Staff member in Cath Lab in scrubsStaff in scrubs in the Cath LabStaff in scrubs in the Cath Lab


Head of diabetes champions new national research centre

Associate Professor Elif Ekinci
Head of diabetes champions new national research centre

19 January 2022

A new national research centre funded with $23.3 million over the next four years aims to improve the lives of people living with diabetes.

Head of Diabetes at Austin Health, Associate Professor Elif Ekinci will retain her role at Austin Health while becoming the director of the Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI).

A/Prof Ekinci championed the project, by leading a comprehensive grant application process in 2021. The application was submitted through the University of Melbourne and involved 70 partners across Australia.

“As a clinician researcher, I see first-hand the impact of diabetes related kidney disease, diabetes foot ulcers, neuropathy and amputations and life-threatening diabetes emergencies have on people living with diabetes and their families,” Associate Professor Elif Ekinci said.

“The establishment of ACADI will lead to many direct benefits for our patients at Austin Health, including access to cutting edge therapies.”

“New drugs, new devices, new invitro diagnostics, new digital health technologies, and new behavioural interventions are just some of the exciting doors that will open for our patients.”

“We’ll also be able to run new diabetes trials and provide training opportunities to train the next generation of innovative clinician researchers - doctors, nurses and allied health members.”

Austin Health CEO Adam Horsburgh said “I would like to congratulate A/Prof Ekinci on her work to make the ACADI a reality.”

“ACADI’s research will benefit our patients and clinicians enormously. We are very proud of A/Professor Ekinci and look forward to seeing the new centre’s research innovations to help improve the lives of people with diabetes.”

The Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI) was established through $10 million dollars of MRFF funding from the Australian Government’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator programAlong with co-contributions from academic and industry partners brought total initial funding to $23.3 million. MTPConnect, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to accelerate the rate of growth of the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector in Australia helped deliver the Australian Government funding.  

The centre will use the funding to progress 18 research projects addressing diabetic kidney disease, peripheral naturopathy, diabetic foot syndrome, short-term complications of hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) and ketoacidosis and train the next generation of diabetes researchers.