Collaborative Research Network (CRN)

Dr Mark Myers

Research leader

Federation University Australia

Mark Myers received his BSc (Hons) from the University of Melbourne in 1986 and went on to complete his PhD at the Australian National University in 1990. His most recent research has been two-fold:

  1. novel peptides that enhance insulin function, where he led a development team that progressed a peptide drug through to the successful completion of human phase I trials, and
  2. following up on his discovery in 2001 that the plecomacrolides bafilomycin and concanamycin disrupt the function and turnover of the insulin-producing pancreatic islet beta cells.
These toxins have been found to contaminate the diet and are candidate environmental contributors to the rapid increase in Type 1 diabetes seen since the middle of the 20th century. Dr Myers was an invited speaker at the 5th World Congress on the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes held in Helsinki in 2008 as an expert on toxic causes of diabetes.

Since 2009, Dr Myers has been employed at Federation University Australia, where he is program co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

Education

PhD, Australian National University, 1990, Department of Botany/CSIRO Division of Entomology, Thesis title: “Structure/function relationships of the esterase 6 protein of Drosophila melanogaster.”

BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne, 1986, Department of Genetics, Thesis title: “The genetics of Form I cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase in Drosophila melanogaster.”

BSc, University of Melbourne, 1985, major in Genetics.

Appointments

2010-present: Program co-ordinator, Bachelor of Biomedical Science School of Science and Engineering, Federation University Australia, Mt Helen, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

2009-present: Senior lecturer, Biomedical Science School of Science and Engineering, Federation University Australia, Mt Helen, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

2007-2008, Chief Scientist, Dia-B Tech Ltd.

2004-2008, Senior Research Fellow. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

1998-2004, Senior Research Officer, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

1996-1998: Research Officer, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia. Fund source: NH&MRC project grant “The autoantigen(s) responsible for islet cell cytoplasmic antibodies in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus”. Chief investigators Dr. M.J. Rowley, Dr. M.A. Myers.

1994-1995 Research Officer, The Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria. Fund source: Syndicated Research and Development Grant “Diagnostic assays for autoimmune diseases” Project leader Dr. M.J. Rowley.

1991-1993 Research officer, Department of Medicine, Monash University, Box Hill, Victoria. Fund sources: NH&MRC programme grant and National Heart Foundation, “Development of novel fibrinolytic agents”.

Publications

Primary refereed journal articles

1. Myers M., Richmond R.C. and J.G.Oakeshott. (1988) On the origins of esterases. Molecular Biology and Evolution 5:113-119

2. Myers, M.A., Healy M.J. and J.G. Oakeshott. (1993) Effects of the residue adjacent to the reactive serine on the substrate interactions of Drosophila esterase 6. Biochem.Genet. 31: 259-278

3. Myers M.A.; Salem H.H. and P. Bird. (1994) Construction and characterization of a chimeric protein consisting of tissue-type plasminogen-activator and the epidermal growth factor-like regions of thrombomodulin. Fibrinolysis 8: 229-237

4. Myers M.A, Rabin D.U. and M.J. Rowley. (1995) Pancreatic islet cell cytoplasmic antibody in diabetes is represented by antibodies to islet cell antigen 512 and glutamic acid decarboxylase. Diabetes 44: 1290-1295

5. Myers M.A., Healy M.J. and J.G. Oakeshott. (1996) Mutational analysis of N-linked glycosylation of esterase 6 in Drosophila melanogaster. Biochemical Genetics. 34:201-218

6. Esposti M.D., Ngo A. and M.A. Myers. (1996) Inhibition of mitochondrial complex I may account for IDDM induced by intoxication with the rodenticide Vacor. Diabetes. 45:1531-1534

7. Feeney S.J., Myers M.A., Mackay I.R., Zimmet P.Z., Howard N., Verge C.F. and M.J. Rowley. (1997) Evaluation Of ICA512As In combination with other islet cell autoantibodies at the onset of IDDM. Diabetes Care 20: 1403-1407

8. Whittingham S, Byron S.L., Tuomilehto J., Zimmet P.Z., Myers M.A., Vidgren G., Rowley M.J., Feeney S.J., Koskela P., Tuomilehto-Wolf E. and I.R. Mackay. (1997) Autoantibodies associated with presymptomatic Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus in women. Diabetic Medicine 14: 678-685

9. Myers M.A. (1998) Direct measurement of cell number in microtitre plate cultures using the fluorescent dye SYBR Green I. Journal of Immunological Methods 212: 99-103

