Type 2 diabetes study collaboration

La Trobe University and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute researchers will collaborate on a major type 2 diabetes study in 2018.

The study will be led by internationally recognised diabetes expert and La Trobe Adjunct Professor Jonathan Shaw.

Baker Institute Director Professor Tom Marwick said that the scope and nature of Professor Shaw’s study would make it “a seminal piece of work for La Trobe and the Institute and the centrepiece of a rich, bilateral relationship between the two organisations.”

Professor Shaw will work with La Trobe’s Professor Rachel Huxley, an expert in public health and epidemiology. The study will also include researchers from Monash University, the Centre for Eye Research Australia, and Deakin University with internationally recognised reputations in diabetic kidney disease, diabetic eye disease and the behavioural and psychological aspects of diabetes.

Professor Shaw, who is based at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, said the research group planned to establish a large cohort study that aimed to improve the understanding of the progression of diabetic complications.

“The study’s specific aim will be to find ways of identifying people with diabetes whose complication status is at risk of rapid progression, as well as identifying those patients whose complications are unlikely to progress,” Professor Shaw said.

“The study will incorporate not only biomedical risk factors, but will also have a major focus on the behavioural and psychological aspects of diabetes and self-management that are likely to be important risk factors for poor outcomes.”

La Trobe’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Keith Nugent said the study was a natural collaboration for the University and the Institute.

“This study aligns with a number of our disciplinary strengths in allied health, rural nursing and cardiovascular research,” Professor Nugent said.

“La Trobe is delighted to be collaborating with a medical research institute that has made – and continues to make - a significant contribution to preventing and curing two of our top killers: diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”