About Us

The prevalence of diabetes across Western Sydney is too high. We have one of the highest rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease in Australia and our patients with diabetes are over-represented in hospitalisations – around 1 in every 4 hospital patients has diabetes. In an Australian wide survey of diabetes, the AusDiab study, 7.5% of Australian adults aged >25 years had diabetes. In people >75 years 23.6% had diabetes. For every known case of diabetes, there is one undiagnosed case. Some people talk about the pending “diabesity” tsunami. It has already hit.

We are the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Translational Research Unit (DOMTRU), committed to reversing the impact of diabetes on our region and around the world. Led by one of the world’s pre-eminent endocrinologists, Prof. David Simmons, we are an integrated partnership – combining the research expertise of Western Sydney University with the clinical and educational programs of South Western Sydney Local Health District, Primary Health Networks and other partners to drive world-leading research in diabetes prevention and management, translating into clinical practice and prevention strategies, as well as promoting education practices both in current and future practitioners.

Our research and practice looks at prevention of obesity and diabetes,  prevention of complications among those with diabetes and studies the mechanisms behind the causes and development of obesity and diabetes and their complications.

Our goal is to ensure our health system provides patients with the best care and advice on diabetes prevention and treatment. Together, we can beat diabetes.

Our Vision

The immediate priority of DOMTRU is to reverse the trend of rising rates of obesity, diabetes and its complications.

Our long term vision is to create a world where obesity, diabetes and their associated complications are no longer societal issues.

The Challenge

Diabetes is one of Australia's most prevalent, costly and life threatening diseases:

  • Obesity rates are also soaring, with statistics showing the number of obese people has doubled in 30 years.
  • One person is diagnosed with diabetes in New South Wales every five minutes.
  • South Western Sydney has amongst the highest prevalence of diabetes in New South Wales with 6.3% of the population diagnosed with diabetes against the national average of 4.2% (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, 2016).
  • Six of the top ten postcodes ranked by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) occurrence in NSW are in south western Sydney, with Liverpool and Campbelltown in the top three. Local data indicates that 14% of all babies in the last two years in the same area are born to mothers with GDM compared to 5.5-8.8% across Australia.
  • One in four hospital patients at Campbelltown Hospital has diabetes.

Our Focus

  • Diabetes Types:
    • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
    • Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM)
    • Type 2 diabetes (T2DM)
    • Rare forms
  • Obesity and metabolism
  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Preventing diabetes and obesity complications and their progression:
    • Before/During Pregnancy
    • Retinopathy
    • Nephropathy
    • Heart and Cardiovascular Disease
    • Diabetes Foot
    • Massive Obesity
    • Inpatient diabetes
  • Researching the mechanisms behind the aetiology and pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications
  • Educating health professionals in diabetes and its management
  • Supporting the health education of people with diabetes in self-management


The Executive Members of DOMTRU are Professor Simmons (the Group Leader of DOMTRU, based in Campbelltown), Associate Professor Vincent Wong (Liverpool) and Professor Jeff Flack (Bankstown- Lidcombe) as the 3 Endocrinology Heads of Department across the LHD, who oversee the articulation between the research and the services. Each head works with their local researchers.  Meetings are held bi-monthly.

Research groups within DOMTRU

  • LiveDiab at Liverpool
  • Obesity/NAFLD at Camden
  • Diabetes prevention at Campbelltown
  • Clinical trials/clinical research at each/across site(s)
  • Diabetic foot at Campbelltown Western campus/Camden and Liverpool
  • Diabetes/obesity in pregnancy at each/across site(s)
  • Diabetes Integrated Care with the Primary Health Network
  • Diabetes Education across sites.