Dr Kimberley Mellor
University of Auckland
Medical Building 503, 85 Park Rd, Grafton Campus, Auckland
Our research investigates the mechanisms of heart failure in the hope of identifying new targets of therapeutic value. We have a particular interest in diabetes-associated heart failure – a condition with no specific treatment strategy. More than 80% of diabetic patients develop heart failure, and heart abnormalities in diabetic patients are distinctive from those observed in non-diabetes. We have made some new discoveries relating to the process of glucose management in diabetic heart muscle cells and have studies underway addressing new questions about glucose storage and availability in the diabetic heart. Diabetes has been linked with excess dietary intake of fructose, and our studies suggest that fructose sugar may be a key instigator of heart damage in diabetes. Very little is known about fructose metabolism in heart muscle cells and our studies are examining the intracellular fructose damage pathways and testing novel intervention strategies.