Associate Professor Richard Young

Associate Professor Richard Young
 Position Head of Intestinal Nutrient Sensing Group
 Org Unit Medical Specialties
 Telephone +61 8 8128 4845
 Location Floor/Room 7 ,  SAHMRI - South ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    A/Prof Richard L Young is a Senior Research Fellow within the Adelaide School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, based at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He is a member of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health (2013-17, University of Adelaide), an exceptional framework for linkage between basic and clinical researchers in endocrinology and gastroenterology. 

    Following doctoral studies at the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne (Prof Bill Louis, Prof Andrew Gundlach) he undertook postdoctoral research within the Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory in Adelaide (Prof John Dent, Prof Ashley Blackshaw) in an industry collaboration investigating strategies to inhibit gastroesophageal reflux (2000-7). He pioneered advanced anatomical and in vivo electrophysiology techniques to investigate vagus nerve circuitry in the brainstem, many of which remain unique. His research informed strategic decisions within industry, including two full-scale drug development programs leading to the clinical deployment of an anti-reflux drug. His published works in this area revealed the anatomy and neurophysiology of central gastric vagal circuits, and a novel vagal innervation of the crural diaphragm.

    He has now established an independent research line with NHMRC and Diabetes Australia support focussed on the form and function of the intestinal sweet taste system. This system senses intestinal glucose, and in response may regulate the release of gut hormones and control glucose absorption. His research has revealed regulation of this system by luminal and blood glucose, and has documented dysregulation in human diabetes, critical illness and obesity. This knowledge has attracted collaborators from basic and clinical science backgrounds, and from industry. He has secured unique access to genetic and disease models and to a range of human tissue to broaden his enquiry. Limited knowledge exists on the vertical integration of glucose signals from the intestinal lumen, and this translational research in this emerging area is a distinctive strength.

    A/Prof Young also is engaged in ARC and industry-supported collaborative research investigating the peripheral serotonin system in humans. This system has novel and emerging roles in metabolic control, and is an exciting prospect for future novel therapies for obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Qualifications

    Bachelor of Science, Honours (Pharmacology) (University of Adelaide)

    PhD (Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy) (University of Melbourne)

  • Awards & Achievements

         2016  Associate Professor (Academic Level-D) appointment

         2014  NHMRC High Ranked Project Grant – Diabetes (Media Release, link here)

         2013  NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health: Senior Research Fellowship

         2012  Oral Abstract of Distinction, Neurogastroenterology & Motility Joint International Meeting (Bologna, Italy)

         2011  Intensive Care Foundation Australia - Highest Ranked Research Grant 2011

         2010  Senior Research Fellow (Academic Level-C) appointment

         2008  Oral Abstract of Distinction - Neurogastroenterology & Motility Joint International Meeting (Lucerne, Switzerland)

         2007  Research Fellow (Academic Level-B) appointment

         2007  NHMRC Clinical Centre for Research Excellence in Nutritional Physiology, Interventions & Outcomes:

    Health Sciences Early Career Research Fellowship

         2006  Distinguished Oral Abstract Award, Plenary Speaker – American Gastroenterological Association (Los Angeles, USA)

         2006  Distinguished Oral Abstract Award - Brain-Gut Interactions Meeting (Oxford, UK)

         1995  NHMRC Biomedical (Dora Lush) Research Scholarship

         1995  International Society of Hypertension ‘Young Investigator Award (Australia)’

  • Research Funding

    Australian Research Council

         2015-17 ARC Linkage (LP150100419, $520,000) Keating DM, Young RL, Liou AP (Pfizer), Jackon VM (Pfizer)

    ‘Mechanisms controlling enteroendocrine hormone secretion in human duodenum’

    NHMRC Australia

         2014-17 (APP1081182, $853,134) Young RL, Rayner CK, Horowitz M ‘Why do sweetened drinks link to type 2 diabetes?’

