Dino Premilovac

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Dino Premilovac

Lecturer / Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Room 440-064, Medical Sciences 2, Hobart CBD Campuses

+61 3 6226 2701 (phone)

Dr Premilovac is a lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow within the School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health. His expertise is in the field of metabolic physiology/pathophysiology, specifically relating to type 2 diabetes. Dr Premilovac has worked extensively in the field of pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) investigating how a loss of control of microvascular blood flow in skeletal muscle can directly contribute to initiation and progression of whole body insulin resistance. As well as early stages of the disease, Dr Premilovac is also running a project investigating the potential of novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy (nerve loss) that develops in the later stages type 2 diabetes.


Dr Premilovac attended the University of Tasmania where he obtained his undergraduate degree in the field of medical biotechnology with first class Honours. He undertook a PhD project with the Muscle and Diabetes research group under the mentorship of Professors Michael Clark and Stephen Rattigan and Dr Michelle Keske. Dr Premilovac initially trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research under Dr Michelle Keske continuing the work from his PhD. More recently Dr Premilovac joined the Faculty of Health as a lecturer in physiology and as a postdoctoral research fellow. In this new role Dr Premilovac has expanded his research into the later stages of type 2 diabetes, working alongside Associate Professor Lisa Foa to investigate novel treatment options for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Career summary


  • PhD, University of Tasmania, Australia, 2012. Thesis: Microvascular Dysfunction and the Development of Muscle Insulin Resistance
  • B.Biotech (1st Class Hons), University of Tasmania, Australia, 2007. Thesis: Imaging of Microvascular Flow Routes Using Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound

Languages (other than English)

Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Administrative expertise

  • Undergraduate Unit co-ordination
  • Managing a large project grant


Physiology, Human Biology, Metabolism, Skeletal Muscle, Insulin Action, Biochemistry, Neuroscience.

Teaching expertise

Dr Premilovac has lectured into the following units within the Faculty of Health: Human Biology, Human Physiology, Environmental Applied Physiology, Evidence Based Research Methods, Scientific and Research Literacy, Foundations of medicine.

Dr Premilovac was also intimately involved in the complete restructure of the 1st year unit in paramedicine Evidence based research methods and the design/implementation of the 1st year medical research unit Scientific and Research Literacy.

Teaching responsibility

Current Unit Co-Ordination:

Currently Teaching: 

View more on Dr Dino Premilovac in WARP


  • Generating dietary and pharmacological models of metabolic disease at both early and late stages of disease
  • The development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle
  • Microvascular dysfunction and its contribution to development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle
  • To role of the renin angiotensin system in the progression of microvascular dysfunction
  • Pharmacological interventions in the treatment of microvascular dysfunction and skeletal muscle insulin resistance
  • The mechanisms relating to loss of free nerve endings in the epidermis during type 2 diabetes

Research Themes

Dr Premilovac's research aligns with Better Health. His research interests include early stage disease investigations including: (i) understanding how insulin resistance in skeletal muscle develops and initiates diabetes progression, (ii) understanding how the loss of normal microvascular blood flow, specifically through alterations in the renin angiotensin system contributes to development of muscle insulin resistance, (iii) investigating whether pharmacological interventions can be protective or reverse progression of insulin resistance by restoring normal blood flow control in muscle. The overarching aim of this part of Dr Premilovac's work aims to understand the earlies mechanisms that contribute to development of insulin resistance (the pre-cursor of type 2 diabetes) and whether we can reverse or prevent this process from taking place.

The second arm of Dr Premilovac's research is investigating later stages of type 2 diabetes and the complications that occur, for example a of sensation in the limbs that is due to the loss of proper nerve functions (diabetic peripheral neuropathy). His interests in this area lie in understanding how/what causes the loss of nerve endings in the epidermal layer of the skin and whether there are therapeutic agents that may be able to not only allow regeneration of these nerve endings, but the appropriate re-innervation of these areas that results in normal sensory perception.


  • Dr Premilovac's 2013 manuscript published in the journal Cardiovascular Research was recognised as one of the 'Ten of the Best' scientific papers of the year by the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.                      
  • The leading journal for diabetes research in Europe, Diabetologia, featured on the front cover of the 2014 December issue Dr Premilovac's work where he showed the negative impact of increased dietary salt on microvascular insulin sensitivity.

