Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.

Our centre is undertaking research related to appetite modulation, the effect of variations in dietary macronutrients on weight and metabolism, the regulation of body composition, cellular energy utilisation and factors relating to the aetology and management of obesity.


The Centre's obesity research programs include:

Effects of dietary amino acids and fatty acids on energy intake and glycaemia

Professor Christine Feinle-Bisset

Professor Feinle-Bisset's research has established an international reputation for her clinical research relating to the impact of nutrients on appetite, gastrointestinal motility and perception, in health and functional dyspepsia.

Her research has contributed significantly to current concepts of the role of small intestinal mechanisms in the regulation of appetite, and the effects of fat digestion on energy intake.

Effect of testosterone for the prevention of diabetes mellitus in high risk men

Professor Gary Wittert

Professor Wittert's clinical research interests relate to appetite modulation, the effect of variations in dietary macronutrients on weight and metabolism, the regulation of body composition, cellular energy utilisation, and factors relating to the aetiology and management of obesity. He also has an interest in obesity and ageing, men's health and utilisation of health services by men.

Effects of periodic fasting in humans on insulin resistance and cardiovascular health

Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn

Associate Professor Heilbronn's research relates to determining causes of peripheral insulin resistance in human obesity. She also has research interests in the effects of caloric restriction on healthy ageing.

Assocaite Professor Heilbronn has expertise in insulin clamp studies and skeletal muscle and adipose tissue biopsy.

Metabolic health in IVF

Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn

Associate Professor Heilbronn's research is examining the long term health consequences of those children born following in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Data from A/Prof Heilbronn's team suggests that IVF conceived humans and mice are more insulin resistant, and will examine the mechanisms underpinning these effects.

Role of intestinal fat sensing receptors in the regulation of food intake in obesity

Dr Tanya Little

Dr Little's research focuses on the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying the gastrointestinal responses to nutrients that modulate appetite and energy intake, as well as their implications for the pathogenesis and management of obesity. She is developing techniques to study fatty acid receptors in the small intestine.

The role of the stomach in the control of appetite and the secretion of satiation peptides

Dr Robert Steinert

Dr Steinert's research focuses on the involvement of the gastrointestinal tract in the endocrine control of eating in humans. Of particular interest are the mechanisms involved in nutrient detection and the role of gut peptides such as cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY in gut-brain signalling. His research aims to identify new therapeutic measures to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Effects of gastric bypass and gastric banding for obesity on gastrointestinal function, body weight, glycaemia and symptoms

Dr Nam Nguyen

Dr Nguyen is an interventional gastroenterologist who has specific interest in nutrient-gut interaction and obesity. His research interests include the physiological mechanisms underlying weight loss induced by different type of bariatric surgery which has led to a new endoscopic weight reduction device. More recently, Dr Nguyen has extended his research interest to examine the role and distribution of nutrient sensing in obesity and after bariatric surgery.