         2010-12 (APP627127, $$410,125) Young RL 'Glucose detection pathways in the gut'

    Diabetes Australia

         2013 (Research Grant, $58,800) Young RL, Rayner CK, Blackshaw LA, Horowitz

    'Postprandial consequences of intestinal sweet taste receptor dysregulation in type 2 diabetes'

         2008 (Research Grant, $49,730) Young RL, Rayner CK, Blackshaw LA, Horowitz M 'Characterisation of intestinal sweet-taste molecules in type-2 diabetes'

    MedVet Laboratories

         2011 (Special Research Project, $95,000) Deane AM, Young RL  'The intestinal glucose transporter SGLT-1 as a novel therapeutic target in critical illness'

    Intensive Care Foundation Australia

         2014 (Research Grant, $30,900) Young RL, Deane AM 'Intestinal GLP-2 as a novel target in critical illness-induced malabsorption'

         2011 (Research Grant, $45,600) Deane AM, Young RL, Chapman MJ, Rayner CK, Horowitz M 'Critical illness & intestinal sweet taste receptors'

  • Publications

    Papers (2009+)

          Young R.L., Sutherland K., Pezos N., Rayner C.K., Brierley S.M., Horowitz M. and Blackshaw L.A. (2009) Expression of taste receptor molecules in the upper gastrointestinal tract of humans with and without diabetes. Gut 58(3):337-46

          Ma J., Bellon M., Wishart J.M., Young R.L., Blackshaw L.A., Jones K.L., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2009) Effect of the artificial sweetener, sucralose on gastric emptying and incretin hormone release in healthy subjects American Journal of Physiology Gastrointestinal & Liver Physiology 296(4):G735-9.

          Page A.J., O’Donnell T.A., Cooper N.J., Young R.L. and Blackshaw L.A. (2009) Nitric oxide as an endogenous peripheral modulator of visceral sensory neuronal function Journal of Neuroscience 29(22):7246-55.

          Ma J, Bellon M, Wishart J.M., Young R.L., Blackshaw L.A., Jones K.L., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2010) Effects of cefaclor on gastric emptying and cholecystokinin release in healthy lean subjects. Regulatory Peptides 159(1-3):156-9.

          Young R.L., Page A.J., Cooper, N.J., Frisby C.L. and Blackshaw L.A. (2010) Sensory and motor innervation of the crural diaphragm by the vagus nerves Gastroenterology 138(3):1091-101.e1-5.

          Ma J, Chang J, Checklin H.L., Young R.L., Jones K.L., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2010) Effect of the artificial sweetener, sucralose, on small intestinal glucose absorption in healthy humans British Journal of Nutrition 104(6):803-6.

          Blackshaw L.A., Page A.J. and Young R.L. (2011) Metabotropic glutamate receptors as novel therapeutic targets on visceral afferents Frontiers in Neuroscience (Invited Review) 24(5):1-7 (article 40).

          Young R.L. (2011) Sensing nutrients via intestinal taste pathways Frontiers in Neuroscience (Invited Review) 5(23) March 3, 2011 (10.3389/fnins.2011.00023)

          Blackshaw L.A. and Young R.L. (2011) Detection and signaling of glucose in the intestinal mucosa-vagal pathway Neurogastroenterology & Motility (Invited Viewpoint) 23(7):591-94.

          Wu T., Zhao B.R., Bound M., Checklin H.L., Bellon M., Little T.J., Young R.L., Jones K.L., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2012) Effects of different sweet preloads on incretin hormone responses, gastric emptying, and postprandial glycemia in healthy humans American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 95(1):78-83.

          Kentish S., Li H, O’Donnell T.A., Isaacs N.J., Young R.L., Wittert G.A., Blackshaw L.A. and Page A.J. (2012) Diet-induced adaptation of vagal afferent function Journal of Physiology 590(1):209-221.

          Page A.J., Symonds E., Peiris M., Blackshaw L.A. and Young R.L. (2012) Peripheral neural targets in obesity. British Journal of Pharmacology 166(5):1537-58.

