The official launch of the National Drug Discovery Centre (NDDC) has seen Centenary Institute researcher, Associate Professor Anthony Don, announced as one of the first recipients of Australian Government funding that will give him heavily subsidised access to the new Centre’s advanced drug screening facilities. The opportunity will fast-track Associate Professor Don’s research into treating type 2 diabetes.
Associate Professor Don, Head of the Lipid Metabolism and Neurochemistry Laboratory at Centenary is leading a project aimed at developing a new class of drugs targeting abnormal lipid (fat) metabolism to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.
“My team leads internationally in the development of a new class of drugs targeting specific fat molecules called ceramides,” says Associate Professor Don.
“Drugs that block ceramide formation in the liver and fat tissue should help greatly with reducing weight gain and reversing the insulin resistance that causes type 2 diabetes,” he says.
The collaboration with the NDCC will allow Associate Professor Don to accelerate both his drug development program and related research activity.
Based at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, the NDDC provides robotic high-throughput drug screening. This is the process of using advanced automation to find a new drug against a chosen biological target for a particular disease.
The Australian Government is subsidising up to 90 per cent of standard screening costs offered by the new Centre to successful applicants–such as Associate Professor Don– through its Medical Research Future Fund.
Further information on Associate Professor Don and his research can be found here: https://www.centenary.org.au/cen_author/associate-professor-anthony-don/
Professor John Rasko AO has led a world-first clinical trial into engineered stem cell treatment use, treating 15 patients with steroid resistant acute graft-versus-host disease.
Centenary Institute research has discovered that the lack of an enzyme in the liver called sphingosine kinase 2 results in pronounced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both symptoms of early stage type 2 diabetes.
Research led by the Centenary Institute has shown that a healthy weight and coffee consumption may help lower the risk of high-risk drinkers developing alcohol-induced cirrhosis.