Dunlop Senior Research Fellow

Activities of the Weary Dunlop Foundation Principal Research Fellow in Metabolic Medicine, 2021-2022


Diabetes and obesity are leading causes of cardiovascular disease. With increasing age, the prevalence of diabetes and obesity increases. Following a diagnosis of diabetes, after a period of more than 10 years, there is risk of development of complications and in particular the risk of development of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. These metabolic diseases and their complications affect many Veterans and their families. Centre for Research and Education in Diabetes and Obesity (CREDO) at the Repatriation Hospital
had a very productive and successful year in 2021-2022. We achieved the following:

A/Prof Ekinci was successful in leading the bid for National Diabetes Centre – which was funded through MRFF, leading a large team of investigators and a collaboration of 65 organisations. A/Prof Ekinci and team have been granted $10 million dollars in cash and $13million dollars in cash and in-kind funding. The Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations Research Centre (ACADI) was established through
MRFF funding from the Australian Government’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) program, delivered by MTP Connect. ACADI is a virtual collaborative diabetes centre uniting >65 partners spanning all Australian States and Territories. Led by Associate Professor Elif Ekinci, ACADI includes Academic Partners, Advocacy Groups, Health Services, and Industry Partners with a shared vision to benefit people with diabetes
at each stage from diagnosis through to its devastating complications. ACADI’s purpose is to deliver novel interventions for timely diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications. ACADI’s research and development platform, national training program, and sustainable model will increase quality of life and life expectancy for all Australians living with diabetes and its complications. Furthermore, ACADI specifically addresses equity in diabetes related healthcare with targeted initiatives to ensure all Australians,
regardless of their geographic location or cultural background, have equal access to innovative products and clinical trials. Our diverse portfolio of projects aligns with our three Priority Areas: Diabetic kidney disease, Peripheral neuropathy and diabetic foot syndrome, Short-term complications of hypoglycaemia and/or hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) and ketoacidosis (

Centre for Research and Education in Diabetes and Obesity undertook >10 Drug trials and 6 investigator initiated studies. We have expanded our trial portfolio to include type 1 diabetes technology clinical trials in addition to type 1 therapeutics and type 2 diabetes drug therapies and technology trials as well as obesity trials.

Centre for Research and Education in Diabetes and Obesity published over 25 papers in leading diabetes, obesity and metabolism international journals.

SUPERVISION and Mentoring:
PhD students completed: Dr Irina Churilov (Rehabilitation Physician), Dr Neda Zafari. Current Phd Students: Dr Cecilia Pham (endocrinology advanced trainee), Dr Aleena Ali (endocrinology advanced trainee), Rodney Kwok, Dr Audrey Eer (Endocrinologist), Mr Ray Kelly (exercise physiologist), Dr Geetha Theverakalam (Endocrinologist), Dr Nicole Kong, Miin Chan.


The following post doctorate research fellows are also working in our department Dr Steven James (diabetes nurse educator), and Dr Digsu Koye (epidemiologist).
We have supervised 2 University of Melbourne MD projects.


The group presented multiple times at virtual leading national and international diabetes, obesity, endocrinology, metabolism Scientific Meetings, including at the Australian Diabetes Congress, at the Weary Dunlop Annual Symposium, a video recording of ACADI for the American Diabetes Association
( We organised an Australasian Clinical Trials Network Event, and an ACADI annual summit will be held on World Diabetes Day- 14th of November


A/Prof Ekinci was invited to become a board member of the Clinical Advisory Group to Diabetes Victoria. A/Prof Ekinci is a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee for Australian Diabetes Society. CREDO groups’ publications have continued to receive multiple mentions in the media. ACADI has had significant mentions in the media.

Prof Elif Ekinci MBBS FRACP PhD
Weary Dunlop Foundation Principal Research Fellow in Metabolic Medicine, University of Melbourne