Gong for glycogen groundwork

14 Sep 2017
UQ Research Week FREA and HDR award winners

Congratulations to School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience researcher Dr Ben Schulz, who has won a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards (FREA) at the 2017 UQ Research Week awards.

Dr Schulz is creating change for people with type 2 diabetes, with more than one million Australians currently living with the disease.

He is leading new research into diabetes, looking at how dynamic changes in the structure of glycogen in the body are linked to the disease.

“Glycogen is present in the body in small particles that join together to form large conglomerates,” he said.

“We’ve recently found that in diabetes, these large conglomerates are fragile and fall apart easily, and we think that this contributes to poor glucose control.

Dr Schulz’s study aims to understand the mechanisms that control how glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver, which could lead to the development of new therapeutics to treat and manage the disease. 

“No one understands how glycogen sticks together to form large particles, and it seems to be an important way that the liver can control glucose storage and release,” he said.

Dr Schulz’s work could assist with the development of early detection methods and help people already living with Type 2 diabetes lead healthier lives.

The UQ FREA awards – now in their 19th year – recognise excellence and the promise of future success in research for UQ’s early to mid-career researchers.

Watch a video of Dr Schulz in action.

Read the UQ News story