Sarah Turpin-Nolan


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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Obesity rates continue to grow signifying the need to identify new therapeutic approaches.Different sized bioactive lipids (ceramide) have been associated with metabolic diseases and are currently being used as markers of heart disease and type II diabetes mellitus. Ceramide production is regulated by Ceramide Synthase enzymes which are vital for exclusive individual sized ceramide manipulation. From my own work, I believe that targeting a specific ceramide specie, could provide new avenues of treatment to help combat obesity and associated metabolic disorders.

My current research objective is to decipher the regulatory principles of how intestinal ceramides are packaged and circulate the body to influence lipid metabolism and contribute to the onset of obesity, type II diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer pathogenesis.


Dr. Sarah Turpin-Nolan is currently a Research Fellow in the Cellular and Molecular Metabolism at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), Monash University. Her research focuses upon the role of ceramides during metabolic disease, namely in the gastrointestinal tract, lymphatic and circulatory transport systems.

Previously, Dr Turpin-Nolan discovered that reducing a specific ceramide specie in the liver could prevent diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus during her postdoctoral traiing in Prof. Jens Bruening's Laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research. This work led to the development of inhibitors to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Dr Sarah Turpin-Nolan completed her PhD in the Biology of Lipid Metabolism Laboratory supervised by Prof. Matthew Watt. Her PhD investigated the Metabolic consequences of lipid-oversupply in key glucoregulatory tissues and was awarded by The University of Melbourne (Dept of Medicine & Health Sciences).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Metabolic consequences of lipid-oversupply in key glucoregulatory tissues, University of Melbourne


Award Date: 9 Jun 2010

Bachelor of Applied Science (Biotechnology & Biomedical Science) Honours, “Apoptosis in skeletal muscle myotubes is induced by ceramides and is positively related to insulin resistance., RMIT University


Award Date: 23 Dec 2005

Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Biology), RMIT University


Award Date: 24 Dec 2004

External positions

Victorian Representative, Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows

2020 → …

Research area keywords

  • sphingolipids
  • overweight/obesity
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • lymphatics
  • ceramides
  • glucose metabolism

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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