Effects of the chronic β2 agonist formoterol on insulin sensitivity and cardiac function in rats

Closing Date

Only domestic student applications will be assessed until August 28th 2020

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

β2 agonists play a key role in the treatment of respiratory diseases. In addition, there is evidence that β2 agonists such as formoterol, have a positive effect on skeletal muscle mass. Thus, there is growing interest in the use of β2 agonists to combat muscle wasting associated with a variety of chronic diseases, and obesity/insulin resistance is an attractive application because of the significant role skeletal muscle mass plays in removing glucose from the blood stream following a meal. However, a major factor limiting the use of β2 agonists in skeletal muscle wasting and obesity is their tendency to cause cardiac hypertrophy.

Promisingly, we have recently found that lower doses of formoterol have minimal effects on cardiac hypertrophy but nonetheless elicit significant skeletal muscle growth. Thus, the overarching aim of this project is to determine whether low-dose formoterol can reduce obesity-induced muscle and therefore whole-body insulin resistance, and whether this occurs in the absence of adverse effects on the heart. This work will be performed in rodent models of obesity-associated insulin resistance and involve utilisation of the hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp to assess change in insulin sensitivity as well as functional and histological characterisation of cardiac structure and function.

Desirable Criteria
  • Applications from domestic students (Australian and New Zealand) are particularly encouraged

Applicants from the following disciplines are eligible to apply:

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry or;
  • Exercise related disciplines

See the following web page for entry requirements: www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/what-is-a-research-degree

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Dino Premilovac for further information.