Western Australia and one of the state’s leading medical researchers is set to play an exciting role
in a new national diabetes research initiative.
The Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovation (ACADI) will be a virtual research centre
connecting research hubs from around Australia.
It will also link in with key industry partners and diabetes organisations to help develop new
treatments, technologies and behavioural interventions to meet the challenges of the diabetes
Diabetes Research WA, WA’s peak diabetes research funding group, is financially supporting work
being done as part of ACADI by the head of WA’s Centre for Diabetes Research, Emeritus
Professor Grant Morahan.
Professor Morahan, who is also based at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, said his
project would focus on developing a genetic test which could predict which Australians with diabetes
were more at risk of developing diabetic kidney disease (DKD).
“DKD is the most frequent cause of kidney failure, leading to dialysis or kidney transplant, and is a
risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in diabetes,” explained Professor
“We will apply our world-first methods to develop a genetic test that can predict a person’s risk of
“A genetic test has the potential to diagnose risk status years before the onset of symptoms, and
those found to be at high risk of DKD could be managed more tightly, to delay or prevent diabetic
complications, improving their health and reducing healthcare costs.”
Diabetes Research WA executive director Sherl Westlund said the generosity of the group’s donors
over a long period had ensured Professor Morahan’s work could be supported.
“There’s a dire need for better ways to tackle the health complications of diabetes and we are very
proud to be backing this powerful research project,” said Ms Westlund.
The Federal Government has contributed $10 million over 4 years to help set up ACADI.
There were 463 million adults living with diabetes in 2019 globally, the majority with type 2.