10. Chen Q-Y, Mackay I.R., Fida S., Myers M.A. and Rowley M.J. (1998) Natural and disease associated autoantibodies to the autoantigen, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, recognise different epitopes. Journal of Autoimmunity 11: 151-161

11. Myers M.A., Laks M., Feeney S.J, Mandel T.E., Koulmanda M., Bone A., Barley J., Rowley M.J. and I.R. Mackay. (1998) Antibodies to ICA512 in rodent models of IDDM. Journal of Autoimmunity 11: 265-272

12. Cook A.D., Davies J.M., Myers M.A., Mackay I.R. and Rowley M.J. (1998) Mimotopes identified by phage display for the monoclonal antibody CII-C1 to type II collagen. Journal of Autoimmunity 11: 205-211

13. Myers M.A., Georgiou H.M., Byron S. and. Esposti M.D. (1999) Inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation induces hyper-expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase in pancreatic islet cells. Autoimmunity 30: 43-51

14. Kasimiotis H, Myers MA , Argentaro A, Mertin S, Fida S, Ferraro T, Olsson J, Rowley MJ and VR Harley. (2000) The SRY-related protein SOX13 is a diabetes autoantigen expressed in pancreatic islets. Diabetes 49(4): 555-561

15. Konigs C, Rowley MJ, Thompson P, Myers MA, Scealy M, Davies JM, Wu L, Dietrich U, Mackay C and IR Mackay. (2000). Monoclonal antibody screening of a phage displayed random peptide library reveals mimotopes of chemokine receptor CCR5: implications for the tertiary structure of the receptor and for an N-terminal binding site for HIV-1 gp120. Eur. J. Immunol. 30(4):1162-1171

16. Myers MA, Davies JM, Tong JC, Whisstock J, Scealy M, Mackay IR and MJ Rowley (2000). Conformational epitopes on the diabetes autoantigen GAD65 identified by peptide phage display and molecular modeling. Journal of Immunology 165:3830-3838

17. Kasimiotis H, Fida S, Rowley MJ, Mackay IR, Zimmet, PZ, Gleason S, Rabin DU and MA Myers. (2001) Autoantibodies to SOX13 (ICA12) are associated with type 1 diabetes. Autoimmunity 33: 95-101.

18. Fida S. Myers M. Mackay IR. Zimmet PZ. Mohan V. Deepa R. Rowley MJ. (2001) Antibodies to diabetes-associated autoantigens in Indian patients with Type 1 diabetes: prevalence of anti-ICA512/IA2 and anti-SOX13. Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice. 52(3):205-211

19. Myers MA, Mackay IR, Rowley MJ and PZ Zimmet. (2001) Dietary microbial toxins and Type 1 diabetes- a new meaning for seed and soil. Diabetologia 44:1199-1200

20. Papakonstantinou T, Myers MA, Jois J, Roucou X., Prescott M., Rowley MJ and IR Mackay (2001) Expression of protein tyrosine phosphatase-like molecule ICA512/IA-2 induces growth arrest in yeast cells and transfected mammalian cell lines. Journal of Autoimmunity 17: 51-61

21. Tong JC, Myers MA, Mackay IR, Zimmet PZ and MJ Rowley (2002). The PEVKEK region of the pyridoxal phosphate binding domain of GAD65 expresses a dominant B cell epitope for type 1 diabetes sera. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 958:182-189

22. Fida S. Myers MA. Whittingham S. Rowley MJ. Ozaki S. Mackay IR (2002). Autoantibodies to the Transcriptional Factor SOX13 in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Compared with Other Diseases. Journal of Autoimmunity. 19:251-257

23. Myers M.A., Gustavo Fenalti, Robyn Gray, Marita Scealy, Jonathan C. Tong, Ossama El-Kabbani, and Merrill J. Rowley (2003) A Diabetes-Related Epitope of GAD65: A Major Diabetes-Related Conformational Epitope on GAD65. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1005: 250

24. Myers MA, Hettiarachchi K, Ludeman JL, Wilson AJ, Wilson CR, Zimmet PZ (2003). Dietary microbial toxins and Type 1 diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1005: 418

25. Hettiarachchi KD, Zimmet PZ and MA Myers (2004). Transplacental exposure to bafilomycin disrupts pancreatic islet organogenesis and accelerates diabetes onset in NOD mice. Journal of Autoimmunity 22: 287-296.

26. Hettiarachchi KD, Zimmet PZ, Myers MA. (2006 ). The effects of repeated exposure to sub-toxic doses of plecomacrolide antibiotics on the endocrine pancreas. Food Chem Toxicol. 44:1966-77.

