Research //

Metabolic Health

The Maurice Wilkins Centre is working together to identify pathways to new treatments for diabetes and metabolic disease.

Globally there is a move to use genetic information to help guide new precision and personalised medicine strategies but these studies were largely conducted in the US, Asia and Europe so excluded Māori and Pacific people. The MWC is undertaking studies with the particular aim of addressing inequities in precision medicine for Māori and Pacific people in metabolic diseases – such as type-2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and gout. The aim is to create tailored metabolic health prevention and treatment strategies suitable for Māori and Pacific communities by understanding how certain genetic factors impact on the effectiveness of current treatments, and using this information to guide the rational development of new preventative or intervention strategies. 

The MWC supports an integrated research programme under the Metabolic Health theme

Targeted genomics

The first step involves identifying gene variants associated with the development of metabolic diseases.

Phenotyping and gene functional studies

The second step involves understanding how these gene variants cause metabolic alterations that could lead to development of diseases.

Pharmacogenomic clinical studies

The third step involves using our understanding of the biology to guide clinical studies to understand how the genetic variants could impact on the efficacy of modern prevention and treatment strategies.