Our research focuses on clarifying the functional role of nuclear hormone receptors (NRs) in the regulation of metabolism in the context of metabolic disease (e.g. diabetes and obesity) and breast cancer.

NRs belong to a superfamily of hormone-dependent DNA binding factors that translate pathophysiological, metabolic, and nutritional signals into gene regulation. Dysfunctional NR signalling results in obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer. The significance of NRs in human health is emphasised by the array of prescription pharmaceuticals that target NRs in the context of reproduction, inflammation, cancer and metabolic and endocrine diseases.

Our current research aims to examine the role of NRs and epigenetic NR coregulators in metabolic disease and breast cancer. We are testing the hypothesis that the orphan NRs, for example RORs and NR4As, control the pathophysiological process in metabolic disease and cancer.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include:

  • Elucidating the role of RORĪ± and RORĪ³ in the resistance to diet-induced obesity and fatty liver disease.
  • Understanding the role of the NR4A and ROR subgroup in breast cancer survival outcomes
  • Analysing the role of epigenetic regulators (histone methyltransferases) in (i) glycaemic control and (ii) breast cancer clinical outcomes.

Project members

Group Leader

Emeritus Professor George Muscat

Group Leader, Cell and Developmental Biology Division
Emeritus Professor
Institute for Molecular Bioscience