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Personal profile

Research interests

  1. Exploring and understanding the key pathways involved in the development and progression of diabetic complications.
  2. Development of new therapeutics targeted towards the prevention and management of diabetic complications.

Research goals

The Biochemistry of Diabetes Complications Laboratory addresses important mechanistic questions across the spectrum of diabetic complications. This work is directed towards the development of novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies through multidisciplinary approaches combining bench-top research with human physiology and clinical studies. Our work directly impacts on patient care and has been published in major journals including Circulation Research, Diabetes, Diabetes Care and Diabetologia.

Professor Merlin Thomas is an internationally recognised clinician-scientist working in the field of diabetic complications, an area of utmost importance for the health of Australians. He is trained in both nephrology and endocrinology, but is also a state-of-the-art molecular scientist. Globally, he is the third-highest ranked expert in diabetic kidney disease and recognised as an opinion leader in the field of diabetic complications. His translational research spans basic biochemistry and biology to epidemiology and clinical trials. Dr Thomas has an exceptional track record of productivity with more than 270 publications many in the highest ranked journals in his field. He is also a sought-after speaker, teacher and best-selling author, demonstrating his exceptional capability to communicate complex scientific understanding to a general audience.

As both a clinician and a scientist, Professor Thomas’ work is keenly focused on the application of his work, improving the understanding and management of diabetic complications. This work has led to the establishment of international patents as well as influencing national and international guidelines. He is CIB in the newly created NHMRC Diabetes Complications CRE. His “Biochemistry of Diabetes Complications” laboratory in the newly created Department of Diabetes at Monash University is an ideal environment for multidisciplinary research, providing a combination of intellectual and scientific expertise, high-quality infrastructure and state-of-the-art capabilities.

The principal objective of Professor Thomas' research laboratory is to advance the field of diabetes by identifying and validating novel targets towards the development of efficacious strategies for the prevention and management of diabetic complications.


  • Diabetes
  • Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs)
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Diabetic Complications
  • Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD)
  • Renin Angiotensin System

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2008 2020

Research Output 2002 2018

Metabolic karma-the atherogenic legacy of diabetes: The 2017 edwin bierman award lecture

Cooper, M. E., El-Osta, A., Allen, T. J., Watson, A. M. D., Thomas, M. C. & Jandeleit-Dahm, K., 1 May 2018, In : Diabetes. 67, 5, p. 785-790 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

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

Relationship between plasma 8-OH-deoxyguanosine and cardiovascular disease and survival in type 2 diabetes mellitus: Results from the ADVANCE trial

Thomas, M. C., Woodward, M., Li, Q., Pickering, R., Tikellis, C., Poulter, N., Cooper, M. E., Marre, M., Zoungas, S. & Chalmers, J., 1 Jul 2018, In : Journal of the American Heart Association. 7, 13, 17 p., e008226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Resveratrol inhibits growth of experimental abdominal aortic aneurysm associated with upregulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2

Moran, C. S., Biros, E., Krishna, S. M., Wang, Y., Tikellis, C., Morton, S. K., Moxon, J. V., Cooper, M. E., Norman, P. E., Burrell, L. M., Thomas, M. C. & Golledge, J., 2017, In : Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 37, 11, p. 2195-2203 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The potential and pitfalls of GLP-1 receptor agonists for renal protection in type 2 diabetes

Thomas, M. C., 1 Apr 2017, In : Diabetes and Metabolism. 43, p. 2S20-2S27 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review