Current projects

Promoting regrowth of nerve fibres into the epidermis during diabetic neuropathy by LRP agonists. NHMRC funded project grant awarded to Associate Professor Lisa Foa.

Fields of Research

  • Endocrinology (110306)
  • Systems Physiology (111603)
  • Cardiology (incl. Cardiovascular Diseases) (110201)
  • Basic Pharmacology (111501)
  • Sensory Systems (110906)
  • Exercise Physiology (110602)
  • Epidemiology (111706)
  • Ophthalmology (111301)
  • Cell Physiology (111601)
  • Central Nervous System (110903)
  • Medical Physiology (111699)
  • Nutritional Physiology (111103)
  • Animal Physiology - Cell (060602)
  • Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases (110904)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences (111504)
  • Animal Physiology - Systems (060603)
  • Public Nutrition Intervention (111104)
  • Autonomic Nervous System (110901)
  • Signal Transduction (060111)
  • Cellular Interactions (incl. Adhesion, Matrix, Cell Wall) (060106)

Research Objectives

  • Diabetes (920104)
  • Cardiovascular System and Diseases (920103)
  • Nervous System and Disorders (920111)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences (970106)
  • Hearing, Vision, Speech and Their Disorders (920107)
  • Preventive Medicine (920412)
  • Skin and Related Disorders (920117)
  • Behaviour and Health (920401)
  • Nutrition (920411)
  • Health Related to Ageing (920502)
  • Reproductive System and Disorders (920114)
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders Related to Ageing (920112)
  • Health Education and Promotion (920205)
  • Inherited Diseases (incl. Gene Therapy) (920110)
  • Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) (920201)
  • Cancer and Related Disorders (920102)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences (970111)
  • Evaluation of Health Outcomes (920204)
  • Human Pharmaceutical Products (860899)


Total publications


Journal Article

(14 outputs)
2018Hu D, Remash D, Russell RD, Greenaway T, Rattigan S, et al., 'Impairments in adipose tissue microcirculation in Type 2 diabetes mellitus assessed by real-time contrast-enhanced ultrasound', Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, 11, (4) Article e007074. ISSN 1942-0080 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.117.007074 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Remash D; Russell RD; Greenaway T; Rattigan S; Squibb KA; Jones G; Richards SM; Keske MA


2018Premilovac D, Attrill E, Rattigan S, Richards SM, Kim J, et al., 'Acute, local infusion of angiotensin II impairs microvascular and metabolic insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle', Cardiovascular Research pp. 1-12. ISSN 0008-6363 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/cvr/cvy225 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Rattigan S; Richards SM; Keske MA


2018Hu D, Russell RD, Remash D, Greenaway T, Rattigan S, et al., 'Are the metabolic benefits of resistance training in type 2 diabetes linked to improvements in adipose tissue microvascular blood flow?', American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 315, (6) pp. E1242-E1250. ISSN 0193-1849 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00234.2018 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Russell RD; Remash D; Greenaway T; Rattigan S; Squibb KA; Jones G; Ross RM; Richards SM; Keske MA


2017Keske MA, Dwyer RM, Russell RD, Blackwood SJ, Brown AA, et al., 'Regulation of microvascular flow and metabolism: An overview', Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 44, (1) pp. 143-149. ISSN 0305-1870 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1440-1681.12688 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: Keske MA; Dwyer RM; Russell RD; Blackwood SJ; Brown AA; Richards SM; Rattigan S


2017Ng HLH, Premilovac D, Rattigan S, Richards SM, Muniyappa R, et al., 'Acute vascular and metabolic actions of the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin 3-gallate in rat skeletal muscle', Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 40 pp. 23-31. ISSN 0955-2863 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.10.005 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Ng HLH; Rattigan S; Richards SM; Keske MA


2017Premilovac D, Gasperini RJ, Sawyer S, West A, Keske M, et al., 'A New Method for Targeted and Sustained Induction of Type 2 Diabetes in Rodents', Scientific Reports, 7 Article 14158. ISSN 2045-2322 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-14114-4 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Gasperini RJ; West A; Keske M; Taylor BV; Foa L


