A/Prof Alexander Viardot

Group Leader - Prader-Willi Syndrome and Genetic Forms of Diabetes

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Associate Professor, St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia
Deputy Director (joint) Diabetes Service and Staff Specialist Department of Endocrinology, St Vincent’s Hospital

Alex Viardot is a clinical endocrinologist trained in Switzerland. He moved to Australia and started at Garvan in 2004, and undertook a PhD from 2006-2008 in the Diabetes & Obesity Research Program (Garvan, UNSW).

After his PhD, Alex was awarded the Don Chisholm Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in 2008, which allowed him to continue his work at Garvan for another year. From 2010-2013, he is was supported by an NHMRC overseas-based Clinical Research Fellowship, which enabled him to spend two years at Imperial College in London.

Alex returned to Garvan in 2012, and since then has had a consultant position within the Department of Endocrinology at St Vincent’s Hospital. He continues to do research at Garvan as a group leader in the field of Prader-Willi Syndrome and Genetic Forms of Diabetes.

His area of research includes exploring the interface between the metabolic disturbances found in obesity and type 2 diabetes and the immune system, abnormalities in gut hormone secretion, and exploring early defects in pre-diabetes, which could narrow down the disease mechanism in the hope that this progression can be stopped with targeted interventions in future. Further areas include dietary approaches to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as appetite deregulation in people with Prader-Willi syndrome and exploring novel potential treatments.

He is leading his own research group aiming at further exploring the defects in metabolism and appetite regulation in Prader-Willi Syndrome, and he has started to introduce Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) into the clinical setting to offer a precise and cost effective tool in the diagnostic of monogenic forms of diabetes.

Read more about Alex's Prader-Willi and Genetic Forms of Diabetes Research Group.

Research Interests

Insulin resistance
Gut peptides
Appetite regulation
Genomic testing
Monogenic Forms of Diabetes
Prader-Willi Syndrome

Awards and Honours

2013 - John Shine Translational Research Fellowship
2012 - NHMRC Health Professional Research Fellowship
2010 - Marie Curie Reintegration Grant, CORDIS European Commission
2010 - NHMRC Overseas based Clinical Research Training Fellowship (Imperial College, London)
2009 - Pfizer Cardio Vascular Travel Grant
2009 - Merck Sharp & Dohme PhD Educational Scholarship
2008 - GSK Don Chisholm Postdoctoral Diabetes Research Fellowship
2008 - Merck Sharp & Dohme PhD Educational Scholarship
2008 - Endocrine Society Travel Grant, Endocrine Society Annual Meeting 2008, San Francisco, CA
2008 - CVL Research Grant, Pfizer Australia. Project title: The role of immune activation in the development of pre-diabetes
2007 - NHMRC Medical Postgraduate Scholarship
2006 - Endocrine Society Travel Grant, Endocrine Society Annual Meeting 2006, Boston, MA
2005 - Diabetes Australia Research Trust Grant
2004 - Research Fellowship, Walter und Margarethe Lichtenstein-Stiftung
2004 - Swiss National Science Foundation, Fellowship for prospective researchers


2009 - PhD, University of New South Wales - Australia
2007 - Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians - Australia
2005 - Specialist in Endocrinology, Swiss Medical Association (FMH) - Switzerland
2003 - Specialist Title Internal Medicine, Swiss Medical Association (FMH) - Switzerland
1998 - Doctoral Thesis (MD), University of Basel - Switzerland
1997 - MBBS, University of Basel - Switzerland

Selected Publications

Polyviou T, MacDougall K, Chambers ES, Viardot A, Psichas A, Jawaid S, HC Harris, Edwards CA, Simpson L, Murphy KG, Zac-Varghese SEK, Blundell JE, Dhillo WS, Bloom SR, Frost GS, Preston T, Tedford MC, Morrison DJ. Randomised clinical study: inulin short chain fatty acid esters for targeted delivery of short chain fatty acids to the human colon. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2016 Jul [e-pub ahead of print].

Lam T, Hoffman DM, Cukier K, Darnell D, Greenfield JR, Harrison N, Tien-Ming Hng, Morrow AF, Cheung NW. Temporal HbA1c patterns amongst patients with type 2 diabetes: Data from the S4S-DINGO-Diabetes Informatics Group. Diab Res Clin Pract, 2016 116: 159-164.

Purtell L, Viardot A, Campbell J. Vitamin D levels in primary growth hormone deficiency disorder Prader-Willi syndrome. Endocrine, 2016 Aug;53(2):619-20.

Purtell L*, Viardot A*, Sze L, Loughnan G, Steinbeck K, Sainsbury A, Herzog H, Smith A, Campbell LV. Postprandial metabolism in adults with Prader-Willi syndrome. Obesity, 2015 Jun;23(6):1159-65.

