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Barwon Health / Research

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Endocrinology and Diabetes

The main focus of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research team is now diabetes and obesity, with multiple active clinical trials in type 1 diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and obesity in progress and in the planning stages. The Clinical Trials Unit is currently collaborating with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative to invite First Nation’s people who have type 2 diabetes to trial a continuous glucose monitoring device to see if they can improve their blood glucose management.

The Clinical Trials Unit was previously particularly focussed on osteoporosis, a disease affecting over one million Australians that makes bones become brittle leading to a higher risk of breaks than in normal bone. Much of our research uses data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study, as well as clinical data gathered through our clinical practices. Recent analyses have focused on muscle loss, frailty and the effect of diabetes on the skeleton. In collaboration with Barwon Health's Intensive Care Unit, we are also examining the impact of critical illness on skeletal health and mortality.

Our Clinical Trials Unit is national lead on the majority of its commercially sponsored clinical trials and is renowned for its high standards of clinical care and ethical standards, as well as start-up timelines and trial completion.

Research Areas

Collaborating Organisations

IMPACT SRC Deakin University

Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland Active Life Sciences, California 

Hospital del Mar-IMIM, Autonomous, University of Barcelona 

University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital  Westmead Hospital

Centre for Eye Research Australia

Monash Health Hudson Institute of Medical Research 


Research Team

Research Staff

  • Professor Mark Kotowicz, Research Lead, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes and Deakin University School of Medicine
  • Dr Shannon McCarthy, Clinical Trial Principal Investigator
  • Dr Aaron Choy, Endocrine Fellow 2023
  • Dr Anna Cunliffe, Endocrine Fellow 2024
  • Dr Anna Anderson, Endocrinology Representative on Research Advisory Committee
  • Dr Kimberly Cukier, Director Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, University Hospital Geelong
  • Kate Ellis, Clinical Trials Unit Manager
  • Anne Welsh, Clinical Trials Nurse Coordinator
  • Jo Chambers, Clinical Trials Nurse Coordinator
  • Fahriya Zandari, Clinical Trials Nurse Coordinator

Research Students

  • Lelia de Abreu, PhD, Glycaemia status, all-cause mortality and skeletal morbidity in women
  • Monica Tembo, PhD, Biological factors that underpin frailty and musculoskeletal decline
  • Matthew Thackery, MPhil, The effect of critical illness on muscle mass

Research News

Featured Publications

Assessment and management of bone health in women with oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer receiving endocrine therapy: Position statement of the endocrine society of Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Bone & Mineral Society. Grossmann M, Ramchand SK, Milat F, Vincent A, Lim E, Kotowicz MA, Hicks J, Teede H. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2018;89: 280-296.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Trabecular bone score in men and women with impaired fasting glucose and diabetes. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Holloway KL, De Abreu, Lelia L. F., Hans D, Kotowicz MA, Sajjad MA, Hyde NK, Pasco JA. Calcif Tissue Int. 2017;102: 32-40.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Changes in Bone Mineral Density in the Year After Critical Illness. Orford NR, Lane SE, Bailey M, Pasco JA, Cattigan C, Elderkin T, Brennan-Olsen SL, Bellomo R, Cooper DJ, Kotowicz MA. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016;193(7): 736-744.

Cited By   Citation in Context

A meta-analysis of trabecular bone score in fracture risk prediction and its relationship to FRAX. McCloskey EV, Odén A, Harvey NC, Leslie WD, Hans D, Johansson H, Barkmann R, Boutroy S, Brown J, Chapurlat R, et al. J Bone Min Res. 2015;31: 940-948.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Body mass index and measures of body fat for defining obesity and underweight: A cross-sectional, population-based study. Pasco JA, Holloway KL, Dobbins AG, Kotowicz MA, Williams LJ, Brennan SL. BMC Obesity. 2014;1:9142.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Increased risk of cognitive impairment in patients with diabetes is associated with metformin. Moore EM, Mander AG, Ames D, Kotowicz MA, Carne RP, Brodaty H, Woodward M, Boundy K, Ellis KA, Bush AI, et al. Diabetes Care. 2013;36: 2981-2987.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Skeletal morbidity among survivors of critical illness. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Orford NR, Saunders K, Merriman E, Henry M, Pasco J, Stow P, Kotowicz M. Crit Care Med. 2011 Jun;39(6) 1295-1300.

Cited By   Citations in Context

Genome-wide association study using extreme truncate selection identifies novel genes affecting bone mineral density and fracture risk. Duncan EL, Danoy P, Kemp JP, Leo PJ, McCloskey E, Nicholson GC, Eastell R, Prince RL, Eisman JA, Jones G, et al. PLoS Genetics. 2011;7(4):e1001372.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Prevalence of osteoporosis in Australian men and women: Geelong Osteoporosis Study. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Henry MJ, Pasco JA, Nicholson GC, Kotowicz MA.  Med J Aust 2011;195(6): 31-32.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Annual high-dose oral vitamin D and falls and fractures in older women. Sanders KM, Stuart AL, Williamson EJ, Simpson JA, Kotowicz MA, Young D, Nicholson GC. JAMA. 2010;303: 1815-1822.

Cited By   Citation in Context


Support Our Research

Participate in a Clinical Trial

To find out about clinical trials currently underway at Barwon Health, click here


Clinical trials require ongoing investment and there are several ways to support this amazing work.

You can make a donation today and contribute to an item on our research wish list, consider a bequest in your will, or establish a lasting legacy fund in your name. No matter what size, your philanthropic support with deliver an immediate impact.

To donate now or for more information and further discuss your support, please contact the Barwon Health Foundation.

Wish List

  1. Return economy airfare & accommodation for Dr Kara Holloway-Kew to undertake impact microindentation on 114 participants with chronic kidney disease at Westmead Hospital = $1,894
  2. DXA scans for 228 participants with chronic kidney disease at University Hospital Geelong and Westmead Hospital= $27,360
  3. Purchase of OsteoProbe RUO (Research Use Only) tips: 228 tips @ USD 100 per tip = $35,077

Last Modified: Thursday, 23 May 2024

Research Lead

 Mark Kotowicz -small-2.jpg

Professor Mark Kotowicz

Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes and Deakin University School of Medicine

[email protected]

Kate Ellis Web P1056934

Ms Kate Ellis

Clinical Trials Unit Manager

Adrian Costa Clinical Trials Centre

[email protected]


Phone (03) 4215 2878

University Hospital Geelong
Bellerine St, Geelong 3220