          Kentish S., O’Donnell T.A., Isaacs N.J., Young R.L., Li H., Harrington A.M., Brierley S.M., Wittert G.A., Blackshaw L.A. and Page A.J. Gastric vagal afferent modulation by leptin is influenced by food intake status (2013) Journal of Physiology 591(7):1921-34.

          Young R.L., Chia B., Isaacs N.J., Ma J., Khoo J., Wu T., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2013) Disordered control of intestinal sweet taste receptor expression in type 2 diabetes Diabetes 62 (10):3532-41

          Commentary: Greenfield JR, Chisholm DJ. (2013) How sweet it is: intestinal sweet taste receptors in type 2 diabetes Diabetes 62 (10):3336-7.

          Harrington A.M., Brierley S.M., Isaacs N.J., Young R.L. and Blackshaw L.A. (2013) Identifying spinal sensory pathways activated by noxious esophageal acid. Neurogastroenterology & Motility 25(10):660-8.

          Li H., Kentish S.J, Kritas S., Young R.L., Isaacs N.J., O’Donnell T.A., Blackshaw L.A., Wittert G.A. and Page A.J. (2013) Modulation of murine gastric vagal afferent mechanosensitivity by neuropeptide W. Acta Physiologica 209(2):179-91

          Wu T., Rayner C.K., Young R.L. and Horowitz M. (2013) Gut motility and enteroendocrine secretion. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 13(6):928-34

          Wu T., Bound M., Standfield S.D., Bellon M., Young R.L., Jones K.L., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2013) Artificial sweeteners have no effect on gastric emptying, glucagon-like peptide-1, or glycemia after oral glucose in healthy humans. Diabetes Care 36(12):E202-3

          Deane  A.M., Rayner C.K., Keeshan A., Cvijanovic N., Marino Z., Nguyen N.Q., Chia B., Summers M.J., Sim J.A., van Beek T., Chapman M.J., Horowitz M. and Young R.L. (2014) The effects of critical illness on intestinal glucose sensing, transporters, and absorption. Critical Care Medicine 42:57-65.

          Commentary: Miskovitz P (2014) Intestinal Glucose Transport in the Critically Ill - Eavesdropping on a Dialogue. Crit Care Med 42(1):202-3.

          Thazhath S.S., Wu T., Young R.L., Horowitz M. and Rayner C.K. (2014) Glucose absorption in small intestinal diseases. Expert Review in Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2014 8(3):301-12

          Nguyen N.Q., Debreceni T., Ghia B., Burgstad C., Neo M., Deane A., Wittert G., Horowitz M. and Young R.L. (2014) Up-regulation of intestinal glucose transporters after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass to prevent carbohydrate malabsorption. Obesity 2 (10):2164-71

          Little T.J., Isaacs N., Young R.L., Ott R., Nyugen N.Q., Rayner C.K., Horowitz M. and Feinle-Bisset C. (2014) Characterization of duodenal expression and localization of fatty acid-sensing receptors in humans: relationships with body mass index. American Journal of Physiology 307(10):G958-67

          Symonds E.L., Peiris M., Chia B., Masding A., Galanakis V., Atiba M., Bulmer A., Page A.J., Young R.L., and Blackshaw L.A. (2014) Mechanisms of activation of mouse and human enteroendocrine cells by nutrients Gut 64 (4):618-26

          Nguyen N.Q., Debreceni T., Ghia B., Burgstad C., Neo M., Deane A., Wittert G., Horowitz M. and Young R.L. (2014) Accelerated intestinal glucose absorption in morbidly obese humans – relationship to glucose transporters, incretin hormones and glycaemia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 100 (3):968-76

          Reddi B., Beltrame J., Young R.L. and Wilson D.P. (2014) Calcium  desensitisation is associated with loss of vascular tone and vasopressor sensitivity in a murine model of polymicrobial sepsis Intensive Care Medicine Experimental 2015 (3):2

