Dr. David Dunstan

Head of the Physical Activity laboratory in the Division of Metabolism and Obesity
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia
Associate Professor
(03) 8532 1873

Associate Professor Dunstan is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and is the Head of the Physical Activity laboratory in the Division of Metabolism and Obesity at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

He is a leading researcher on the role of physical activity in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes In the 10 years following his PhD award his physical activity research work has attracted considerable external funding from the NHMRC, VicHealth and the National Heart Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded a VicHealth Public Health Fellowship to further consolidate his physical activity research program into the role of sedentary behaviour in chronic disease. Another significant achievement has been his involvement as a co-investigator and the National Project Manager on the landmark diabetes prevalence study (Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study - AusDiab) from 1997-2000 involving 11,247 participants. This study is the largest national diabetes prevalence study undertaken in a developed country to have used an oral glucose tolerance test. In addition to having the responsibility for the planning and day to day management of this large project, Prof Dunstan led and coordinated a collaboration consisting of key researchers in the field of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health to analyse the lifestyle data collected from this study.

He is the creator of the purposefully developed physical activity program titled ‘Lift for LifeĀ®', which has been designed to facilitate widespread uptake of the strength training in other facilities such as gyms and community health centres. In 2005, this innovation was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing to support the development and national implementation of the program over a 4 year period.

Associate Professor Dunstan has presented his research at numerous national and international meetings, including oral presentations at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Scientific Conference, the International Diabetes Federation Scientific Congress and the American College of Sports Medicine Scientific Meeting. He has been an invited presenter at international and national scientific conferences including: American Diabetes Association (2001 & 2007), Australian Diabetes Society Scientific Conference(2001), the Joint New Zealand and Australian Nutrition Societies Conference (2007). He is also an invited presenter at the International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region Congress in Wellington NZ in March 2008. He is a regular reviewer for many prestigious international journals, including: Diabetes Care, Diabetes, International Journal of Obesity, Diabetologia, Obesity Research. He has also been a reviewer for funding applications for various agencies including: NHMRC, National Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council (UK), Diabetes Australia and the New Zealand HRC.

In 2007, he was awarded a prestigious young Tall Poppy Science award (Victoria) from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science which recognises the achievements of Australia's outstanding young scientific researchers.