Staff profile - Clinton Bruce

Staff image

Dr Clinton Bruce

Position: Senior Lecturer In Nutrition & Metabolism
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Exercise & Nut. Sci.
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 924 46684 +61 3 924 46684



Dr Bruce received his PhD from RMIT University in 2003 and completed postdoctoral appointments at the University of Guelph, Canada, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. He established an independent laboratory in the Department of Physiology at Monash University in 2012 prior to taking up an academic appointment at Deakin University in 2014. 


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Royal Melb Inst. of Technology, 2003


Member of the Australian Physiological Society (AuPS), the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) and the Australian and New Zealand Metabolomics Network (ANZMN)


Subjects and units currently teaching

Unit chair HSN751 Human Nutrition Research project Part B

Unit chair HSN703 Diet and Disease

Unit chair HSN753 Research Practice in Human Nutrition

Expertise summary

Insulin resistance, glucose metabolism, hepatic glucose production, skeletal muscle physiology, lipid metabolism, tracers in metabolic research

Knowledge areas

Glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolomics, stable isotopes, muscle physiology


Awards and prizes

2013-2014 Monash Researcher Accelerator Program
2013 Australian Diabetes Society annual meeting Pincus Taft Young Investigator awarded to Dr. Greg Kowalski (postdoctoral fellow in my laboratory).
2012 Australian Diabetes Society annual meeting best basic science poster awarded to Dr. Greg Kowalski (postdoctoral fellow in my laboratory).
2010-2013 NHMRC Career Development Award
2005-2009 NHMRC Peter Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship
2000-2003 Australian Postgraduate Research Award


Research projects

Mechanisms of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

The role of membrane lipids in regulating skeletal muscle physiology.

Research interests

Dr Bruce’s research is focussed on understanding the regulation of glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle and liver in health and disease. He is particularly interested in identifying mechanisms underlying the development of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.  He also has an interest in identifying the role of lipids in regulating skeletal muscle function. His research involves the use of stable isotope methodology and GC-MS based metabolomics to measure glucose and lipid fluxes, protein synthesis and mitochondrial biogenesis.

Research grants

2015  Deakin University Central Research Grants Scheme. Novel targets to improve blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes.

2015  Diabetes Australia Research Trust. Does mitochondrial dysfunction impair muscle glucose metabolism?

2015  Diabetes Australia Research Trust. Novel targets to improve blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes.

2014  Diabetes Australia Research Trust. Understanding the mechanisms of diet-induced defects in hepatic glucose metabolism.

2013 Monash Researcher Accelerator Program. Use of tracers in metabolic research.

2012  NHMRC project grant. Sphingosine kinase: a target for obesity induced insulin resistance. CI-A: C.R. Bruce; CI-B: R.S. Lee-Young

2012  NHMRC project grant. Impaired respiratory tolerance in obesity - the link with asthma? CI-A: R.E. O'Hehir; CI-B: J.M. Rolland; CI-C: C.R. Bruce; CI-D: C.L. Hardy

2011 NHMRC Project grant. The CDP ethanolamine pathway: a new player in obesity induced insulin resistance.CI-A: C.R. Bruce; CI-B: M.A. Febbraio

2011 NHMRC Project grant. Activation of HSP72 in skeletal muscle as a therapeutic target for obesity. CI-A: M.A. Febbraio; CI-B: C.R. Bruce; CI-C: S. McGee; CI-D: M. Hargreaves.

2011   Diabetes Australia Research Trust. Hepatic lipid secretion in obesity and insulin resistance.

2010  NHMRC Career Development Award. Molecular mechanisms of lipid-induced insulin resistance.

2009 NHMRC Project grant. Sphingosine kinase as a target therapeutic for obesity induced insulin resistance. CI: C.R. Bruce

2008  Ramaciotti Foundation Establishment Grant. Inflammation and skeletal muscle insulin resistance: the role of JNK and IKK.

2008   Diabetes Australia Research Trust. Lipidomics and lipid profiling: identifying novel lipid species involved in the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance.

2008  Dean Robert Winter Trust grant. Sphingolipidomics and in vivo electroporation: novel approaches to study the role of muscle lipid metabolism in regulating insulin sensitivity.