          Cvijanovic N., Feinle-Bisset C., Young R.L. and Little T.J. (2015) Oral and intestinal ‘sweet’ and ‘fat’ tasting: impact of receptor polymorphisms and dietary modulation for metabolic disease. Nutrition Reviews 73(5):318-34

          Young R.L., Lumsden A.L. and Keating D.J. (2015) Gut serotonin is a regulator of obesity and metabolism Gastroenterology (Invited Selected Summary) 149(1):253-5

          Zelkas L., Raghupathi R., Lumsden A.L., Martin A., Sun E., Spencer N.J., Young R.L. and Keating D.J. (2015) Serotonin-secreting enteroendocrine cells respond via diverse mechanisms to acute and chronic changes in glucose availability. Nutrition & Metabolism 12:55

          Rogers G., Keating D.J., Young R.L., Wong M-L., Wesslingh S. and Lucinio J. (2016) From gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness: mechanisms and pathways. Molecular Psychiatry, Invited Expert Review 21(6):738-48

          Cvijanovic N., Isaacs N.J., Rayner C.K., Feinle-Bisset C., Young R.L. and Little T.J. (2016) Duodenal fatty acid sensor and transporter expression following acute fat exposure in healthy lean humans Clinical Nutrition Feb 13. pii: S0261-5614(16)00061-3. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.02.005

          Cvijanovic N., Isaacs N.J., Rayner C.K., Feinle-Bisset C., Young R.L. and Little T.J. (2016) Lipid-stimulation of fatty acid sensors in the human duodenum: relationship with gastrointestinal hormones, BMI and diet. International Journal of Obesity 2016 Nov 29. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2016.199

          Lumsden A.L., Young R.L., Pezos N., and Keating D.K. (2016) Huntingtin-associated protein 1: Evolution, gene regulation, and localisation to enterochromaffin cells of the human gut. BMC Evolutionary Biology (Accepted, in press)

  • Community Engagement

    Nov 2016  TV Interview, Jessica Stanley Channel 9 News 'Gut taste mechanisms are abnormal in diabetes sufferers'

    Sep 2016  Published interview, ‘Type-2 diabetes research in Adelaide looks into gut's sweet tooth' (web-link) Christopher McLoughlin ABC Adelaide

    Jul 2016  Scientific Advisor. Catalyst, ABC TV Reporter Roslyn Lawrence

    Nov 2015  Invited Speaker, DEWNR & ANZCCART Animal Ethics Committee Member Training Day ‘Statistics 101 for Animal Ethics Committees'

    Nov 2015  Invited Mentor Early Career Researcher Networking Session of the Australian Society of Medical Research (ASMR) Professional Development Day.  

      ‘Creating a Winning CV' & ‘Nailing that Interview'

    Nov 2014  Published interview ‘$7 million boost for Gastro Research' Gastroenterology update (Registered Medical Practitioners, web-link)

    July 2014  Published interview ‘Artificial sweeteners may be fuelling rather than fighting weight loss' The Saturday Paper (web-link)

    Dec 2013  Media Release (web-link) ‘Debate continues on impact of artificial sweeteners' 

     Interview, 4BC 1116 - Radio

    Aug 2013  Media Release (web-link) ‘Gut taste mechanisms are abnormal in diabetes sufferers'

      Interview, Channel 7 News

      Interview, ABC - Radio Australia

    Published Article, US ‘Meet the taste buds - in your gut' (web-link)

    Dec 2009  Published Interview. Research Advances: Beyond GORD 'Physiology of gut ‘taste''. Australian Journal of Pharmacy 90:32

    Dec 2009  Published Interview. Treatment Advances: Beyond Acid Suppression'Crural diaphragm offers new approach to GORD'. Australian Journal of Pharmacy 90:31


The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Tuesday, 1 Oct 2019

To link to this page, please use the following URL: