Michael Swarbrick is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology at The Westmead Institute. Michael completed his PhD at the University of Western Australia, performing genetic studies in humans to identify candidate genes for obesity. This was followed by postdoctoral work at the University of California (San Francisco and Davis campuses), where he conducted studies in large human cohorts to identify new candidate genes for severe obesity (GAD2, SIM1). Michael also undertook a comprehensive analysis of the endocrine changes following bariatric surgery-assisted weight loss; and contributed to dietary studies investigating the metabolic effects of fish oil and sugar-sweetened beverages on obese and overweight humans. Michael joined The Westmead Institute in 2014.

Research Focus

Dr. Swarbrick’s interests are primarily in the causes of obesity, and how it relates to other associated diseases such as adult-onset diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, Michael’s research concerns adipose (fat) tissue and how its normal properties (such as hormone secretion, expandability and ability to generate heat) could be used to stimulate weight loss and improve metabolic profile in obesity.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2001: “Best Poster Presentation”, Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.  
  • 2006: New Investigator Research Award, The Obesity Society (awarded to 4/80 applicants)
  • 2006: UC Davis Laboratory Management Institute Program for Postdoctoral Scholars
  • 2010: “Best Basic Science Paper”, Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


  • BSc (Hons.), Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Queensland 1998
  • PhD, Pathology, University of Western Australia, 2004