Richard Young

Associate Professor Richard Young

NHMRC Externally-Funded Research Fellow (D)

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

A/Prof Richard L Young is a Senior Research Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School at The University of Adelaide, and the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He is a member of the Centre of Research Excellence in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health, which links basic and clinician researchers in world-leading research in diabetes.

A/Prof Young heads the Intestinal Sensing Group within the Nutrition, Diabetes and Gut Health Program of SAHMRI Lifelong Health. He investigates the intestinal taste system, which detects dietary sugars and low-calorie sweeteners and, in turn, controls how glucose is absorbed and disposed in the body. He has shown how this system is regulated in health, and its dysregulation in type 2 diabetes, critical illness and obesity. This NHMRC supported research is providing new knowledge of gut physiology and microbiology, with the potential to prevent, and better manage, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Intestinal Sensing Group

We offer higher degree research projects that span interventional clinical research through to basic research with genetic and disease models. These projects aim to find new ways to treat diabetes and save lives in critical illness and can be tailored to the individual student. Shorter honours projects are also available in these areas. Students will be based in the west-end health precinct in SAHMRI, with clinical studies undertaken in the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) or University of Adelaide AHMS building (Clinical Research Facility, CRF).

  • DiabetesCan blocking gut sweet sensing improve blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes? We've discovered that habitual high intake of low-calorie sweeteners can worsen control of blood glucose in healthy subjects. Individuals with type 2 diabetes may be at even higher risk due an existing defect in sweet sensing in their gut. This project will investigate whether blocking sweet sensing in the gut improves control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes. This project will involve clinical research in the RAH and laboratory experiments in SAHMRI, in an effort to discover new ways to treat diabetes. Project start: Semester 1 and 2.
  • How does the human gut respond to sweet and bitter stimuli? This project will establish the precise mechanisms that link sensing of bitter (e.g., denatonium) and sweet (e.g., low-calorie sweeteners) in the gut wall and gut bacteria to signals that disrupt host control of blood glucose. This will involve functional and multi-omic experiments in human biopsy tissues and experiments examining gut bacteria in SAHMRI. Project start: Semester 1 and 2.
  • Sepsis killsSaving lives in critical illness by preserving cortisol targeting Blood levels of the carrier protein for cortisol, corticosteroid-binding globulin, fall in many patients with sepsis, and do so in a manner that predicts morbidity and death. Supplementing corticosteroid-binding globulin may preserve its unique capacity to target cortisol delivery in the critically ill. This utility is being tested first in our mouse model, which responds the same as patients. This research will provide fundamental knowledge on sepsis timing, corticosteroid-binding globulin dose, and the utility to save lives and reduce morbidity. This is an exciting space and has the promise to deliver the first new therapy for critical illness in decades. This project will involve clinical research in the RAH and laboratory experiments in SAHMRI. Project start: Semester 1 and 2.
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2016 - ongoing Associate Professor The University of Adelaide
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia PhD
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia BSc Honours
    University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia BSc
  • Research Interests

NHMRC (last 5 years)

  • 2023-26 Ideas (APP2019948) ‘Harnessing a native corticosteroid-binding globulin to treat life-threatening septic shock’. Young RL, Torpy DJ, Nenke MA. AI: Meyer EJ, Plummer MP, Ahamed M.

  • 2023-26 Ideas (APP2020454) ‘Stratifying low-calorie sweeteners for diabetes risk’. Rayner CK, Rogers GB. AI: Young RL, Ivey KL, Snel MF, Miller CL, Wu T, Lange K.

  • 2021-23 Ideas (APP2001271) ‘Characterisation of erusiolin - a new peptide hormone’ Larance M, Hocking S. AI: Young RL, Solon-Biet SM, Neely GG, Samocha-Bonet D, Viardot A, Payne RJ.