Chambers ES*, Viardot A*, Psichas A*, Morrison DJ*, Kevin G. Murphy, Sagen E.K. Zac-Varghese, Kenneth MacDougall, Tom Preston, Catriona Tedford, Graham S. Finlayson, John E. Blundell, Jimmy D. Bell, E. Louise Thomas, Shahrul Mt-Isa, Deborah Ashby, Glen R.Gibson, Sofia Kolida, Waljit S. Dhillo, Stephen R. Bloom, Wayne Morley, Stuart Clegg, Gary Frost.  Effects of targeted delivery of propionate to the human colon on appetite regulation, body weight maintenance and adiposity in overweight adults. Gut 2014 Dec 10. pii: gutjnl-2014-307913.

Frost G , Sleeth ML, Arisoylu MA, Lizarbe B, Cerdan S, Brody L, Anastasovska J, Ghourab S, Hankir M, Zhan S, Carling D, Swan J, Gibson G, Viardot A, Morrison D, Thomas EL, Bell JD. The short chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism. Nature Communications. 2014 Apr 29;5:3611.

Samaras K, Viardot A, Botelho NK, Jenkins A, Lord RV. Immune cell-mediated inflammation and the early improvements in glucose metabolism after gastric banding surgery. Diabetologia, 2013 Dec;56(12):2564-72

Prader-Willi Syndrome. Editor: Dr Charlotte Höybye, Nova Science Publishers 2013, ISBN: 978-1-62618-993-5, Chapter11: Nutritional Issues and Their Management in PWS.

Tan TM, Field BCT, McCullough KA, Troke RC, Chambers ES, Salem V, Maffe JG, Baynes KCR, De Silva A, Viardot A, Alsafi A, Frost GS, Ghatei MA, Bloom SR. Co-administration of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) during glucagon infusion in man results in increased energy expenditure and amelioration of hyperglycaemia. Diabetes. 2013;62(4):1131-8.

Purtell L, Jenkins A, Viardot A, Herzog H, Sainsbury A, Smith A, Loughnan G, Steinbeck K, Campbell LV, Sze L. Postprandial cardiac autonomic function in Prader-Willi syndrome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013;79(1):128-33.

Viardot A, Heilbronn L, Samocha-Bonet D, Mackay F, Campbell LV, Samaras K. Obesity is associated with activated and insulin resistant immune cells. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews 2012; 28(5):447-54.

Samaras K, Viardot A, Lee PN, Jenkins A, Botelho NK, Bakopanos A, Lord RV, Hayward CS. Reduced arterial stiffness after weight loss in obese type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance: the role of immune cell activation and insulin resistance. Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research 2012; 10(1): 40-48.

Chambers E, Guess N, Viardot A, Frost G. Dietary starch and fibre: potential benefits to body weight and glucose metabolism. Review. Diabetes Management 2011; Vol. 1, No. 5, Pages 521-528.

Purtell L, Sze L, Loughnan G, Smith E, Herzog H, Sainsbury A, Steinbeck K, Campbell LV, Viardot A. In adults with Prader-Willi syndrome, elevated ghrelin levels are more consistent with hyperphagia than high PYY and GLP-1 levels. Neuropeptides 2011; 45(4):301-7.

Sze L, Purtell L, Jenkins A, Loughnan G, Smith E, Herzog H, Sainsbury A, Steinbeck K, Campbell LV, Viardot A. Effects of a single dose of exenatide on appetite, gut hormones, and glucose homeostasis in adults with Prader-Willi syndrome. JCEM 2011; 96(8):E1314-9.

Tam CS*, Viardot A*, Clément K, Tordjman J, Tonks K, Greenfield JR, Campbell LV, Samocha-Bonet D, Heilbronn LK. Short-term overfeeding may induce peripheral insulin resistance without altering subcutaneous adipose tissue macrophages in humans. Diabetes 2010;59(9):2164-70.

Samocha-Bonet D, Campbell LV, Viardot A, Freund J, Tam CS, Greenfield JR, Heilbronn LK. A family history of type 2 diabetes increases risk factors associated with overfeeding. Diabetologia 2010;53(8):1700-8.

Viardot A, Lord RV, Samaras K. The effects of weight loss and gastric banding on the innate and adaptive immune system in type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. JCEM 2010;95(6):2845-50.

Viardot A, Sze L, Purtell L, Sainsbury A, Loughnan G, Smith E, Herzog H, Steinbeck K, Campbell LK. Prader-Willi syndrome is associated with activation of the innate immune system independently of central adiposity and insulin resistance. JCEM 2010;95(7):3392-9.

Viardot A, Heilbronn LK, Gregersen S, Herzog H, Campbell LV. Abnormal postprandial PYY response in insulin sensitive nondiabetic subjects with a strong family history of type 2 diabetes. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008;32(6):943-8.

Viardot A, Grey ST, Mackay F, Chisholm D. Potential anti-inflammatory role of insulin via the preferential polarization of effector T cells towards a T-helper 2 phenotype. Endocrinology 2007;148 (1):346-53

Viardot A, Huber P, Puder JJ, Zulewski H, Keller U, Müller B. Reproducibility of Nighttime Salivary Cortisol and its Use in the Diagnosis of Hypercortisolism as Compared to Urinary Free Cortisol and Overnight Dexamethasone Suppression Test.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005; 90 (10): 5730-5736

A/Prof Alexander Viardot