Selathurai A., G.M. Kowalski, M.L. Burch, P. Sepulveda, S. Risis, R.S. Lee-Young, S. Lamon, P.J. Meikle, A.J. Genders, S.L. McGee, M.J. Watt, A.P. Russell, M. Frank, S. Jackowski, M.A. Febbraio, C.R. Bruce. The CDP-ethanolamine pathway regulates skeletal muscle diacylglycerol content and mitochondrial biogenesis without altering insulin sensitivity. Cell Metabolism 21:718–730, 2015.

Kraakman M.J., Kammoun, H.L., Allen, T.L., Deswaerte, V., Henstridge, D.C., Estevez, E., Matthews, V.B., Neill, B., White, D.A., Murphy, A.J., Peijs, L., Yang, C., Risis, S., Bruce, C.R., Du, X.J., Bobik, A., Lee-Young, R.S., Kingwell, B.A., Vasanthakumar, A., Shi, W., Kallies, A., Lancaster, G.I., Rose-John, S., Febbraio, M.A. Blocking IL-6 trans-Signaling Prevents High-Fat Diet-Induced Adipose Tissue Macrophage Recruitment but Does Not Improve Insulin Resistance. Cell Metabolism 21:403-416, 2015.

Kowalski G.M., J. Kloehn, M.L. Burch, A. Selathurai, S. Hamley, S.A. Bayol, S. Lamon, M.J. Watt, R.S. Lee-Young, M.J. McConville, C.R. Bruce. Overexpression of sphingosine kinase 1 in liver reduces triglyceride content in mice fed a low but not high-fat diet. Biochim Biophys Acta 1851: 210-219, 2015.

Kowalski, G.M. C.R. Bruce. The regulation of glucose metabolism: implications and considerations for the assessment of glucose homeostasis in rodents. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 307:E859-E871, 2014.

Bayol, S.A.M., C.R. Bruce, G.D. Wadley. Growing healthy muscles to optimise metabolic health into adult life. J Dev Orig Health Dis 5:420-434, 2014.

Henstridge, D.C.*, C.R. Bruce*, B.G. Drew, K. Tory, A. Kolonics, J. Chung, N. Watson, E. Estevez, T. Gardner, R.S. Lee-Young, T. Connor, M.J. Watt, M. Hargreaves, S.L. McGee, A.L. Hevener, M.A. Febbraio. Activating HSP72 in rodent skeletal muscle increases mitochondrial number and oxidative capacity and decreases insulin resistance. Diabetes 63:1881-94, 2014. *equal first author

Turner, N., G.J. Cooney, E.W. Kraegen, C.R. Bruce. Fatty acid metabolism, energy expenditure and insulin resistance in muscle. J Endocrinol 220:T61-T79, 2014.

Kowalski, G.M., A.L. Carey, A. Selathurai, B.A. Kingwell, C.R. Bruce. Plasma sphingosine-1-phosphate is elevated in obesity. PLoS One (9):e72449, 2013.

Turner N., G.M. Kowalski, S.J. Leslie, S. Risis, C. Yang, R.S. Lee-Young, J.R. Babb, P.J. Meikle, G.I. Lancaster, D.C. Henstridge, P.J. White, E.W. Kraegen, A. Marette, G.J. Cooney, M.A. Febbraio, C.R. Bruce. Distinct patterns of tissue-specific lipid accumulation during the induction of insulin resistance in mice by high-fat feeding. Diabetologia 56:1638-48, 2013.

Bruce C.R., S. Risis, J.R. Babb, C. Yang, G.M. Kowalski, A. Selathurai, R.S. Lee-Young, J.M. Weir, K. Yoshioka, Y. Takuwa, P.J. Meikle, S.M. Pitson, M.A. Febbraio. Overexpression of sphingosine kinase 1 prevents ceramide accumulation and ameliorates muscle insulin resistance in high fat-fed mice. Diabetes 61:3148-3155, 2012.

Henstridge D.C.*, C.R. Bruce*, C.P. Pang, G.I. Lancaster, T.L. Allen, E. Estevez, T. Gardner, J.M. Weir, P.J. Meikle, K.S.L. Lam, A. Xu, N. Fujii, L.J. Goodyear, M.A. Febbraio. Skeletal muscle specific overexpression of constitutively activated JNK induces insulin resistance. Diabetologia 55:2769-2778, 2012. *equal first author

Barber, M.N., S. Risis, C. Yang, P.J. Meikle, M. Staples, M.A. Febbraio, C.R. Bruce. The plasma lipidomic profile in high fat diet induced-obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes reveals a novel lysophosphatidylcholine signature. PLOS One 7(7): e41456, 2012.


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