Professor Damien Keating

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Personal profile

Research Biography

I am Deputy Director of the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI) and Head of Molecular and Cellular Physiology research group. I undertook a post-doc with Prof. Thomas Jentsch at the ZMNH, Hamburg, Germany and was then awarded an independent research fellowship to move to the Hudson Institute in Melbourne. I was recruited to Flinders University through a BioInnovation SA Research Fellowship in 2006. In 2010, I was awarded both a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (Level 1) and an ARC Future Fellowship and then a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (Level 2) in 2015.

My research is focused on understanding how cells send chemical signals to each other and how this is implicated in health and disease. We have published significant work in this area in leading international journals including Nature, PNAS, PLoS Genetics, Molecular Psychiatry, Gastroenterology, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Neuroscience, Diabetes, Nature Communications and Cell Metabolism.

Research Interests

The focus within my lab is identifying the molecular mechanisms controlling cell signalling and how altered cell signalling relates to human diseases; most especially metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, gut motility disorders and mental illness. My primary focus is on specialised sensory cells that line the gut wall, called enteroendocrine cells. These cells respond to the gut environment to release an array of hormones and neurotransmitters that can act in an autocrine, paracrine and endocrine manner to drive an array of physiological processes.

 

I utilise transgenic mouse models, human tissue, disease models and microbiome manipulation to identify underlying aspects of these diseases and combine this with cutting edge techniques for the measurement of neurotransmitter and hormone release from single cells. This work is supported with funding from both the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD

Award Date: 6 Jul 2003

Bachelor of Science (Honours)

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