Metabolism is a complex chemical process in all cells that is essential for life. Imbalance of metabolism in humans leads to many diseases, including diabetes, fatty liver disease, muscle wastage, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

At the core of metabolic regulation are the protein kinases AMPK and mTOR, each therapeutic targets for a wide range of metabolic diseases. My aim is to clarify how AMPK and mTOR ‘talk’ to each other at the organelle- and subunit-specific levels, in both healthy and disease models.

My team welcomes national and international collaborative projects to explore ways to improve human health by better understanding regulation of these critical metabolic systems.

My vision is to translate biochemical understanding of AMPK-mTOR axis regulatory mechanisms into more effective treatments for metabolic diseases. I apply a variety of research tools, including mass spectrometry, radioisotope assays, NanoBRET, live-cell analysis systems, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and disease related cellular model systems to address cutting edge research questions. My translational interests range from development of AMPK-targeting antidiabetics to screening new drugs targeting prostate, ovarian and lung cancers.

Key achievements

2019-current   Secretary General of Asian Society of Kinesiology (ASK) Managing Council

2018-current   Associate Editor/ Editor, The Asian Journal of Kinesiology

2014   Hamer Scholarship, Victoria Government

2003   Melbourne International Research Scholarship; CRC for Bioproducts Scholarship

2002   Lincoln University (New Zealand); Research Student Scholarship

Selected publications

Kaitlin R. Morrison, William J. Smiles, Naomi XY Ling, Ashfaqul Hoque, Gabrielle Shea, Kevin R.W. Ngoei, Dingyi Yu, Lisa Murray-Segal, John W. Scott, Sandra Galic, Bruce. E. Kemp, Janni Petersen and Jonathan S. Oakhill (2022) An AMPKa2-specific phospho-switch controls lysosomal targeting for activation. Cell Reports 38, 110365, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110365

Elise J. Needham, Janne R. Hingst2, Benjamin L. Parker, Kaitlin R. Morrison, Guang Yang, Naomi X.Y. Ling, Jonathan S. Oakhill, Erik A. Richter, Bente Kiens, Janni Petersen, Christian Pehmøller, Jørgen F.P. Wojtaszewski, David E. James, Sean J. Humphrey (2021) Personalized phosphoproteomics of insulin action potentiated by exercise. Nature Biotechnology, DOI: 10.1038/s41587-021-01099-9

Siavash Beikoghli Kalkhoran, Janos Kriston-Vizi, Sauri Hernandez-Resendiz, Gustavo E. Crespo-Avilan, Ayeshah A. Rosdah, Jarmon G. Lees, Joana Rodrigues Simoes Da Costa, Naomi X.Y. Ling, Jessica K Holien, Parisa Samangouei, Kroekkiat Chinda, Yap En Ping, Jaime A. Riquelme, Robin Ketteler, Derek M Yellon, Shiang Y Lim, Derek J. Hausenloy (2021) Hydralazine protects the heart against acute ischemia/reperfusion injury by inhibiting Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission. Cardiovascular Research, DOI: 10.1093/cvr/cvaa343

Naomi XY Ling, Adrian Kaczmarek, Ashfaqul Hoque, Elisabeth Davie, Kevin R.W. Ngoei, Kaitlin R. Morrison, William J. Smiles, Gabriella M. Forte, Tingting Wang, Shervi Lie, Toby Dite, Christopher G. Langendorf, John W. Scott, Jonathan S. Oakhill and Janni Petersen (2020) mTORC1 directly inhibits AMPK by attenuating lysosomal targeting. Nature Metabolism.

Naomi XY Ling, Christopher G. Langendorf, Ashfaqul Hoque, Sandra Galic, Kim Loh, Bruce E. Kemp, Andrew L. Gundlach, John W. Scott (2020) Functional analysis of an R311C variant of Ca2+-calmodulin dependent protein kinase kinase-2 (CaMKK2) found as a de novo mutation in a patient with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders. DOI: 10.1111/bdi.12901

Stephen L. Pinkosky, John W. Scott, Eric M. Desjardins, Brennan K. Smith, Emily A. Day, Rebecca J. Ford, Christopher G. Langendorf, Naomi XY Ling, Tracy L. Nero, Kim Loh, Sandra Galic, Ashfaqul Hoque, William J. Smiles, Kevin R. W. Ngoei, Michael W. Parker, Yan Yan, Karsten Melcher, Bruce E. Kemp, Jonathan S. Oakhill and Gregory R. Steinberg (2020) Long-chain fatty acyl-CoA esters regulate metabolism via allosteric control of AMPK β1 isoforms. Nature Metabolism. DOI: 10.1038/s42255-020-0245-2

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