A/Prof Ross Laybutt

Laboratory Head - Islet Biology

A/Prof Ross Laybutt

A/Prof Ross Laybutt received his PhD from UNSW in 1998 and he then undertook postdoctoral studies at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston. His primary research investigates the mechanisms of pancreatic beta cell dysfunction and death in type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. His work has iden


A/Prof Ross Laybutt received his PhD from UNSW in 1998 and he then undertook postdoctoral studies at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston. His primary research investigates the mechanisms of pancreatic beta cell dysfunction and death in type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. His work has identified Id1 as a novel inhibitor of insulin secretion and beta cell differentiation.

Other work has identified a key role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in beta cell death. Ross has received research funding from Australian Research Council (ARC), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia. He has served on NHMRC Grant Review Panels and the JDRF Islet Transplantation Program Advisory Committee. He is a Council Member of the Australian Diabetes Society and a Senior Editor for the Journal of Endocrinology & Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

He was Convenor of the inaugural meeting of the Australian Islet Study Group in 2008. He has authored over 50 publications in leading journals including Diabetes, Diabetologia, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Nature.

Awards and Honours

2012 - Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship
2005 - NHMRC Early Career Researcher Award, Australian Academy of Science
2002 - R Douglas Wright Biomedical Career Development Award, NHMRC
1999 - Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship


1998 - PhD, University of New South Wales - Australia
1994 - BSc Honours Class I, University of New South Wales - Australia

Selected Publications

Herbert TP, Laybutt DR. A Reevaluation of the Role of the Unfolded Protein Response in Islet Dysfunction: Maladaptation or a Failure to Adapt? Diabetes. 2016 Jun;65(6):1472-80.

Peiris H, Duffield MD, Fadista J, Jessup CF, Kashmir V, Genders AJ, McGee SL, Martin AM, Saiedi M, Morton N, Carter R, Cousin MA, Kokotos AC, Oskolkov N, Volkov P, Hough TA, Fisher EM, Tybulewicz VL, Busciglio J, Coskun PE, Becker A, Belichenko PV, Mobley WC, Ryan MT, Chan JY, Laybutt DR, Coates PT, Yang S, Ling C, Groop L, Pritchard MA, Keating DJ. A Syntenic Cross Species Aneuploidy Genetic Screen Links RCAN1 Expression to β-Cell Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes. PLoS Genet. 2016 May 19;12(5):e1006033.

Bensellam M, Maxwell EL, Chan JY, Luzuriaga J, West PK, Jonas JC, Gunton JE, Laybutt DR. Hypoxia reduces ER-to-Golgi protein trafficking and increases cell death by inhibiting the adaptive unfolded protein response in mouse beta cells. Diabetologia. 2016 Jul;59(7):1492-502.

Dooley J, Tian L, Schonefeldt S, Delghingaro-Augusto V, Garcia-Perez JE, Pasciuto E, Di Marino D, Carr EJ, Oskolkov N, Lyssenko V, Franckaert D, Lagou V, Overbergh L, Vandenbussche J, Allemeersch J, Chabot-Roy G, Dahlstrom JE, Laybutt DR, Petrovsky N, Socha L, Gevaert K, Jetten AM, Lambrechts D, Linterman MA, Goodnow CC, Nolan CJ, Lesage S, Schlenner SM, Liston A. Genetic predisposition for beta cell fragility underlies type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Nat Genet. 2016 May;48(5):519-27.

Chan JY, Luzuriaga J, Maxwell EL, West PK, Bensellam M, Laybutt DR. The balance between adaptive and apoptotic unfolded protein responses regulates β-cell death under ER stress conditions through XBP1, CHOP and JNK. Mol Cell Endocrinol 2015; 413:189-201.

Bensellam M, Montgomery MK, Luzuriaga J, Chan JY, Laybutt DR. Inhibitor of differentiation proteins protect against oxidative stress by regulating the antioxidant–mitochondrial response in mouse beta cells. Diabetologia 2015; 58:758-70.

Chan JY, Luzuriaga J, Bensellam M, Biden TJ, Laybutt DR. Failure of the adaptive unfolded protein response in islets of obese mice is linked with abnormalities in β-cell gene expression and progression to diabetes. Diabetes 2013; 62:1557-68.

Walters SN, Luzuriaga J, Chan JY, Grey ST, Laybutt DR. Influence of chronic hyperglycemia on the loss of the unfolded protein response in transplanted islets. J Mol Endocrinol 2013; 51:225-32.

Jacovetti C, Abderrahmani A, Parnaud G, Jonas JC, Peyot ML, Cornu M, Laybutt R, Meugnier E, Rome S, Thorens B, Prentki M, Bosco D, Regazzi R. MicroRNAs contribute to compensatory b cell expansion during pregnancy and obesity. J Clin Invest 2012; 122:3541-51.

Bensellam M, Laybutt DR, Jonas JC. The molecular mechanisms of pancreatic b-cell glucotoxicity: Recent findings and future research directions. Mol Cell Endocrinol 2012; 364:1-27.

Chan JY, Biden TJ, Laybutt DR. Cross-talk between the unfolded protein response and nuclear factor-kB signalling pathways regulates cytokine-mediated beta cell death in MIN6 cells and isolated mouse islets. Diabetologia 2012; 55:2999-3009.

Achard CS, Laybutt DR. Lipid-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress in liver cells results in two distinct outcomes: adaptation with enhanced insulin signaling or insulin resistance. Endocrinology 2012; 153(5): 2164-77.

Åkerfeldt MC, Laybutt DR. Inhibition of Id1 augments insulin secretion and protects against high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance. Diabetes 2011; 60:2506-14.

Chan JY, Cooney GJ, Biden TJ, Laybutt DR. Differential regulation of adaptive and apoptotic unfolded protein response signalling by cytokine-induced nitric oxide production in mouse pancreatic beta cells. Diabetologia 2011; 54:1766-76.

Ng SF, Lin RC, Laybutt DR, Barres R, Owens JA, Morris MJ. Chronic high-fat diet in fathers programs b-cell dysfunction in female rat offspring. Nature 2010; 467:963-6.

Åkerfeldt MC, Howes J, Chan JY, Stevens VA, Boubenna N, McGuire HM, King C, Biden TJ, Laybutt DR. Cytokine-induced β-cell death is independent of endoplasmic reticulum stress signalling. Diabetes 2008; 57:3034-44.

Laybutt DR, Preston AM, Åkerfeldt MC, Kench JG, Busch AK, Biankin AV, Biden TJ. Endoplasmic reticulum stress contributes to beta cell apoptosis in type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia 2007; 50: 752-63.

Laybutt DR, Hawkins YC, Lock J, Lebet J, Sharma A, Bonner-Weir S, Weir GC. Influence of diabetes on the loss of beta cell differentiation after islet transplantation. Diabetologia 2007; 50:2117-25.

Kjørholt C, Åkerfeldt MC, Biden TJ, Laybutt DR. Chronic hyperglycemia, independent of plasma lipid levels, is sufficient for the loss of b-cell differentiation and secretory function in the db/db mouse model of diabetes. Diabetes 2005; 54:2755-63.