27. Hettiarachchi KD, Zimmet PZ, Myers MA. (2006) The plecomacrolide vacuolar-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin, alters insulin signaling in MIN6 beta-cells. Cell Biol Toxicol.22:169-81.

28. Lamb MM, Myers MA, Barriga K, Zimmet PZ, Rewers M, Norris JM. (2008) Maternal diet during pregnancy and islet autoimmunity in offspring. Pediatr Diabetes. 9:135-41.

29. Hettiarachchi KD, Zimmet PZ, Danial NN and Myers MA. (2008) Transplacental exposure to the vacuolar-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin disrupts survival signaling in β cells and delays neonatal remodeling of the endocrine pancreas. Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 60:295-306

30. Paule SG, B Nikolovski, RE Gray, JP Ludeman, A Freemantle, RA Spark, JB Kerr, FM Ng, PZ Zimmet, MA Myers. (2009) GHTD-amide: A naturally occurring beta cell-derived peptide with hypoglycemic activity. Peptides 30:955-961

31. Paule SG, B Nikolovski, JP Ludeman, RE Gray, L Spiccia, PZ Zimmet, and MA Myers. (2009). Ability of GHTD-amide and analogs to enhance insulin activity through zinc chelation and dispersal of insulin oligomers. Peptides 30:1088-1097

Reviews, book chapters, editorials

32. Trowell S.C., Healy M.J., East P.D., Dumancic M.M., Campbell P.M., Myers M.A. and J.G.Oakeshott. (1990) A molecular biological approach to the Dipteran juvenile hormone system: Implications for pest control. In: Pesticides and Alternatives: International Conference on Innovative Chemical and Biological Approaches to Pest Control. Ed J.E.Casida.

33. Myers M.A., Mackay I.R., Zimmet P.Z. and M.J. Rowley. (1996) Autoantibodies to glutamate decarboxylase in Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Annual 10 Chapter 2 pgs 15-36. S.M. Marshall, P.D. Home , R.A. Rizza (eds.) Elsevier Science B.V.

34. Myers M.A. (1999) Environmental factors and type 1 diabetes- is the secretory granule the target? Diabetes Annual 12 S.M. Marshall, P.D. Home , R.A. Rizza (eds.) Elsevier Science B.V. Chapter 2 pages 21-45)

35. Mackay IR, Whittingham S, Fida S, Myers MA, Ikuno N, Gershwin ME, Rowley MJ. (2000). The peculiar autoimmunity of primary biliary cirrhosis. Immunological Reviews 174: 226-237

36. MA Myers, IR Mackay and PZ Zimmet (2002). A dietary cause of type 1 diabetes: unearthing a new twist to the tale. Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics 4:193-198.

37. MA Myers, IR Mackay and PZ Zimmet (2002). A dietary cause of type 1 diabetes: digging up the dirt on vegetables. Diabetes Voice 47:35-37

38. MA Myers, IR Mackay and PZ Zimmet (2003). Toxic Type 1 diabetes. Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders 4:225-231

39. Hettiarachchi KD and MA Myers (2005). Dietary Vacuolar–ATPase Inhibitors as an Environmental “Trigger” of Type 1 Diabetes. Ashley M. Ford (ed.) in Focus On Diabetes Mellitus Research – 2005.

40. Hettiarachchi KD. Zimmet PZ. and MA Myers. (2008). Dietary Toxins, Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Stress and Diabetes. Current Diabetes Reviews 4:146-156

41. Myers M and Zimmet P. (2008) Halting the accelerating epidemic of type 1 diabetes. Lancet. 371(9626):1730-1.

ISI web of knowledge citation analysis

average citations per item = 12

h-index = 14

Patents

1. Hypoglycaemic tripeptide and methods of use thereof

Myers, Mark; Gray, Robyn; Paule, Sarah WO/2009/026614, PCT/AU2008/001235

2. Compositions and methods for treatment of diabetes

Applicants: Myers, Mark, A.; Gray, Robyn; Paule, Sarah; Zimmmet, Paul, Zev;

WO/2007/059569, PCT/AU2006/001763

3. A peptide and zinc ion composition for treating diabetes and enhancing immune function.

Applicants: Myers, Mark, A; Gray, Robyn; Nikolovski, Biljana; Zimmet, Paul, Zev. WO/2007/025332, PCT/AU2006/001254

4. Assay for beta cell toxic macrolides

Applicants: Myers, Mark, A.; Mackay, Ian, R.; Zimmet, Paul, Z. WO/2002/097437, PCT/AU2002/000643