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Professor, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Professor John Dixon is an academic general practitioner with a clinical background in rural general practice prior to taking a research interest in obesity in 1997. In 2009 he was awarded a prestigious NHMRC Senior Research fellowship. His major interests are in exploring the many dimensions of the obese state, translating findings into practice and advocating for better services for those with this chronic disease.

Known internationally for his research and education programs, his background in primary care has enabled a diverse examination of the problems and diseases related to severe obesity. His generalist approach has enabled research across specialist boundaries and he is a respected leader nationally and internationally in endocrine, liver, respiratory, obstetric, psychological and other research into obesity and the effects of weight loss on these related conditions. His research is valued by both surgeons and physicians alike, bridging the gap in communication between advances in surgery for weight loss, metabolic research, clinical practice and evidence base medicine. He has championed a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment and management of these important conditions. He has published widely and has over 120 peer reviewed journal articles. These include the first randomized controlled trial of bariatric surgery for weight loss in diabetes published in JAMA in 2008 and a citation classic published in Gastroenterology in 2001 on the predictors of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis in the severely obese. He is an editor of the Handbook of Obesity Surgery: Current Concepts and Therapy of Morbid Obesity and Related Diseases, published in 2010.

A study demonstrating the effects of gastric banding on satiety stimulated his interest in exploring the mechanisms of action of bariatric surgery in animal models and has led to projects with the Department of Physiology at Monash University and collaborations with global researchers.

John is the immediate past president of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, an executive member of the Obesity Surgeons Society of Australia and New Zealand and is on both the scientific and program committees of American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as a physician member. He is one of the 20-member International Diabetes Surgery Task Force (IDSTF), a nonprofit organization with diverse expertise in diabetes, obesity surgery, gastroenterology and clinical trials development. He is an associate editor of both Obesity Surgery and SOARD.


  • 2007–2009
    President, President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society


  • 2002 
    Monash University, PhD
  • 1975 
    University of Melbourne, MBBS