Dr Gaewyn Ellison
- Vascular and metabolic disorders
Gae is a recent postdoctoral research officer who contributes to our research into a range of diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity and insulin resistance. She recently completed her PhD with CHIRI on the influence of cholesterol in beta cell (β-cell) function.
Strong evidence that statin medication, commonly prescribed for cardiovascular disease, is linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes raises questions about the role of cholesterol in insulin secretion and pancreatic β-cell function, which Gae and her CHIRI colleagues are keen to answer. Their research, supported by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, found that experimentally induced changes in cellular cholesterol content reduced insulin secretion in β-cell models and provided insights into the mechanisms behind these adverse effects.
Gae finds exploring how the body works, right down to the micro-details, fascinating and has a strong desire to contribute to the body of medical knowledge that empowers people to live longer, healthier, happier, lives through her research.
Research interests – Islets; glucose and cholesterol metabolism and the interplay between them; and an emerging interest in biotechnology including microfluidic devices.