  • 2020-23 Ideas (APP1181145) Young RL, Ivey KL. AI: Miller CL, Rayner CK, Keating DJ, Lynn DJ, Rogers, GB, Snel MF, Horowitz M. 'Friend or Foe? Low-calorie sweeteners and glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes'

  • 2019-21 Project (APP1164475) Keating DJ, Young RL, Holst JJ, Knop FK. 'Targeting proglucagon cells in the human gut to treat diabetes and obesity.'

  • 2018-20 Project (APP1147333) Wu T, Rayner CK, Jones KL, Young RL,  Feinle-Bisset C. 'Bitter taste as a mediator of food intake and postprandial glycaemia in health and type 2 diabetes'

Diabetes Australia (last 5 years)

  • 2023 Project 'Targeting intestinal bile acid sensing mechanisms to manage type 2 diabetes.' Wu T, Rayner CK, Horowitz M, Young RL, Xie C, Jones KL.

  • 2023 Project 'Impact of renal 'sweet taste' sensing on the risk of dysglycaemia.' Rayner CK, Wu T, Young RL, Thomas MC, Xie C, Huang W.

  • 2022 Project 'Host or the hosted? Mechanisms underlying intestinal control of glycaemia in type 2 diabetes'. Young RLRayner CK, Horowitz M, Wu T, Rogers GB, Ivey KL.

  • 2021 Project 'Blocking intestinal sweet taste for glycaemic benefits in type 2 diabetes.' Young RLRayner CK, Horowitz M, Wu T, Rogers GB, Ivey KL.

  • 2021 Project 'More or less? Bile acids and glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes. Wu T, Rayner CK, Jones KL, Young RL, Horowitz M. 

  • 2020 Project 'Does the gut microbiome link intake of low-calorie sweeteners to impaired blood glucose control?' Young RL, Rogers GB, Rayner CK, Horowitz M, Wu T.

  • 2018-19 Millennium Award, Type 2 Diabetes. 'Do artificial sweeteners affect glycaemic control adversely in people with type 2 diabetes?' Rayner CK, Young RL, Horowitz M, Wu T.

Diabetes UK (last 5 years)

  • 2024-7 Project Grant. Identifying the mechanisms of gut–brain axis to sweet sensing in patients with type 2 diabetes using neuroimaging techniques. Eldeghaidy S, Yang Q, Idris I (Nottingham University), Young RL, Page AJ.

The Hospital Research Foundation (last 5 years)

  • 2018-20 Translational Research 'A bitter tale of artificial sweeteners in Type 2 diabetes?' Young RL, Rayner CK, Rogers GB.

Diabetes SA (last 5 years)

  • 2022-23 (Project) 'Blocking intestinal sweet taste for better glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes.' Young RL, Rayner CK, Rogers GB, Horowitz M.
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor Harnessing a native corticosteroid-binding globulin to treat life-threatening septic shock Master of Clinical Science Master Part Time Mr Benjamin James Young
    2020 Principal Supervisor Mechanisms linking low-calorie sweeteners to impaired glycaemic control in human health and type 2 diabetes. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Braden David Rose
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2024 Co-Supervisor Adaptations of small intestinal nutrient absorption during pregnancy in mice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Teunis Sebastian Overduin
    2019 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Gut mechanisms linking low-calorie sweeteners to impaired glycaemic control Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Denise Kreuch
    2012 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Gastrointestinal Nutrient Sensing in Obesity and type 2 Diabetes: Role in Appetite Regulation and Glycaemic Control Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Nada Cvijanovic
    2004 - 2009 Co-Supervisor Nutrient Sensing Mechanisms in the Small Intestine: Localisation of Taste Molecules in Mice and Humans With and Without Diabetes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Kate Sutherland
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - ongoing External Supervisor Isolation, purification and characterisation of human enteroendocrine cells Flinders University of South Australia School of Medicine, PhD Doctorate Full Time Emily Wai-Ling Sun
  • Position: NHMRC Externally-Funded Research Fellow (D)
  • Phone: 81284845
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: SAHMRI - South, floor 7
  • Org Unit: Medical Specialties

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