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Metabolic diseases

Diseases that disrupt normal metabolism, increasing the risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and diabetes

Metabolic diseases are those in which the process of converting food to energy at a cellular level is disrupted. This process is highly complex, involving thousands of enzymes in numerous interdependent metabolic pathways. In patients with metabolic disease, cells are unable to perform critical biochemical reactions, putting patients at risk of developing serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Metabolic diseases are influenced by genetics, as well as lifestyle and environmental factors. At Garvan, we’re working towards developing diagnostic tools to identify at-risk patients sooner, so that they can gain access to preventative healthcare. We’re also investigating more effective, personalised treatments based on a patient’s DNA.

Metabolic diseases we research

Diabetes mellitus

A group of diseases that affect how the body uses glucose – an important source of energy for cells.


A complex disease in which excess body weight increases the risk of other health issues