The domains provide the management structure for the Institute and bring researchers of kindred skills together. They are supported by the Science Faculty led by Professor Andrew Murphy.
Aboriginal Health Domain
This domain encompasses the Institute’s work in Aboriginal health across Australia, the activities of the Baker Institute campus in Alice Springs and the Institute’s interests in international Indigenous health.
The Institute has had a strong focus on Aboriginal health for more than 10 years, with a dedicated research facility opening in Alice Springs adjacent to the Alice Springs Hospital in 2007. A growing team of researchers in Central Australia and across the country have forged important partnerships and collaborations to help address the profound disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people through scientific research that is rigorous, culturally appropriate and ethically sound.
The research undertaken is based on community needs, with a strong focus on working with local providers to build knowledge and provide practical contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health.
Professor Tom Marwick is the acting lead of this Domain.
Clinical Research Domain
The Clinical Research Domain concentrates on human or clinical research. It has a particular focus on using imaging and other diagnostic tools to better inform the understanding of disease development and treatment, clinical trials to evaluate new treatments and health services research to inform how health care can be best delivered. Many of our researchers are also clinicians who work in a clinic or hospital setting. They are predominantly heart and diabetes specialists whose research is informed by the needs of their patients.
The Clinical Research Domain also incorporates the Institute’s clinical service activities in both Melbourne and Central Australia, including the important partnerships that the Baker Institute shares with other organisations to improve health outcomes in these communities. This includes specialised heart, diabetes, lung, eye and weight reduction clinics, as well as a broad range of allied health and education services.
A key aim of the domain is translating research discoveries from our human studies into novel and improved ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating heart disease and diabetes and their complications. The ultimate goal is to enhance health, reduce disability, improve quality of life and address health disparities.
Associate Professor Andre La Gerche is the lead of this Domain.
Discovery and Preclinical Domain
This domain encompasses most of the Institute’s laboratory-based cellular and molecular biology and preclinical research.
The scientists in the Discovery and Preclinical Domain aim to identify new avenues for the design of diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic strategies to tackle cardiovascular disease, diabetes and its complications. They aim to understand the cellular mechanisms of disease, biomarkers in the progression of disease and the pathways of gene expression.
A key focus of this domain is on translating exciting discoveries in the laboratory to clinical care.
This domain is led by researcher, Professor Julie McMullen, Head of Cardiac Hypertrophy.
Population Health Domain
This domain encompasses the Institute’s epidemiological and public health groups, spanning clinical diabetes and obesity, genomics and systems biology, physical activity, population health and behavioural epidemiology.
The researchers in this domain are examining the trends in diabetes and obesity prevalence and incidence, novel risk factors at a population level, and new therapeutic approaches to preventing and treating diabetes, heart disease and obesity. These include behavioural change interventions, especially those aimed at reducing sedentary time, as well as new drugs and management strategies.
The work of this domain is helping to inform policy guidelines, to influence chronic disease management, to offer new evidence-based therapies for health professionals and inform government and health authorities about the scale of these health problems.
This domain is led by diabetes physician and researcher, Professor Jonathan Shaw, Head of Clinical Diabetes and Epidemiology.
Systems Biology Domain
This domain encompasses the Institute’s laboratories that are focused on human research, especially those linked with computational biology. These researchers are focused on improving the diagnosis and therapy for patients with heart failure, coronary artery disease, vascular disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic disease and those who have suffered a heart attack.
This domain is led by researcher, Professor Peter Meikle, Head of Metabolomics.