Prof Don Chisholm

Senior Principle Research Fellow - Fat And Insulin Resistance

Emeritus Professor

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Honorary Endocrinologist, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney [no longer seeing patients]
Conjoint Professor, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Prof Chisholm AO returned to Garvan in 1978 after an earlier initiation to research at the Institute from 1968-1969; on return he advanced Prof Ted Kraegen’s insulin delivery device for hospital use. He was head of the Diabetes Research Program from 1978 to 2003 and was foundation director of the Diabetes Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital from 1980 to 1991.

Prof Chisholm has authored over 250 papers and notes that one of his most satisfying career achievements was his involvement in the growth and development of the Diabetes Research Program, now the Diabetes and Metabolism Division.

In 1999, he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to medicine and medical research as a leader in the fields of diabetes research, patient care, medical education and the organisation of medical services. The key research goal of Professor Chisholm’s team is to identify the molecular
mechanisms by which visceral fat (fat tissue near the abdominal organs) generates insulin resistance.

Research Interests

Diabetes mellitus, carbohydrate metabolism, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, fat metabolism, muscle triglycerides, obesity

Awards and Honours

2002 Kellion Award, Australian Diabetes Society
1999 Officer, General Division of the Order of Australia
1998 The College Medal; Awarded for outstanding service to the College by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1995 Sir Kempson Maddox Award; Diabetes Australia (NSW)


1973 FRACP
1967 MRACP
1964 MB, BS (Honours) - Robin May Memorial Prize
1957-1963 Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney

Selected Publications

Greenfield JR, Samaras K, Chisholm DJ. Insulin resistance, intra-abdominal fat, cardiovascular risk factors and androgens in healthy young women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002; 87:1036-1040.

Ellis BA, Poynten A, Lowy A, Furler SM, Chisholm DJ, Kraegen EW, Cooney GJ. Long-chain acyl-CoA esters as indicators of lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in rat and human muscle. Am J Physiol (Endocrinol Metab) 2000; 279:E554-E560.

Carr A, Samaras K, Thorisdottir A, Kaufmann GR, Chisholm DJ, Cooper DA. Diagnosis, prediction and natural course of HIV-1 protease-inhibitor-associated lipodustrophy, hyperlipidaemia and diabetes mellitus: a cohort study. The Lancet 1999; 353:2093-2099.

Markovic TP, Campbell LV, Balasubramanian S, Jenkins AB, Fleury AC, Simons L, Chisholm DJ. Beneficial effect on average lipid levels from energy restriction and fat loss in obese individuals with or without Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 1998; 21:695-700.

Carr A, Samaras K, Chisholm DJ, Cooper DA. Pathogenesis of HIV protease inhibitor-associated syndrome of peripheral lipodystrophy, hyperlipiaemia and insulin resistance. The Lancet 1998; 351:1881-1883.

Markovic TP, Jenkins AB, Campbell LV, Furler SM, Kraegen EW, Chisholm DJ. The determinants of glycaemic responses to diet restriction and weight loss in obesity and NIDDM. Diabetes Care 1998; 21:687-694.

Oakes ND, Bell KS, Furler SM, Camilleri S, Saha AK, Ruderman NB, Chisholm DJ, Kraegen EW. Diet-induced muscle insulin resistance in rats is ameliorated by acute dietary lipid withdrawal or a single bout of exercise. Diabetes 1997; 46:2022-2028.

Carey DG, Jenkins AB, Campbell LV, Freund J, Chisholm DJ. Abdominal fat and insulin resistance in normal and overweight women: direct measurements reveal a strong relationship in subjects at both low and high risk of NIDDM. Diabetes 1996; 45:633-638.

Carey DGP, Campbell LV, Chisholm DJ, Nguyen TV, Kelly P. Genetic influences on central abdominal fat: a twin study. Int J Obesity 1996; 20:722-726.

Borkman M, Storlien LH, Pan DA, Jenkins AB, Chisholm DJ, Campbell LV. The relation between insulin sensitivity and the fatty-acid composition of skeletal-muscle phospholipids. New Engl J Med 1993; 328:238-244.

Prof Don Chisholm