Three-minute thesis: Zinc and human health

How important is the role of zinc in diabetes treatment?


Michelle Maier, Federation University Australia

PhD title

The role of zinc in the context of insulin signalling


“Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) prevalence is increasing due to lifestyle modifications, processed food and sedentary behaviour. Zinc (Zn2+) serves as an integral player in insulin signalling and disruption has been implicated in insulin resistance. This research will use genetic, biochemical and cell biology approaches to clarify how Zn2+ signalling in cells controls glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. Components of insulin signalling mechanisms will be measured to reveal how this Zn2+ is regulated. This will have significant implications for our understanding of the cause of insulin resistance and the development of new diabetes therapeutics.”

The finals of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which challenges PhD students to communicate their research in a snappy three-minute presentation, were held on the 29 September at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Competitors came from 55 Universities from across Australia, New Zealand and North and South-East Asia.

The presentations were judged by distinguished figures in Australian science including Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel.

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