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
  • 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.


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

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Projects 2016 2020

Research Output 2008 2017

Open Access

Increased liver AGEs induce hepatic injury mediated through an OST48 pathway

Zhuang, A., Yap, F. Y., Bruce, C., Leung, C., Plan, M. R., Sullivan, M. A., Herath, C. B., McCarthy, D., Sourris, K. C., Kantharidis, P., Coughlan, M. T., Febbraio, M. A., Hodson, M. P., Watt, M. J., Angus, P., Schulz, B. L. & Forbes, J. M. 1 Dec 2017 In : Scientific Reports. 7, 1, 12292

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access

Stirring the pot: Can dietary modification alleviate the burden of CKD?

Snelson, M., Clarke, R. E. & Coughlan, M. T. 11 Mar 2017 In : Nutrients. 9, 3, 29 p., 265

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview Article

Open Access

Can targeting the incretin pathway dampen RAGE-mediated events in diabetic nephropathy?

Sourris, K. C., Yao, H., Jerums, G., Cooper, M. E., Ekinci, E. I. & Coughlan, M. T. 1 Sep 2016 In : Current Drug Targets. 17, 11, p. 1252-1264 13 p.

Research output: Other - peer-reviewArticle

Activities 2017 2017

  • 1 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Australian Academy of Science (External organisation)

Coughlan, M. T. (Member)
1 Dec 201731 Dec 2020

Activity: Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board