Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetes

The Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes is one of the world’s leading clinical paediatric endocrinology research centres.

Led by Professor Kim Donaghue and Professor Geoff Ambler, our research staff leads basic and epidemiological studies into the causes of childhood diabetes and their complications. We also conduct clinical trials that aim to prevent or cure diabetes and osteoporosis in children.

The key theme of the research is prevention. The Institute’s ultimate objectives are to prevent the onset of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children; to prevent the development of diabetes complications, and to prevent the morbidity, such as bone pain and fractures, in children with primary and secondary osteopenia.

Current projects

> Predicting complications in childhood-onset Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) using retinal image analysis

We are examining whether identification of risk markers by retinal image analysis in adolescence will prevent diabetes vascular complications in later life, using a well-characterised cohort with childhood onset T1D.

> Delivering improved medication and health outcomes for pediatric patients in hospitals with eHealth systems

A partnership project with the Australian Institute of Health Innovation examining implementation of eHealth systems to improve paediatric healthcare services at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and elsewhere.

> CoRD: the Cord blood Reinfusion in Diabetes Study

Determining whether stem cells in cord blood (stored at the time of birth and reinfused upon signs of pre-diabetes) can prevent or delay development of Type 1 diabetes in high risk children.

> ENDIA: Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity

A nationwide observational study to identify environmental triggers of diabetes, studying children who have a parent or sibling with Type 1 diabetes.  More information can be found on th ENDIA study website.

> The intermittent fast diet for obese adolescents

An early start to cardiovascular disease prevention through assessment of dietary intervention strategies, such as the 5:2 intermittent fast diet, in adolescents with obesity problems.

The research team

> Professor Kim Donaghue, Co-Head of Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Kim's major research interest is prevention of diabetes and its complications using evidence-based medicine. She has led research in early detection of vascular complications in young people since 1990, which has direct effects on glycaemic targets and diabetes management. More information can be found on Kim's University of Sydney profile page.

> Professor Geoffrey Ambler, Co-Head of Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Geoff is a Clinical Professor specializing in growth and endocrine disorders and diabetes in children and adolescents. His research interests include disorders of growth, puberty, thyroid, adrenal, pituitary and other hormone systems, and improving paediatric care using e-health. Geoff's University of Sydney profile page has more information.

> Professor Maria Craig, Senior Staff Specialist in Paediatric Endocrinology and Research Fellow

Maria is a clinician researcher and her major research interests are the epidemiology and aetiology of childhood diabetes and its complications. She is internationally recognised as a leader in diabetes epidemiology, evidence based medicine and clinical guidelines. Please visit Maria's University of Sydney profile page for more information.

> Associate Professor Sarah Garnett, Senior Research Fellow, email:

Sarah is a dietician-researcher and her research focuses on diet and obesity in adolescence, and the relationship with diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Her research aims to improve overall health outcomes for future generations. More information can be found on Sarah's University of Sydney profile page.

> Professor Chris Cowell, Senior Staff Specialist in Endocrinology and Director of Kids Research

Chris' maintains a research interest in paediatric endocrinology, insulin resistance, new treatments for musculoskeletal diseases and e-health for improvement of paediatric healthcare services. Please visit Chris' University of Sydney profile page for more details of his research.

> Other Research Team Members

Key publications

Gow M, Baur L, Ho M, Chisholm K, Noakes M, Cowell C, Garnett, S (2016). Can early weight loss, eating behaviors and socioeconomic factors predict successful weight loss at 12- and 24-months in adolescents with obesity and insulin resistance participating in a randomised controlled trial? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 13(43): 1-11

Gow, M., van Doorn, N., Broderick, C., Hardy, L., Ho, M., Baur, L., Cowell, C., Garnett, S. (2016). Sustained improvements in fitness and exercise tolerance in obese adolescents after a 12 week exercise intervention. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 10(2), 178-188

Cho YH, Craig ME, Davis EA, Cotterill AM, Couper JJ, Cameron FJ, Benitez PZ, Dalton RN, Dunger DD, Donaghue KC (2015) Cardiac Autonomic Dysfunction Is Associated With High-Risk Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio in Young Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes in AdDIT (Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes Cardio-Renal Interventional Trial). Diabetes Care, pii: dc141848

Joslowski G, Halim J, Gow M, Ho M, Louie J, Buyken A, Cowell C, Garnett S (2015) Dietary glycemic load, insulin load, and weight loss in obeses, insulin resistant adolescents: RESIST study. Clinical Nutrition 34(1), 89-94

Craig ME, Jefferies C, Dabelea D, Balde N, Seth A, Donaghue KC (2014) ISPAD Clinical Practice Consensus Guidelines 2014: Definition, Epidemiology and Classification of Diabetes in Children and Adolescents. Pediatric Diabetes 15 Suppl 20:4-17

Garnett SP, Dunkley M, Ho M, Baur LA, Noakes M, Woodhead HJ, Broderick CR, Burrell S, Chisholm K, Halim J, De S, Steinbeck K, Srinivasan S, Ambler GR, Kohn MR, Cowell CT (2013) Macronutrient content of the diet for adolescents with pre-diabetes; RESIST a randomised control trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98:2116-25

Tang M, Donaghue KC, Cho YH, Craig ME (2013) Autonomic neuropathy in young people with type 1 diabetes: a systematic review. Pediatric Diabetes 2013

Ho M, Garnett SP, Baur LA, Burrows T, Stewart L, Neve M, Collins C (2013) Impact of dietary and exercise interventions on weight change and metabolic outcomes in obese children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. JAMA Pediatr 167:759-68

Ambler GR, Fairchild J, Wilkinson DJ (2013) Debate: Idiopathic short stature should be treated with growth hormone. J Paediatr Child Health 49(3):165-9

Benitez-Aguirre PZ, Sasongko MB, Craig ME, Jenkins AJ, Cusumano J, Cheung N, Wong TY, Donaghue KC (2012) Retinal Vascular Geometry Predicts Incident Renal Dysfunction in Young People With Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 21;35(3):599–604