Prof Ted Kraegen

Emeritus Professor

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

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

Prof Ted Kraegen joined Garvan as a PhD student in 1967, and has played a central role in the development of both the Institute and its world class Diabetes and Metabolism Division. Prof Kraegen’s early work involved creating an artificial pancreas (which initially took up half a room).  

The author of over 170 academic papers, Prof Kraegen cites his proudest achievement as his part in discovering that abnormal fat metabolism was the major cause of defective insulin action in diabetes and obesity. This finding was based on numerous highly cited publications produced over the period 1985-1991.

Nowadays Prof Kraegen's work focuses on trying to understand the enzyme that controls whether fat is used or stored once it enters the muscle cell. He has partnerships with a number of pharmaceutical companies to examine drugs that activate this enzyme and which could reduce fat accumulation. 

Research Interests

Type 2 diabetes
Insulin action
Insulin resistance
Fatty acids
AMP protein kinases
Muscle metabolism


1970 - PhD, University of New South Wales
1965 - BSc (Hons), University of New South Wales

Selected Publications

Cleasby ME, Davey JR, Reinten TA, Graham MW, James DE, Kraegen EW, Cooney GJ. Acute bidirectional manipulation of muscle glucose uptake by in vivo electro-transfer of constructs targeting glucose transporter genes. Diabetes 2005; 54(9):2702-11.

Cleasby ME, Dzamko N, Hegarty BD, Cooney GJ, Kraegen EW, Ye JM. Metformin prevents the development of acute lipid-induced insulin resistance in the rat through altered hepatic signaling mechanisms. Diabetes2004; 53(12):3258-66.

Iglesias MA, Ye J-M, Frangioudakis G, Saha AK, Tomas E, Ruderman NB, Cooney GJ, Kraegen EW. AICAR administration causes an apparent enhancement of muscle and live insulin action in insulin resistant high-fat fed rats. Diabetes 2002; 51:2886-2894.

Yu C, Chen Y, Cline GW, Zhang D, Zong H, Wang Y, Bergeron R, Kim JK, Cushman SW, Cooney GJ, Atcheson B, White MF, Kraegen EW, Schulman GI. Mechanism by which fatty acids inhibit insulin activation of IRS-1 associated phosphatdylinositol 3-kinase activity in muscle. J Biol Chem 2002; 277:50230-50236.

Cooney GJ, Thompson AL, Furler SM, Ye J, Kraegen EW. Muscle long-chain Acyl CoA esters and insulin resistance. Ann NY Acad Sci 2002; 967:196-207.

Ye J-M, Doyle PJ, Iglesias MA, Watson DG, Cooney GC, Kraegen EW. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α activation lowers muscle lipids and improves insulin sensitivity in high fat-fed rats: comparison with PPAR−γ activation. Diabetes 2001; 50:411-417.

Oakes ND, Kennedy CJ, Jenkins AB, Laybutt DR, Chisholm DJ, Kraegen EW. A new antidiabetic agent, BRL 49653, reduces lipid availability and improves insulin action and glucoregulation in the rat. Diabetes 1994; 43:1203-1210.

Jenkins AB, Storlien LH, Chisholm DJ, Kraegen EW. Effects of nonesterified fatty acid availability on tissue-specific glucose utilisation in rats in vivo. J Clin Invest 1988; 82:293-299.

Storlien LH, Kraegen EW, Chisholm DJ, Ford GL, Bruce DG, Pascoe WS. Fish oil prevents insulin resistance induced by high-fat feeding in rats. Science 1987; 237:885-888.

Kraegen EW, James DE, Bennett SP, Chisholm DJ. In vivo insulin sensitivity in the rat determined by euglycemic clamp. Am J Physiol 1983; 245 E1-E7

Prof Ted Kraegen