Our research

At C-MMR we research the molecular basis of health and disease. Our research covers basic gene discovery and molecular analysis through to pre-clinical development. We combine the leading medical and biomolecular research programs from Deakin's health and science faculties, and work closely with our key partners, Barwon Health and CSIRO (AHHL).

C-MMR research themes

Cancer research

Our cancer research theme aims to improve survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through new treatments and diagnostics. We focus on breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer, as well as leukaemia and myeloproliferative disorders. We involve senior oncologists to ensure the clinical relevance of our research and the smooth translation of research outcomes into the clinic.

Read more about our cancer research

Molecular bioscience research

This research theme yields fundamental knowledge that underpins future advances in medicine and biology. We look at the basic aspects of cell, molecular and developmental biology, including consideration of environmental interactions and their evolutionary context.

Read more about our molecular bioscience research

Metabolic and musculoskeletal medicine research

This research theme aims to understand the normal control and regulation of metabolism and its perturbation in complex metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. We are also researching the molecular, cellular and extracellular drivers of skeletal muscle metabolism, development and regeneration.

Read more about our metabolic and musculoskeletal medicine research

Infection and immunity research

In this research theme we aim to identify new strategies to combat diseases through improved prevention, surveillance and/or therapeutic approaches. We are working on a number of diseases that critically impact human health. These include malaria, influenza, HIV-1, Hendra virus and Helicobacter, as well as allergy, asthma and immunodeficiency.

Read more about our infection and immunity research

C-MMR research students bound for Harvard

Two of our completing PhD students have taken up postdoctoral positions at the prestigious Harvard University. This is a testament to their hard work and talent, as well as the world-class projects they have undertaken with their supervisors.

Dr Dongxi Xiang is at Harvard Medical School furthering his research into cancer stem cells. Daniel Fraher is employed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Center at Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital. There he will continue to work with zebrafish as a model organism, moving his focus to heart development, particularly the underlying genetic causes of mitral valve prolapse.

Cancer, infectious diseases, diabetes and obesity can have devastating impacts on the individuals affected as well as the community as a whole. Our research aims to confront these diseases head-on to reduce this impact.


Director of C-MMR

Researching the modern diet

Researching the modern diet and fermentable fibre

Associate Professor Peter Vuillermin leads the Barwon Infant Study (BIS). BIS is a population-derived birth cohort designed to investigate the early life origins of a range of non-communicable diseases in the modern world.

The study will provide the first systematic investigation of the hypotheses that the epidemic of allergic disease and asthma in many parts of the world relates to the paucity of fermentable fibre in the modern diet.

A world-class multidisciplinary team has been assembled to conduct this investigation. BIS has been awarded over $4 million in competitive grants, including six NHMRC Project Grants and one NHMRC Partnership Grant.