Prof Trevor Biden

Prof Trevor Biden

Following an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sydney Professor Trevor Biden undertook his PhD with Keith Taylor at London Hospital Medical College. He subsequently worked as a post-doc during a very productive era in Claes Wollheim’s lab in Geneva. Following a short sojourn
Lab Head - Beta Cell Signalling

Principle Research Fellow

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Conjoint Professor, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Following an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sydney Professor Trevor Biden undertook his PhD with Keith Taylor at London Hospital Medical College. He subsequently worked as a post-doc during a very productive era in Claes Wollheim’s lab in Geneva. Following a short sojourn at the Australian National University in Canberra, Trevor commenced his own independent lab at the Garvan Institute. Over time he has trained many PhDs and post-docs, some of whom now head their own closely aligned labs within the Garvan.

Trevor has a long-standing international reputation in the area of basic beta cell biology. He has made important contributions in the areas of regulating insulin secretion and beta cell apoptosis, and his work straddles both T1D and T2D. In recent years he has been instrumental in elucidating and characterizing the contribution of ER stress to beta cell dysregulation. He is now extending his research focus more broadly in beta cell biology to encompass studies in autophagy and lysosomal biology, as well as inflammation.

He holds several patents and has worked closely with several pharmaceutical/biotech companies. In the last 5 years he has served on the Editorial Advisory Board or as Associate Editor for the two leading journals in diabetes field, Diabetes and Diabetologia. He has made an extensive and ongoing contribution to grant review panels with both JDRFI and NHMRC.

Research Interests

Regulation of insulin secretion
Beta cell death and failure
ER stress
Inflammation in Type 2 diabetes


1983 - PhD, University of London - UK
1979 - BSc Hons, University of Sydney - Australia

Selected Publications

Pearson GL, Mellett N, Chu KY, Boslem E, Meikle PJ, Biden TJ. (2016) A comprehensive lipidomic screen of pancreatic β-cells using mass spectroscopy defines novel features of glucose-stimulated turnover of neutral lipids, sphingolipids and plasmalogens. Mol Metab. Apr 13;5(6):404-14.

Chu, K.Y., O'Reilly, L., Ramm, G., Biden, T.J. (2015).  High-fat diet increases autophagic flux in pancreatic beta cells in vivo and ex vivo in mice.  Diabetologia.  58 (9): 2074-8.

Wu, L.E., Samocha-Bonet, D., Whitworth, P.T., Fazakerley, D.J., Turner, N., Biden, T.J., James, D.E., Cantley, J. (2014) Identification of fatty acid binding protein 4 as an adipokine that regulates insulin secretion during obesity.  Mol Metab. 3 (4): 465-73.

Biden, T.J., Boslem, E., Chu, K.Y., Sue N. (2014) Lipotoxic endoplasmic reticulum stress, β cell failure, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.  
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 25 (8): 389-98. Review.

Pearson, G., Mellet, N., Davenport, A., Cantley, J., Bourbon, P., Cosner, C., Helquist, P., Meikle, P.J., and Biden, T.J. (2014) Lysosomal acid lipase and lipophagy are constitutive negative regulators of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic b-cells. Diabetologia. 57(1):129-39.

Boslem, E.,MacIntosh, G., Preston, A.M., Bartley, C., Busch, A.K., Fuller, M., Laybutt. D.R., Meikle, P.J., and Biden, T.J. (2011) A lipidomic screen of palmitate-treated MIN6 b-cells links sphingolipid metabolites with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and impaired protein trafficking. Biochem. J. 435: 267-276.

Preston, A.M., Gurisik, E., Bartley, C., Laybutt, D.R. and Biden, T.J. (2009) Reduced ER-to-Golgi protein trafficking contributes to ER stress in lipotoxic beta cells by promoting protein overload. Diabetologia 52: 2369-73.

Laybutt, D.R., Preston, A.M., Åkerfeldt, M.C., Kench, J.G., Busch, A.K., Biankin, A.V., and Biden, T.J. (2007) Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Contributes to b-Cell Apoptosis in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetologia 50: 752-763. 

Schmitz-Peiffer, C., Laybutt, D.R., Burchfield, J.G., Gurisik, E., Narasimhan, S., Mitchell, C.J., Braun, U., Cooney, G.J., Leitges, M. and Biden, T.J. (2007) Inhibition of PKCε improves glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and reduces insulin clearance. Cell Metab. 6: 320-328.

Busch, A.K., Gurisik, E., Cordery, D.V, Sudlow, M. Denyer, G.S., Hughes, W.E., and Biden, T.J. (2005) Increased fatty acid desaturation and enhanced expression of stearoyl CoA desaturase protects pancreatic b-cells from lipoapoptosis Diabetes 54: 2917-2924.

Busch, A-K., Cordery, D., Denyer, G. and Biden, T.J. (2002) Expression-profiling of palmitate- and oleate-regulated genes following chronic lipid exposure on pancreatic b-cell function. Diabetes 51: 977-987.

Schmitz-Peiffer, C., Craig, D. and Biden, T.J. (1999) Ceramide generation is sufficient to account for the inhibition of the insulin-stimulated PKB pathway in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells pretreated with palmitate. J. Biol. Chem. 274: 24202-24210.

Schmitz-Peiffer, C., Browne, C.L., Oakes, N.D., Watkinson, A., Chisholm, D.J., Kraegen, E.W. and Biden, T.J. (1997) Alterations in the expression and cellular localization of protein kinase C isozymes e and q are associated with insulin resistance in skeletal muscle of the high-fat-fed rat.  Diabetes  46, 169-178.

Selbie, L.A., Schmitz-Peiffer, C., Sheng, Y., and Biden, T.J. (1993) Molecular cloning and characterization of PKCi, an atypical isoform of protein kinase C derived from insulin-secreting cells. J. Biol. Chem. 268: 24296-24302.

Biden, T.J., Peter-Riesch, B., Schlegel, W. and Wollheim, C.B. (1987) Ca2+ -mediated generation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate in pancreatic islets: studies with K+, glucose and carbamylcholine. J. Biol. Chem. 262, 3567-71.

Wollheim, C.B. and Biden, T.J. (1986) Second messenger function of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate: early changes in inositol phosphates, cytosolic Ca2+ and insulin release in carbamylcholine-stimulated RINm5F cells. J. Biol. Chem. 261: 8314-8319.

Biden, T.J. and Wollheim, C.B. (1986) Ca2+ regulates the inositol tris/tetrakisphosphate pathway in intact and broken preparations of insulin-secreting RINm5F cells. J. Biol. Chem. 261: 11931-11934.

Biden, T.J., Prentki, M., Irvine, R.F., Berridge, M.J. and Wollheim, C.B. (1984) Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate mobilizes intracellular Ca2+ from permeabilized insulin-secreting cells. Biochem. J. 223: 467-473.

Prentki, M., Biden, T.J., Janjic, D., Irvine, R.F., Berridge, M.J. and Wollheim, C.B. (1984) Rapid mobilization of Ca2+ from rat insulinoma microsomes by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. Nature 309: 562-564.