Dr Vita Birzniece


Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine


Vita Birzniece, MD, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Western Sydney University, clinical researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and a Senior Lecturer (conjoint) at the UNSW Sydney. She received PhD in neuroendocrinology in 2004 from the Umea University, Sweden. Over the last 10 years, her research has focused on determining how fat and protein metabolism, body composition and physical function is regulated by hormones. Currently she leads the Metabolic Research Unit at Blacktown Clinical School and Research Centre, equipped to perform a wide range of body composition, energy expenditure, substrate utilization, physical capacity, muscle strength, and balance assessments. State-of-the-art techniques are implemented using stable isotopes to investigate whole body protein metabolism, urea turnover, and liver fat export. One of her goals is to establish a link between fundamental research and clinical application, e.g. developing a novel safe treatment for sarcopenia. She leads a multicentre project implementing resistance training and diabetes drugs to suppress cancer progression. The focus is to establish a network of collaborative projects in WSLHD in endocrine, metabolic and cancer research, investigating hormonal control of metabolism and cancer development, integrating endocrinology and oncology at WSU and WSLHD.

Research Interests

  • Obesity
  • Growth hormone
  • Sex steroids
  • Androgens and hepatic metabolism
  • Prostate cancer
  • Resistance training
  • Myokines
  • Sarcopenia


  • WSLHD Research Management Committee
  • BMDH Research Development Committee

Qualifications and Recognition

  • PhD Umea University, Sweden
  • MD Academy of Medicine, Latvia
  • Winner of the ENDO 08 Trainee Poster Competition
  • The Australasian Branch of Women in Endocrinology Merit Award
  • The Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award
  • The Australasian Branch of Women in Endocrinology Novo Nordisk New Investigator Award

Research & Publications

Contact Details

Telephone+61 2 9851 6059
LocationBlacktown Clinical School