Research

Baker IDI scientists have established international reputations as leaders in their fields of research and we are home to many of the nation's finest scientific minds. Baker IDI has been responsible for groundbreaking advances in cardiovascular disease and diabetes over the years.

  • Pioneering developments in open heart and heart transplant surgery in Australia (in conjunction with the Alfred Hospital).
  • Discovery of the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, based on the finding that people with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant.
  • Proving scientifically the benefits of exercise on the cardiovascular system and the role that mental stress plays in heart disease and hypertension.
  • Developing blood thinning drugs that can 'target' specific parts of the body to act as 'clot busters' as preventative treatment for potentially fatal conditions such as heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
  • Defining an important molecular 'switch' that is fundamental to changes in gene function that causes many forms of disease.
  • Developing devices to treat heart valve disease as an alternative to open heart surgery.
  • Developing a device that isolates cardiac circulation allowing for the specific delivery of drugs, cells and genes to the heart.
  • Introducing the new concept and technology of self blood glucose monitoring to Australia in the 1980s.
  • Developing a special blood test, the anti-GAD test, enabling type 1 diabetes to be predicted up to 10 years before clinical onset and diagnosis.
  • Identifying, in conjunction with researchers at Chemgenex and Deakin University, a number of new genes in the human body that may be important in diagnosing and treating obesity type 2 diabetes.
  • Identification of the highest frequency of diabetes in the world, in the Pacific Island of Nauru where over 33 per cent of adults have diabetes.
  • Investigating the possibility that type 1 diabetes may be caused by naturally-occurring toxins in vegetables and other foods.
  • Undertaking research resulting in the development of exercise programs for older Australians to treat and prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Conducting the largest Australian longitudinal population-based study (AusDiab) to examining the natural history of diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.
  • Development of a new oral drug for type 2 diabetes currently in human clinical trials.

These are just some of our achievements to date, and by no means a comprehensive list. With your support, Baker IDI will build on these foundations of development and discovery by producing new and innovative methods of improving the health of our community.