Dr Konstantopoulos completed her PhD. as a recipient of a NH&MRC Dora Lush (Biomedical) Postgraduate Scholarship at the Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, followed by 1 year as a Research Officer at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne. Dr Konstantopoulos commenced as a Postdoctoral Fellow with a 3 year American Diabetes Association-Mentor Based Fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Centre, Harvard Medical School in Boston, and returned back to Melbourne as a recipient of a 3 year CSIRO Australia Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition.
Dr Konstantopoulos’ major research themes are in the fields of protein / cellular biochemistry and cell signalling related to insulin action and she has published in highly regarded journals such as Science, Diabetologia, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemical Journal (resulting in more than 600 citations). Research highlights include identifying new insights into insulin / insulin receptor function in cellular architecture and adhesion, identification of 6 proteins previously unknown to be involved in glucose transport in fat, and identification of the serine kinases IKKs as novel mediators of insulin resistance and the action of salicylates as insulin sensitisers; work that resulted in a 1st author publication in Science (2001). Current work at the Metabolic Research Unit has identified a ‘Gene Expression Signature’ predicting insulin sensitivity, which has been used to screen for compounds with anti-diabetic properties, resulting in the identification of a lead compound that will be tested in a clinical trial in 2010. Her predominant role at the Metabolic Research Unit has been to establish and manage the execution of metabolically relevant bioassays in insulin sensitive cells in order to identify anti-diabetic therapeutics, and to investigate mechanisms of action of novel diabetes-linked proteins and anti-diabetic compounds.
Dr Konstantopoulos is a current recipient of a NH&MRC project grant (2009-11), an ARC Linkage Project grant (2010-12) and was awarded a Deakin University Research Excellence Award in 2009.