and to decrease the risks of diabetes or cardiovascular disease in people who are overweight or obese.

Obesity increases the risks of more than 400 diseases, including both diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Previous studies from Professor Cowley’s lab have invented widely-prescribed, globally approved drugs, and several candidate drug targets that are currently undergoing clinical trials.

“I am grateful to the NHMRC for their support of me and this research program to discover new drug targets for metabolic disease and to develop these into drugs to clinical testing,” Professor Cowley said.

“Michael is a world-leader in obesity research and one of only a handful of Australian researchers who has taken a discovery right through to a medicine," Professor Tony Tiganis, Head of the Monash BDI’s Metabolism, Diabetes and Obesity Program, said.

Dr Gavin Knott, a biochemist currently based at the University of California, Berkeley, also received an Emerging Leadership level Investigator grant of $639,750 for his project titled ‘Structure and mechanisms of RNA-targeting by CRISPR-Cas13a’. Dr Knott will be joining the Monash BDI later this year.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.