I am a Professor of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Science at UNSW Sydney where I teach on the biochemistry of fats (lipids) to science and medical students. This has given me an interest in dietary fats, facts and fads.
I trained at the Universities of Sydney and Edinburgh, as well as UT Southwestern (Dallas, USA), where I had the privilege to work in the laboratory of Nobel laureates, Drs Joe Goldstein and Mike Brown.
Since my undergraduate studies, my research has covered many and varied aspects of lipids. Over the past two decades, I have focussed on one particular lipid which has become a by-word for heart disease risk, cholesterol. In fact, the cells in our body need cholesterol. But too much is harmful, contributing to diseases of the heart and brain as well as certain cancers. Therefore, we have evolved elaborate systems for keeping the cholesterol content of our cells under tight-control. My research group works on how cholesterol is balanced at a molecular and cellular level, and has over the years revealed many new layers of and players in the control of cholesterol.