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Barwon Health / Research

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IMPACT – Prof Sean McGee


I am currently Professor of Medical Biology at the School of Medicine at Deakin University. I was awarded my PhD in 2005 and then undertook post-doctoral studies in the Department of Physiology at The University of Melbourne and The University of Dundee in Scotland, supported by an NHMRC Doherty Fellowship. In 2009, I accepted an independent position in the newly established School of Medicine at Deakin University and have been supported by Fellowships from the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, Viertel Foundation and the NHMRC.

Research Focus

My research focusses on understanding the molecular mechanisms governing skeletal muscle exercise adaptive responses, as well as metabolic reprogramming in diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. I use this knowledge to develop novel therapies to combat these diseases. I have recently co-founded two biotech companies, Imitex Pty Ltd and Ambetex Pty Ltd, to commercialise and translate this research.

Awards & AchievementsSean McGee about me

  • AK McIntrye Medal from the Australian Physiological Society in 2010
  • Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research: Early Career Researcher in 2011
  • Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Mid-Career Researcher Award for Career Excellence in 2018

Feature Publications

  • L. McGee and M. Hargreaves. Exercise adaptations: molecular mechanisms and potential targets for therapeutic benefit. Nature Reviews in Endocrinology. 16:110-118, 2020.
  • Gaur, T. Connor, K. Venardos, D.C. Henstridge, S.D. Martin, C. Swinton, S. Morrison, K. Aston-Mourney, S.M. Gehrig, R. van Ewijk, G.S. Lynch, M.A. Febbraio, G.R. Steinberg, M. Hargreaves, K.R. Walder and S.L. McGee. Scriptaid enhances skeletal muscle insulin action and cardiac function in obese mice. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 19: 936-43, 2017.
  • Gaur, T. Connor, A. Sanigorski, S.D. Martin, C.R. Bruce, D.C. Henstridge, S.T Bond, K.A. McEwen, L. Kerr-Bayles, T.D Ashton, C. Fleming, M. Wu, L.S. Pike Winer, D. Chen, G.M. Hudson, J.W.R. Schwabe, K. Baar, M.A. Febbraio, P. Gregorevic, F.M. Pfeffer, K.R. Walder, M. Hargreaves and S.L. McGee. Disruption of the class IIa HDAC corepressor complex increases energy expenditure and lipid oxidation. Cell Reports. 16: 2802-10, 2016.
  • D. Martin, S. Morrison, N. Konstantopoulos and S.L. McGee. Mitochondrial dysfunction has divergent, cell type-dependent effects on insulin action. Molecular Metabolism. 3:408-18, 2014.
  • Teperino, S. Amann, S. Bayer, S.L. McGee, A. Loipetzberger, T. Connor, C. Jaeger, B. Kammerer, L. Winter, G. Wiche, K. Dalgaard, S. Madhan, J. Reiter, M. Gaster, R. Lee-Young, M.A. Febbraio, C. Knauf, P.D. Cani, F. Aberger, J.M. Penninger, J.A. Pospisilik and H. Esterbauer. Hedgehog partial agonism drives Warburg-like metabolism in muscle and brown fat. Cell. 151: 414-426, 2012.

How you can help


Research requires ongoing investment and there are several ways to support our work. You can make a donation today and contribute to an item on our research group’s wish list, consider a bequest in your will, or establish a lasting legacy fund in your name. No matter what size, your philanthropic support will deliver an immediate impact to this important work. To donate now or for more information, please contact the Barwon Health Foundation.

Last Modified: Monday, 01 February 2021

Sean McGee photo

Prof Sean McGee

B.Ex.Sci, B.Bus, B.App.Sci.(Hons), PhD, GCHE

Theme Leader, Molecular Medicine, IMPACT

[email protected]

Phone: (03) 5227 2519