Dr Sean McGee

Full Name: Dr Sean McGee
Position Title: Lecturer in Medical Biology
Telephone: +61 3 5227 2519
Email: sean.mcgee@deakin.edu.au
Campus: Metabolic Research Unit - Geelong at Waurn Ponds
sean mcgee


Research overview

The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes are rapidly increasing and the diseases are now major causes of morbidity in Western society. These diseases result in metabolic remodelling in a number of important tissues such as skeletal muscle, the liver and the brain. Much of this remodelling is due to altered expression of genes controlling metabolism. Our work focuses on the signalling and transcriptional mechanisms regulating metabolism in both healthy and diseased states. As part of this work, we have discovered that the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which operates as a cellular energy gauge, targets the class IIa histone deacetylase (HDAC) chromatin remodelling enzymes to regulate the transcription of metabolic genes. We are currently investigating the role of these HDACs in metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Other ongoing projects include interaction of AMPK with the insulin signalling pathway, examination of the role of protein kinase D in metabolic regulation and characterisation of a novel, metabolically active factor released from fat. These studies are funded by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART), the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation and and the ANZ Charitable Trust.



  1. The role of the class IIa histone deacetylases in metabolic disease.
  2. The role of protein kinase D in metabolic control and stem cell linage determination.
  3. The role of neuropeptides released by the periphery on metabolism.
  4. The role of AMPK on interaction with the insulin signalling pathway.


Now recruiting Honours and PhD students, please email expressions of interest to: sean.mcgee@deakin.edu.au



Dr McGee obtained his PhD in Molecular Physiology from Deakin University in 2005 and completed post-doctoral training at the Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne and The Welcome Trust Biocentre, University of Dundee, Scotland. In 2006, Dr McGee accepted a Peter Doherty Fellowship from the NHMRC and at the beginning of 2009, relocated his research program to the School of Medicine, Deakin University. In 2010, Dr McGee received the prestigious Diabetes Australia Research Trust Viertel Fellowship. Recent awards include the A.K. McIntyre Medal from the Australian Physiological Society in 2010 and a Vice-Chancellor's Award for contributions to research in 2011. Dr. McGee is an Associate Editor for the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal and is a member of the Australian Physiological Society, the Australian Diabetes Society, Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Physiological Society. Dr McGee's laboratory is also the Asia-Pacific region core facility for metabolic phenotyping using the Seahorse XF Analayser, which has resulted in numerous collaborations with both national and international researchers.

View Dr Sean McGee's publications


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