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Laboratory head: Professor John Dixon

Researchers in the Clinical Obesity Laboratory are dedicated to high quality research to improve the clinical care of those with obesity. The difficulty in treating obesity is well recognised as an important area for research. There are many ways to achieve weight loss and this area is evolving in tandem with the global obesity epidemic. But all methods are not equal. There is no one ‘perfect’ method and our group is interested in understanding the biological mechanisms behind different weight loss treatments in addition to evaluating efficacy and any associated health benefits or risks. Maintaining weight loss in the long term, which has proven to be a significant hurdle in many treatments, is also an area of interest. We collaborate with other Baker IDI specialist research departments and with external organisations, including researchers in tertiary institutions and industry partners, to further knowledge in this important area. Our focus is on practical clinical applications to improve the health and quality of life of obese patients, and providing community expertise in the multidisciplinary task of identifying, evaluating and managing obesity and its related diseases. Our research treatment modalities include lifestyle interventions, meal replacement, drugs, devices and bariatric surgery.

The Clinical Obesity Research team works closely with other multidisciplinary teams. These cover a wide range of clinical specialists including endocrinologists, bariatric physicians, bariatric surgeons, gastroenterologists, dieticians and nutritionists, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists. Key studies will look at obesity-related hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, psychosocial issues, physical activity, cardiac function and cardiovascular risk and we liaise with other Baker IDI experts in these areas.

We also link with the Baker IDI Weight Management Clinic.

Research focus

  • Understanding the metabolism of the obese person
  • Exploring links between obesity and other medical conditions
  • Researching the treatment options for weight loss
  • Examining the effects of weight loss on medical conditions
  • Identifying predictors of weight loss
  • Minimising the risks of weight loss
  • Understanding the psychosocial burden of obesity and its links to other conditions
  • Translation of research findings into clinical practice

Projects

  • Hypertension
  • Men's health, obesity and weight loss
  • Exercise with weight loss
  • MILES collaboration, psychosocial effects of obesity in type 2 diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea

Staff

Scientific staff
Dr Elisabeth Lambert
Dr Nora Straznicky

Students
Clint Miller

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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