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Personal profile



Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan has a BSc (Biology) with Honours in Human Nutrition from Deakin University, and a PhD in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD focused on mediators of inflammation and oxidative stress in the development of gestational diabetes (Mercy Hospital for Women). After completing her PhD, Melinda joined the Baker Heart Research Institute as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof Mark Cooper’s Diabetes Complications Division. In 2012, she became the Head of the Glycation, Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. In 2016, she was recruited to Monash University’s Central Clinical School to establish the Department of Diabetes. Associate Professor Coughlan holds a Career Development Fellowship from the JDRF and has research grants from the NHMRC.


Achievements and Awards

  • JDRF Career Development Award
  • Nutrition Society of Australia Mid Career Research Award
  • Roche-Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Senior Scientist Career Development Award
  • Australian Diabetes Society Skip Martin Early Career Fellowship
  • National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) New Investigator Project Grant
  • Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Society of Australia)

Research interests

Dietary factors in the initiation of diabetes and its complications:

  • Maillard reaction products/advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).
  • Dietary constituents and incretins (GLP-1).
  • Dietary AGEs and gut microbial ecology.

Mitochondrial health in diabetes:

  • Mapping the mitochondrial bioenergetic signature of individuals with diabetic kidney disease.
  • Investigating pathways of mitochondrial quality control.
  • Validation of mitochondria-targeted therapies in pre-clinical models.

Research area keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Diet and nutrition
  • mitochondria
  • advanced glycation end products
  • processed food
  • dietary modification

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Projects 2016 2020

Research Output 2001 2020

1 Citation (Scopus)

Complement C5a induces renal injury in diabetic kidney disease by disrupting mitochondrial metabolic agility

Tan, S. M., Ziemann, M., Thallas-Bonke, V., Snelson, M., Kumar, V., Laskowski, A., Nguyen, T. V., Huynh, K., Clarke, M. V., Libianto, R., Baker, S. T., Skene, A., Power, D. A., MacIsaac, R. J., Henstridge, D. C., Wetsel, R. A., El-Osta, A., Meikle, P. J., Wilson, S. G., Forbes, J. M. & 4 others, Cooper, M. E., Ekinci, E. I., Woodruff, T. M. & Coughlan, M. T., 1 Jan 2020, In : Diabetes. 69, 1, p. 83-98 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products: Digestion, Metabolism and Modulation of Gut Microbial Ecology

Snelson, M. & Coughlan, M. T., 22 Jan 2019, In : Nutrients. 11, 2, 15 p., 215.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Globally elevating the AGE clearance receptor, OST48, does not protect against the development of diabetic kidney disease, despite improving insulin secretion

Zhuang, A., Yap, F. Y. T., McCarthy, D., Leung, C., Sourris, K. C., Penfold, S. A., Thallas-Bonke, V., Coughlan, M. T., Schulz, B. L. & Forbes, J. M., 20 Sep 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 10 p., 13664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

Modulation of the Gut Microbiota by Resistant Starch as a Treatment of Chronic Kidney Diseases: Evidence of Efficacy and Mechanistic Insights

Snelson, M., Kellow, N. J. & Coughlan, M., 1 Mar 2019, In : Advances in Nutrition. 10, 2, p. 303-320 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

The Devil's in the Detail: The Importance of Specific, Descriptive Language for Reproducibility in Nutrition Science

Snelson, M. & Coughlan, M., 6 Oct 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Renal Nutrition. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOtherpeer-review


Nutrition Society of Australia Mid Career Research Award

Melinda Coughlan (Recipient), 27 Nov 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2017 2019

  • 1 Committees and working groups
  • 1 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Research Advisory Committee

Melinda Coughlan (Fellow)
Jul 2019Jul 2021

Activity: External Academic EngagementCommittees and working groups

Australian Academy of Science (External organisation)

Melinda Coughlan (Member)
1 Dec 201731 Dec 2020

Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board