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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
  • 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 2001 2018

Methods in renal research: Measurement of autophagic flux in the renal cortex ex vivo

Higgins, G. C., Nguyen, T-V., Ramm, G. & Coughlan, M. T., 1 Sep 2018, In : Nephrology. 23, 9, p. 815-820 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Obesity associated advanced glycation end products within the human uterine cavity adversely impact endometrial function and embryo implantation competence

Antoniotti, G. S., Coughlan, M., Salamonsen, L. A. & Evans, J., 1 Apr 2018, In : Human Reproduction. 33, 4, p. 654-665 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

RAGE deletion confers renoprotection by reducing responsiveness to transforming growth factor-β and increasing resistance to apoptosis

Hagiwara, S., Sourris, K., Ziemann, M., Tieqiao, W., Mohan, M., McClelland, A. D., Brennan, E., Forbes, J., Coughlan, M., Harcourt, B., Penfold, S., Wang, B., Higgins, G., Pickering, R., El-Osta, A., Thomas, M. C., Cooper, M. E. & Kantharidis, P., 1 May 2018, In : Diabetes. 67, 5, p. 960-973 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Use of readily accessible inflammatory markers to predict diabetic kidney disease

Winter, L., Wong, L. A., Jerums, G., Seah, J. M., Clarke, M., Tan, S. M., Coughlan, M. T., MacIsaac, R. J. & Ekinci, E. I., 22 May 2018, In : Frontiers in Endocrinology. 9, MAY, 17 p., 225.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access


Nutrition Society of Australia Mid Career Research Award

Melinda Therese Coughlan (Recipient), 27 Nov 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2017 2017

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

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