Guest Article - Murdoch University

ANPC delivers breakthrough in understanding the effects of COVID-19

The Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC) in an international centre of expertise in metabolic phenotyping and one of the most significant health research collaborations realised in Western Australia.

The team, led by world-renowned phenomics pioneer Professor Jeremy Nicholson, is currently undertaking major research to better understand and mitigate the COVID-19 virus pandemic threat.

The ANPC’s COVID-19 Critical Research Programme has seen the team working with researchers at the University of Cambridge to develop a predictive metabolic model for the virus.

“To effectively navigate the coming waves of COVID-19, we need to be able to accurately diagnose and predict severity of disease for infected individuals at an early stage so that they can be more effectively monitored and managed,” said Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Director of the ANPC.

Blood plasma samples are being analysed using state-of-the-art metabolic phenotyping technologies, research which has already revealed a profound biological fingerprint of the disease that includes elements of liver dysfunction, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, and coronary heart disease risk.

“Perhaps the most important observation is that the disease involves multiple organs and the majority of the patients show signs of newly presenting diabetes and liver damage irrespective of the severity of the lung symptoms,” said Professor Nicholson.

“What we do not know is how persistent these symptoms are or whether they change long terms disease risks for recovered patients.”

The ANPC will continue to conduct detailed follow up studies on recovered patients to understand the long-term risks associated with COVID-19.

Thanks to funding from WA Government, the Spinnaker-Health Research Foundation and the McCusker Charitable Foundation, the ANPC will be able to further its research and continue to contribute to the improvement of patient recovery and outcomes.

Professor Jeremy Nicholson was pleased to provide a briefing to key representatives of Committee for Perth member organisations on Monday 12 October, which provided leaders with an opportunity to hear about the breakthroughs in research in the fight against COVID-19.

This article has been submitted by Murdoch University

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.