Tongzhi Wu

Dr Tongzhi Wu

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


The gut (stomach and intestines) is central to the control of blood glucose and appetite, and therefore represents a logical, yet relatively unexplored, target for novel and improved treatments for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and obesity. Dr Wu's research program utilises mutidisciplinary techniques to provide important insights into how nutrients, and particularly bitter tasting compounds, can intereact with specific diabetes medicines for therapeutic gain.

Dr Tongzhi Wu leads a research team within the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health at the University of Adelaide, to gain an improved understanding on how ingested nutrients interact with the gut in health and disease and whether this can be translated into safe and improved treatments for type 2 diabetes. He is particularly interested in how the gut “tastes” meal contents, especially bitter tasting substances. His research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Diabetes Australia, the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Research Foundation, and the University of Adelaide.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Adjunct Senior Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2018 - 2020 Royal Adelaide Hospital Florey Fellow Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide
    2015 - 2017 Royal Adelaide Hospital Mary Overton Fellow University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2014 NHMRC Clinical Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2007 - 2009 Physician Trainee Zhongda Hospital Southeast University
    2006 - 2007 Intern (First Class) Zhongda Hospital Southeast University
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Award Northern Communities Health Foundation Derek Frewin Early Career Research Award Northern Communities Health Foundation Australia
    2016 Award Executive Dean's Award for Research Excellence (Early Career Researcher) The University of Adelaide
    2016 Award Travel Award European Association for the Study of Diabetes €1500
    2016 Award Travel Award University of Adelaide, School of Medicine Australia 2835
    2015 Fellowship Early Career Fellowship Royal Adelaide Hospital Australia
    2015 Recognition Best Poster Australian Diabetes Society Australia
    2015 Award Travel Grant University of Adelaide, Discipline of Medicine Australia
    2014 Research Award University Doctoral Research Medal University of Adelaide Australia
    2013 Recognition Dean's commendation for thesis excellence University of Adelaide Australia
    2013 Award Travel Award, Diabetes Congress International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Australia
    2013 Fellowship Travelling Fellowship University of Adelaide, Discipline of Medicine Australia 2600
    2012 Award Travel Award European Association for the Study of Diabetes €2000
    2011 Award Travel Award European Association for the Study of Diabetes €2000
    2011 Fellowship Postgraduate Travelling Fellowship University of Adelaide Australia 1700
    2010 Recognition Best Poster Presentation University of Adelaide, Research Expo Australia
    2009 Recognition Outstanding Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine Southeast University Australia
    2009 Scholarship Postgraduate Scholarship China Scholarship Council China
    2009 Scholarship Postgraduate Supplementary Scholarship Centre of Research Excellence in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health Australia
    2007 Scholarship First-class postgraduate scholarship Southeast University China
    2007 Recognition Outstanding Graduate in Clinical Medicine Southeast University China
    2006 Recognition 'Excellent Student Researcher' in the Student Research Training Program (SRTP) Southeast University China
    2004 Scholarship 'Zi-guang' Scholarship Southeast University Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2009 - 2013 University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    2007 - 2009 Southeast University China Master of Clinical Medicine
    2002 - 2007 Southeast University China Bachelor of Clinical Medicine
  • Research Interests

2019 – 22                    NSFC Project Grant (81870561) ( ¥570,000)

 Project title: Effects of intestinal bitter taste sensing on gastrointestinal hormone secretion and glycaemic control

 Tongzhi Wu, Chris Rayner, Richard Young, Qin Lu, Dong Wang, Xuyi Wang, Juan Chen, Min Cai, Min Ge

2019                            Diabetes Australia Project Grant (Y19G-WUTO) ($59,991)

 Project title: Role of bile acids in glucose-lowering by metformin

Tongzhi Wu, Chris Rayner, Karen Jones, Michael Horowitz

2018 – 20                    NHMRC Project Grant (APP1147333) ($725,276)

Project title: Bitter taste as a mediator of food intake and postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes. 

CIA: Tongzhi Wu, CIB: Chris Rayner, CIC: Karen Jones, CID: Richard Young, CIE: Christine Feinle-Bisset

2018 – 20                    Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Research Foundation Florey Fellowship ($348,000)

Project title: Bitter taste as a mediator of food intake and postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes. 

CIA: Tongzhi Wu

2018 – 19                    Diabetes Australia Millennium Grant ($150,000)

Project title:Do artificial sweeteners affect glycaemic control in T2DM adversely? 

Richard Young, Chris Rayner, Michael Horowitz, Tongzhi Wu

2018                            RAH Research Foundation Clinical Project Grant ($49,472)

Project title: Role of endogenous glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide in the gastric emptying, glycaemia, splanchnic blood flow and blood pressure responses to oral glucose in healthy older subjects.

Karen Jones, Chris Rayner, Tongzhi Wu, Dylan Bartholomeusz, Michael Horowitz

2018                            RAH Research Foundation Clinical Project Grant ($49,710)

Project title: Molecular events linking artificial sweetener intake to augmented glucose absorption and dysglycaemia in health and type 2 diabetes.

Richard Young, Nam Nguyen, Chris Rayner, Tongzhi Wu, Dylan Bartholomeusz, CIE: Michael Horowitz

2017 – 18                    University of Adelaide Early Career Researcher Mentored Project Grant ($14,992)

Project title: Nutrient-gut interactions and glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes. 

Tongzhi Wu

2017 – 18                    Project Development Grant of the NHMRC CRE in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health ($32,610)

Project title: Stimulating intestinal bitter taste receptors for control of type 2 diabetes

Tongzhi Wu

2017 – 18                    Diabetes Australia project grant (Y17G-WUTO) ($59,270)

Project title: Gastrointestinal mechanisms of the anti-diabetic effect of metformin. 

Tongzhi Wu,Chris Rayner, Michael Horowitz

2017                            University of Adelaide Research Infrastructure Awards ($26,410)

Project title: LOGIQ eR7 Ultrasound System to measure 2D and Doppler ultrasound in nutrition research. 

Karen Jones, Chris Rayner Christine Feinle-Bisset, Tongzhi Wu, Stijn Soenen

2016 – 17                    RAH Research Foundation Clinical Project Grant ($49,258)

Project title: Does intestinal bitter taste sensing modulate gastrointestinal motility and hormone secretion to reduce glycaemia and energy intake in humans?

Tongzhi Wu, Chris Rayner

2015 – 17                    RAH Research Committee Early Career Fellowship ($252,000)

Project title: The “gut-incretin” axis in the regulation of postprandial glycaemia in type 2 diabetes

Tongzhi Wu

2015                            The University of Adelaide Interdisciplinary Seed Funding

Project title: Fibre insight in diabetes treatment: a new photonic fibre device to investigate the enteroendocrine L-cells. Jiangbo Zhao, Tongzhi Wu

2014 – 16                    RAH Research Foundation Clinical Project Grant ($40,000)

Project title: Intestinal sweet taste receptor control of glucose absorption in human health & type 2 diabetes.CIA: Richard Young, Tongzhi Wu, Chris Rayner

2014 – 16                    RAH Research Foundation Clinical Project Grant ($49,700)

Project title: Effects of DPP-4 inhibition with sitagliptin on postprandial blood pressure, glycaemia and incretin hormones in type 2 diabetes – relationship to gastric emptying.Karen Jones, Tongzhi Wu, Chris Rayner

2014                            Clinical Research Fellowship of NHMRC CRE in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health($80,571)

Project title: Gastrointestinal function and the management of type 2 diabetes

Tongzhi Wu

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 Co-Supervisor Bitter Taste Control of Blood Glucose Homeostasis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Cong Xie
    2017 Co-Supervisor The design and establishment of a microfluidic sensing platform for metal ion and hormone Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Weikun Huang
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Member Australian Diabetes Society Australia
    2009 - ongoing Member European Association for the Study of Diabetes
  • Phone: 83136535
  • Email: tongzhi.wu@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8223 3870
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 6
  • Room: 6 21
  • Org Unit: Medical Specialties

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