Metabolic Medicine

Overview

The Monash Partners Metabolic Medicine Theme includes world leaders in research and clinical care across the range of endocrine and metabolic related disorders. More than a million Australians are now affected by diabetes, making it one of the fastest growing chronic conditions across the nation. Our Metabolic Medicine Theme is tackling this enormous challenge and related issues first-hand, by bringing together researchers, medical practitioners and academics from across the Monash Partners group. These include the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Epworth, The Alfred, Eastern Health, Peninsula Health, Monash Health, Monash University and Cabrini. 

The Theme also provides high quality clinical services such as complex inpatient, ambulatory, outreach and community-based care to patients with diabetes across the continuum from paediatrics to aged care.

We’re also working to provide cutting edge research in the areas of obesity, men’s health, endocrinology and endocrine hypertension, kidney disease, bone disorders including osteoporosis, pituitary disease and developmental biology.  Advanced clinical services are provided across these areas including bariatric surgery, multidisciplinary management of thyroid cancer, management of male infertility, management of polycystic ovary syndrome and menopause.

Another focus of our group is public advocacy particularly for the national diabetes strategy, men’s health, and obesity prevention and management.

Our institutions have been recognised internationally and nationally for their expertise in the provision of clinical care, laboratory medicine, research and education. We’re working together to improve health outcomes for our patients and the community we serve.

At The Alfred, the Bariatric Clinic provides an eight-week educational course designed to help patients improve their health before they are considered for surgery including laparoscopic banding and gastric bypass. ­­

The clinic also provides a platform for clinical trials of new therapeutic options, including those developed at Monash University.

The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute is an internationally renowned medical research facility, and is Australia’s only World Health Organisation Collaborating Diabetes Centre.

Monash Diabetes is Australia’s largest diabetes service, providing 45,000 episodes of care a year across six hospitals and 28 services. It also has a major, internationally recognised research arm, which is fully integrated with the clinical program and is one of only five nationally accredited Diabetes Centres of Excellence

What is metabolism?

Our Priorities

Our aims and priorities for the Metabolic Medicine Theme are to:

  • Enhance care of patients with diabetes using latest research and state-of-the-art translational approaches
  • Develop new and improved pathways for managing obesity
  • Develop novel approaches to endocrine diseases incorporating contemporary genetic methods
  • Address specific health issues affecting men including reproductive problems.

Metabolic Medicine Theme Leaders

More than a million Australians are now affected by diabetes. Our Steering Committee is tackling this enormous challenge and related issues first-hand, by bringing together researchers, clinicians and academics from across the Monash Partners group.

Our Theme is led by Professor Leon Bach and Professor Sophia Zoungas

Professor Leon Bach

Professor Leon Bach is Deputy Director of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at The Alfred and a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Monash University.

Professor Sophia Zoungas

Professor Sophia Zoungas is a Senior Staff Specialist in Endocrinology/Diabetes at Monash Health and a Professor in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Sophia is President of the Australian Diabetes Society and Clinical Director of the National Association of Diabetes Centres.

Our Steering Committee

Alongside Leon and Sophia is a well-respected team of committed metabolic medicine and endocrine specialists who share their vision and passion.

Members of the Committee include:

Professor Wendy Brown
Professor Mark Cooper
Professor Michael Cowley
Professor Peter Fuller
Professor Chris Gilfillan
Dr Kati Matthiesson
Professor Robert McLachlan
Associate Professor Genie Pedagogos
Dr Debra Renouf
Professor Jonathan Shaw

“Generation and implementation of new knowledge concerning the management and healthcare delivery of endocrine disorders is important for improving patient-centred care and health outcomes.”Dr Clement Lo, endocrinologist, Monash Health.

Research Programs

The scope of the Metabolic Medicine Theme is vast and our work is divided into four specific programs. Examples of projects within each program are:

Diabetes

  • A new model of health-care for co-morbid diabetes and chronic kidney disease
  • Improving inpatient management of diabetes
  • Prehospital and hospital emergency service utilisation for the management of diabetic emergencies
  • New agents for preventing diabetes complications
  • Preventing and optimally treating diabetes in pregnancy
  • National diabetes indicators and benchmarking of diabetes services

Obesity

  • Mechanisms of improvement of obstructive sleep apnoea following weight loss
  • Impact of improved patient education on outcome from bariatric surgery
  • Improved GP education on obesity management and effect of tertiary hospital outreach
  • Obesity prevention from before, during and after pregnancy

Men’s health

  • The interface between erectile dysfunction and atherosclerosis
  • Obesity and male sexual and reproductive function

Endocrinology

  • Development of a next generation sequencing platform for comprehensive somatic mutation testing in thyroid cancer
  • ‘Fracture capture’ program for osteoporosis management
  • Identification and management of primary hyperaldosteronism in hypertensive patients.

Dr Clement Lo is an endocrinologist with Monash Health.