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Biomarkers and interventions in pregnancy and gestational diabetes

Description 
Led by Dr. Aya Mousa and Prof. Helena Teede Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common metabolic disorder affecting 15-20% of pregnancies, and its incidence is rising in line with maternal obesity and advanced childbearing age. GDM is characterised by insulin resistance and is a known risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia, macrosomia, and fetal abnormalities. It is also the strongest population predictor of type 2 diabetes (T2D), where up to 63% of women with GDM will develop T2D within 5 years of pregnancy. New research has yielded the concept that ‘diabetes begets diabetes’, suggesting that GDM not only predisposes the mother, but also the infant, to obesity and metabolic disorders later in life. An improved understanding of the mechanisms underpinning GDM development and the efficacy of current interventions are therefore of paramount importance to facilitate early detection and prevention of GDM and its sequelae. This project encompasses multiple aims as follows: - to advance understanding of the pathophysiology of hypergylcaemia in pregnancy and GDM; - to identify novel GDM biomarkers to facilitate early identification and prevention; - to evaluate the efficacy of nutritional, lifestyle, and pharmaceutical interventions for preventing or treating GDM and its complications; and - ultimately, to translate research findings into clinical practice to improve pregnancy outcomes and long-term maternal and child health. To achieve these aims, the project will encompass a multidisciplinary approach with ample opportunities for students to obtain key research knowledge and skills. Multiple methodologies will be utilized to achieve the research aims, spanning across the research continuum from mechanistic and epidemiological research, to clinical trials, large-scale meta-analyses, and translational activities. Ideally, this project would be suited for students with an interest in nutrition, metabolism and maternal health and with a passion for delivering research with impact.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here: https://www.monash.edu/admissions/entry-requirements/minimum
Keywords 
diabetes, gestational diabetes, GDM, nutrition, metformin, pregnancy, reproductive health, obstetrics
School 
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Available options 
PhD/Doctorate
Masters by Research
Time commitment 
Full-time
Top-up scholarship funding available 
No
Physical location 
Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Clayton
Co-supervisors 
Prof 
Helena Teede

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