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Melinda Coughlan

Associate Professor, Head: Glycation, Nutrition & Metabolism, Monash University

Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan has a BSc Honours in Nutrition from Deakin University (in the area of diabetes and obesity), and PhD in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD focused on mediators of inflammation and oxidative stress in the development of gestational diabetes (Mercy Hospital for Women). After completing her PhD, Associate Professor Coughlan was recruited to Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2012, she became the Laboratory Head of the Glycation, Nutrition & Metabolism group at Baker IDI. In 2016 Associate Professor Coughlan was recruited to the new Department of Diabetes, Central Clinical School, Monash University (AMREP). She is supported by a Career Development Fellowship from the JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network. She currently holds research grants from the NHMRC and JDRF.

Dr Coughlan has over 40 publications in highly respected journals such as Diabetes, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Kidney International, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling and Diabetologia.

Achievements / Awards

Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Senior Scientist Career Development Award
Australian Diabetes Society Skip Martin Early Career Fellowship
National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) New Investigator Project Grant

Publication Highlights

Higgins GC, Coughlan MT. Mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy: the beginning and end of diabetic nephropathy? Br J Pharmacol 2014;171(8):1917-42.

Forbes JM, Cowan SP, Andrikopoulos S, Morley AL, Ward LC, Walker KZ, Cooper ME, Coughlan MT. Glucose homeostasis can be differentially modulated by varying individual components of a western diet. J Nutr Biochem 2013;24(7):1251-7.

Forbes JM, Ke BX, Nguyen TV, Henstridge DC, Penfold SA, Laskowski A, Sourris KC, Groschner LN, Cooper ME, Thorburn DR, Coughlan MT. Deficiency in mitochondrial complex I activity due to Ndufs6 gene trap insertion induces renal disease. Antioxid Redox Signal 2013;19(4):331-43.

Coughlan MT, Yap FYT, Tong DCK, Andrikopoulos S, Thallas-Bonke V, Webster D, Miyazaki J, Kay T, Kaye DM, Fourlanos S, Harrison LC, Groop PH, Knip M, Forbes JM. Advanced glycation end products are direct modulators of beta cell function. Diabetes 2011;60(10):2523-32.

Coughlan MT, Penfold SA, Sourris KC, Steer D, Patel SK, Webster DE, Thomas MC, MacIsaac RJ, Srivastava PM, Jerums G, Burrell LM, Cooper ME, Forbes JM. Circulating high molecular weight RAGE ligands activate pathogenic pathways implicated in the development diabetic nephropathy. Kidney Int 2010;78(8):287-95.

Tan ALY, Sourris KC, Harcourt B, Thallas-Bonke V, Penfold SA, Andrikopoulos S, Thomas MC, O'Brien RC, Bierhaus A, Cooper ME, Forbes JM, Coughlan MT. Disparate effects on renal and oxidative parameters following RAGE deletion, AGE accumulation inhibition or dietary AGE control in diabetic nephropathy. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2010;298(3):F763-70.

Coughlan MT, Thorburn DR, Penfold SA, Laskowski A, Sourris KC, Thallas-Bonke V, Fukami K, Tong DCK, Yap FYT, Gasser A, Tan ALY, Harcourt B, Mibus A, Pete J, Brownlee M, Thorpe SR, Bierhaus A, Cooper ME, Forbes JM. RAGE-induced cytosolic ROS promote mitochondrial superoxide generation in diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol 2009;20(4):742-52.

Coughlan MT, Permezel M, Georgiou HM, Rice GE. Repression of oxidant-induced nuclear factor kappa-B activity mediates placental cytokine responses in gestational diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89(7): 3585-94.


  • –present
    Associate Professor; Head, Glycation, Nutrition & Metabolism, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute