Our research spans from the lab to real world settings. We conduct metabolism, physiology, clinical and behavioural studies, and community and population-based research.​

Our team collaborates nationally and internationally, as well as across disciplines. We’re also committed to nurturing a new generation of leading researchers, through a supportive and dynamic research environment.​

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Our research​ ​

IPAN research covers four research domains, one joint department and a research centre.

Biology of health and disease

The overarching aim of research in this domain is to characterise and understand the biological mechanisms by which exercise and nutrition impact health. Research in this domain includes healthy and clinical populations across the lifespan – from growth in the womb to ageing.

Healthy active living​

This domain focuses on real-world solutions to increase population levels of physical activity and consists of three research groups; Physical activity and sedentary behaviour from infancy to young adulthood; Built and natural environments for healthy living​; and Worker health and stress.​

Preventing and managing chronic conditions

The focus of this research is the development, implementation, evaluation and translation of lifestyle-based solutions for the prevention and management of chronic diseases . This includes cardiometabolic and musculoskeletal-related conditions, brain, cognitive and mood-related disorders, and cancer. ​

Food, nutrition and health

Unhealthy diets are the leading contributor to the global burden of disease and research in this domain includes developing and evaluating interventions and translating research into policy and practice.   ​

Baker-Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes

A collaborative partnership between the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), the Baker-Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes has been established to advance research into one of the greatest health challenges of our time – the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.

Led by eminent researcher Professor David Dunstan, the Department focuses on developing evidence-based lifestyle approaches to address the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, drawing on shared interests in physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition and chronic disease management research.

Centre for Sport Research

The Centre for Sport Research (CSR) is focused on influencing practice in sport to enhance the health and performance of people and organisations participating in sports. CSR is part of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN).

CSR researchers are experts in sport, exercise and health from various faculties within Deakin.

Explore the Centre for Sport Research

Connect with us to improve our collective health

Whether you’re looking for partnership or PhD opportunities, or to make a gift to further our important research, we would love to hear from you.

Our dynamic team is focused on positively transforming lives in our communities by undertaking high-quality research that influences policy, practices and programs.

Alfred Deakin Professor, Jo Salmon​ Director

The Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN)

Our research  leaders

Alfred Deakin Professor Jo Salmon


With a focus on child and youth physical activity and sedentary behaviour in particular, Professor Salmon’s research has led to effective strategies to reduce and break up children’s and adolescents’ sitting and promote physical activity in the school and home settings.

Alfred Deakin Professor Anna Timperio​

Deputy Director

Professor Timperio's research is focused on understanding the range of influences on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and eating behaviours, particularly among children and adolescents, and over critical life transition periods such as childhood to adolescence, and adolescence to young adulthood.

Professor Michelle Keske

Deputy Director

Professor Keske is internationally recognised for her contribution to the study of muscle microvascular blood flow and her expertise in the development of techniques to assess microvascular blood flow in vivo in humans and animals.

Feature projects

IPAN is recognised as a leader in innovative, high-quality research that translates into real-world applications. We have many national and international research collaborations which both strengthens our expertise and offers exciting opportunities for our staff and PhD students.

Interventions to get kids moving to optimise their heart health

Interventions to get kids moving to optimise their heart health

An early childhood family-based intervention is being developed to promote physical activity and active play, and to reduce sedentary behaviour, in children aged 0-3 years.

Professor Hesketh’s Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship is focussed on using interventions to promote physical activity and active play, and to reduce sedentary behaviour, in children aged 0-3 years.

Understanding the process of muscle ageing in females

Understanding the process of muscle ageing in females

Much of female biology remains a mystery, due to years of scientific research predominantly focused on males. We know that females and males age differently. But there is a lot we don’t know about the specifics of muscle ageing in females.

This research study aims to fill this knowledge gap by mapping the process of female muscle ageing across the lifespan, for a better understanding of the different factors (e.g. hormonal, functional, molecular) at play.

Our collaborations​

By working together we can achieve so much more than we can on our own. At IPAN we see working with stakeholders and partners as critical to our research success. ​

IPAN is recognised as a leader in innovative, high-quality research that translates into real-world applications. By making IPAN experts available to our partners and international networks, we provide the evidence needed to inform programs and policies that affect health. ​

We are keen to hear from organisations interested in connecting with us to answer important research questions. Starting discussions early is critical. If you have an idea, please contact us

Contact us

Stay in touch with us to hear about the latest alumni opportunities, research news and much more. Have a question? Get in touch with the team. ​

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