Professor Fergal O’Gara
- Vascular and metabolic disorders
Director of Curtin’s Human Microbiome Program and a Distinguished Research Fellow, Fergal is helping us to better understand the molecular interactions behind conditions including Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease.
Fergal’s ultimate goal is to improve human health and offer new therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of age-associated diseases.
Both areas of Fergal’s research received a welcome financial boost in recent years – in 2018 a CHIRI-based research team he is co-leading received an $80,000 grant from Diabetes Research WA to explore a discovery that could reduce cases of T2D. In a pre-clinical study, the team found for the first time that statins – a class of drugs that lower cholesterol in the blood – drive changes in the body’s gut bacteria, which can trigger T2D. The results suggest that paying attention to our gut health could help prevent, cure or better manage the disease.
Fergal is also part of a CHIRI-led research collaboration awarded a grant by the Endeavour College of Natural Health in late 2018 to mechanistically characterise how nutraceutical compounds – a group of chemical compounds of plant origin – which are claimed to provide health benefits, modulate the gut-liver axis to prevent the development of metabolic disorders, such as cardiovascular disease.
We have a gut feeling you’ll be hearing a lot of great things from Fergal and his teams as their research progresses!
Research interests – the human microbiome in health and disease; mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance; pathogen-host interaction; developing new therapeutics using Metagenomic technologies.