2017Russell RD, Hu D, Greenaway T, Blackwood SJ, Dwyer RM, et al., 'Skeletal muscle microvascular-linked improvements in glycemic control from resistance training in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes', Diabetes Care, 40, (9) pp. 1256-1263. ISSN 0149-5992 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2337/dc16-2750 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Russell RD; Greenaway T; Blackwood SJ; Dwyer RM; Sharman JE; Jones G; Squibb KA; Brown AA; Otahal P; Al-Aubaidy H; Hitchins S; Richards SM; Rattigan S; Keske MA


2016Keske MA, Premilovac D, Bradley EA, Dwyer RM, Richards SM, et al., 'Muscle microvascular blood flow responses in insulin resistance and ageing', The Journal of Physiology, 594, (8) pp. 2223-2231. ISSN 1469-7793 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.283549 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 21

Co-authors: Keske MA; Bradley EA; Dwyer RM; Richards SM; Rattigan S


2015Hong YH, Betik AC, Premilovac D, Dwyer RM, Keske MA, et al., 'No effect of NOS inhibition on skeletal muscle glucose uptake during in situ hindlimb contraction in healthy and diabetic Sprague-Dawley rats', American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 308, (10) pp. R862-R871. ISSN 0363-6119 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00412.2014 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Dwyer RM; Keske MA; Rattigan S


2015Keske MA, Ng HLH, Premilovac D, Rattigan S, Kim J, et al., 'Vascular and metabolic actions of the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate', Current Medicinal Chemistry, 22, (1) pp. 59-69. ISSN 0929-8673 (2015) [Refereed Article]

PMID: 25312214 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 40Web of Science - 39

Co-authors: Keske MA; Ng HLH; Rattigan S


2014Premilovac D, Richards SM, Rattigan S, Keske MA, 'A vascular mechanism for high-sodium-induced insulin resistance in rats', Diabetologia: Clinical and Experimental Diabetes and Metabolism, 57, (12) pp. 2586-2595. ISSN 0012-186X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00125-014-3373-y [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 13Web of Science - 13

Co-authors: Richards SM; Rattigan S; Keske MA


2013Jacobson GA, Yee KC, Premilovac D, Rattigan S, 'Enantioselective disposition of (R/S)-albuterol in skeletal and cardiac muscle', Drug Testing and Analysis, 6, (6) pp. 563-567. ISSN 1942-7603 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/dta.1575 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 12

Co-authors: Jacobson GA; Yee KC; Rattigan S


2013Premilovac D, Bradley EA, Ng HLH, Richards SM, Rattigan S, et al., 'Muscle insulin resistance resulting from impaired microvascular insulin sensitivity in Sprague Dawley rats', Cardiovascular Research, 98, (1) pp. 28-36. ISSN 0008-6363 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/cvr/cvt015 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 20Web of Science - 18

Co-authors: Bradley EA; Ng HLH; Richards SM; Rattigan S; Keske MA


2013Premilovac D, Roberts-Thompson KM, Ng HLH, Bradley EA, Richards SM, et al., 'Blueberry tea enhances insulin sensitivity by augmenting insulin-mediated metabolic and microvascular responses in skeletal muscle of high fat fed rats', International Journal of Diabetology & Vascular Disease Research, 1, (8) pp. 1-10. ISSN 2328-353X (2013) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Ng HLH; Bradley EA; Richards SM; Rattigan S; Keske MA


Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
2013Premilovac D, Ng HLH, Richards SM, Bradley EA, Dwyer RM, et al., 'Role for the Microvasculature in Glucose Uptake in Skeletal Muscle', Glucose Uptake: Regulation, Signaling Pathways and Health Implications (Endocrinology Research and Clinical Developments), Nova Science Publishers, Johnson CC and Williams DB (ed), New York, pp. 109-139. ISBN 978-1-62618-670-5 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Ng HLH; Richards SM; Bradley EA; Dwyer RM; Rattigan S; Keske MA


Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Can idebenone be used to reduce severity of stroke? (2019)$9,962
There are no drugs that improve the outcomes following a stroke. We have recently identified idebenone as a neuroprotective agent during times of energy stress. This pilot project will investigate whether idebenone can be used to reduce the severity of stroke in a pre-clinical animal model.
Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation ($9,962)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Premilovac D; Sutherland BA; Howells DW; Guven N; Castley H
The role of skeletal muscle pericytes in the development of insulin resistance: friend of foe? (2019)$16,457
An important action of insulin in the body is to increase blood flow through capillaries in skeletal muscles. This vascular action of insulin occurs rapidly after insulin levels in the blood rise, for example following a meal, to ensure that both insulin and glucose are delivered to muscle cells to enable glucose removal from the blood. Importantly, the vascular action of insulin is lost early in development of insulin resistance and contributes to the progression of the disease. Where and how insulin acts in the vascular tree to increase muscle blood flow remains poorly understood, with insulins potential direct effects on capillaries completely overlooked. The proposed NHMRC Ideas grant will seek to fill this gap in knowledge by demonstrating that insulin acts directly on pericytes, a contractile cell type that wrap around capillaries, to increase capillary blood flow and that these effects are lost during insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
University of Tasmania ($16,457)
Grant-Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Premilovac D; Sutherland BA
Can anti-diabetic agents improve blood flow and outcome following stroke in type 2 diabetes? (2018)$24,912
People with type 2 diabetes are four times more likely to have a stroke. Interestingly, common anti-diabetic drugs seem to improve patient outcomes following a stroke. This project will determine whether anti-diabetic drugs improve brain blood flow dynamics during and after stroke to reduce stroke severity in an animal model of type 2 diabetes.
Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation ($24,912)
Grant-Minor Project
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Premilovac D; Sutherland BA; Burgess JR; Howells DW; Foa LC; Keske MAV
Short chain quinones against diabetic retinopathy (2016 - 2019)$75,174
We will test novel short chain quinones against idebenone and related compounds in a rat model of diabetic retinopathy.
Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG ($75,174)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Guven N; Premilovac D; Foa LC
2016 - 2019
Generating and characterizing a reliable rodent model type 2 diabetes (2016)$14,673
University of Tasmania ($14,673)
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Premilovac D; Foa LC; Taylor BVM; Guven N
Microvascular dysfunction in adult offspring of type 2 diabetics (2014)$20,294
Offspring from type 2 diabetics (T2D) are at much greater risk of developing diabetes than a person with no family history. The mechanism for this increase in risk is not known. This project will determine whether microvascular dysfunction in skeletal muscle and skin of first degree relatives with T2D occurs before development of insulin resistance. We will recruit people with and without family history of T2D. It will measure microvascular actions (using ultrasound) in these people before and after a mixed meal challenge. The outcomes of this study will determine whether monitoring microvasculature responses in muscle is an important 'early' strategy for assessing risk that might inform patient treatment to prevent or delay progression to insulin resistance or T2D.
Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation ($20,294)
Grant-Clinical Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Keske MAV; Rattigan S; Sharman JE; Russell R; Premilovac D
Cardiometabolic benefits of exercise training in type 2 diabetes independent of weight loss (2014)$50,735
This project will recruit an overweight type 2 diabetes cohort, medically assessed for an exercise program. It aims to recruit some with family history of type 2 diabetes and some without. The cohort with exercise test before and after 6 weeks of the exercise program, with type 2 medications discontinued before test. The aim is to show that heart health will not be as good with family history of type 2 and that exercise will improve heart health but will be of more benefit to those with a family history than those without.
University of Tasmania ($50,735)
vTAHSP Demonstration Projects
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Keske MAV; Greenaway T; Marwick TH; Ross RM; Rattigan S; Sharman JE; Premilovac D

Research Supervision




PhDMitochondrial Therapy against Diabetic Retinopathy2016
PhDResponsiveness of In Vitro and In Vivo Skeletal Muscle Pericytes to Circulating and Muscle-Derived Paracrine Vasoactive Molecules2018
PhDSynthesis and Evaluation of New Compounds for Drug Discovery2019