Professor de Courten is a Global Public Health expert with substantial experience in interventions ranging from the pathophysiology of non-communicable diseases, clinical trials, community-based programs to international government policies for chronic disease control.

His research focus is Global Health and chronic disease prevention including their surveillance. Before joining the College of Health & Biomedicine at Victoria University, he worked in a range of different organisations, such as:

  • large governmental research institutes (the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US)
  • inter-governmental institutions (World Health Organisation (WHO))
  • private research institutions (International Diabetes Institute (IDI) Melbourne)
  • academia (University of Bern, Monash and Deakin University, and most recently University of Copenhagen).

His specific technical knowledge covers the fields of:

  • clinical trials
  • health services
  • epidemiology
  • health policy
  • health promotion
  • disease control
  • global health education
  • community-based obesity and diabetes prevention.

His work in a variety of environments – both within Australia and overseas - and involvement in setting up new directions in research and teaching gives him leadership experience with small and large teams across a number of cultures and technical fields.

His teaching approach is both grounded in first-hand international experience and innovation, which lead to highest student ratings and novel initiatives such as the “Food for Global Thought’ program in Copenhagen.

Recent Publications

Refereed journal articles

Apostolopoulos, V., de Courten, M. P. J., Stojanovska, L., Blatch, G. L., Tangalakis, K. and de Courten, B. (2016) The complex immunological and inflammatory network of adipose tissue in obesity. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 60(1), 43-57.

de Courten, B., Moreno-Navarrete, J. M., Lyons, J., Soldatos, G., de Courten, M., Dougherty, S., Forbes, J. and Fernández-Real, J. M. (2016) Contrasting association of circulating sCD14 with insulin sensitivity in non-obese and morbidly obese subjects. Molecular nutrition & food research. 60(1), 103-109.

Davila, E. P., Suleiman, Z., Mghamba, J., Rolle, I., Ahluwalia, I., Mmbuji, P., De Courten, M., Bader, A., Zahniser, S. C., Krag, M. and Jarrar, B. (2015) Non-communicable disease training for public health workers in low- and middle-income countries: Lessons learned from a pilot training in Tanzania. International health. 7(5), 339-347.

de Courten, B., de Courten, M. P., Schalkwijk, C. G., Walker, K. Z. and Forbes, J. (2015) Dietary advanced glycation end products consumption as a direct modulator of insulin sensitivity in overweight humans: A study protocol for a double-blind, randomized, two period cross-over trial. JMIR research protocols. 4(3), e93.

de Courten, B., Kurdiova, T., de Courten, M. P., Belan, V., Everaert, I., Vician, M., Teede, H., Gasperikova, D., Aldini, G. and Derave, W. (2015) Muscle Carnosine Is Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Humans. PLoS ONE. 10(10), e0138707.

de Courten, B., Mousa, A., Naderpoor, N., Teede, H., de Courten, M. P. and Scragg, R. (2015) Vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in overweight adults: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 16(1), 335.

Mousa, A., Naderpoor, N., Teede, H. J., De Courten, M. P., Scragg, R. and de Courten, B. (2015) Vitamin D and cardiometabolic risk factors and diseases. Minerva Endocrinol. 40, 213-230.

Refereed chapters

Browne, J., Escall, A., Jones, A., de Courten, M. and Hallam, K. T. (2015) Developing a Health Information Systems Approach to a Novel Student Health Clinic: Meeting the Educational and Clinical Needs of an Interprofessional Health Service. In Health Information Science. Springer.

De Courten, M. (2010) Classification of Diabetes. In The Evidence Base for Diabetes Care (edited by R. Williams, W. Herman, A.L. Kinmonth & N.J. Wareham). John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England.

Oldenburg, B., De Courten, M., Frean, E. (2010) The contribution of health psychology to the advancement of global health. In Handbook of Health Psychology (edited by J. Suls, K.W. Davidson, & R.K. Kaplan). Guilford Press.

Burton, R., Leowski, J. J., De Courten, M. (2010) Integrating cancer control with control of other non-communicable diseases. In Cancer Control (edited by M. Elwood & S.B. Sutcliffe). Oxford University Press.

De Courten, M. & Egger, G. (2008) The Epidemiology of Chronic Disease. In Lifestyle Medicine (edited by G. Egger, A. Binns & S. Rossner). McGraw-Hill, North Ryde, Australia.

Egger, G., Binns, A., Stephan, R. & De Courten, M. (2008) The big issue for society: tackling distal causes. In Lifestyle Medicine (edited by G. Egger, A. Binns & S. Rossner). McGraw-Hill, North Ryde, Australia.


De Courten, B., De Courten, M., Ukropec, J., Teede, H., Everaert, I., Derave, W., Aldini, G. and Ukropcova, B. (2015) 'Carnosine supplementation improved insulin resistance in overweight and obese humans'. 75th Scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association, A210.

Teaching responsibilities

Postgraduate research students and fellows


5 PhD students, 1 Dr PH student, 1 MPH student, 6 MIH students

Current supervision

4 PhD students, 1 Masters student

Research grants

2010-2015: Oldenburg B, Fisher E, Kadir K, Thankappan K, Anuar Z, de Courten M. NIH, Fogarty Millennium Promise Awards, Research Training Program. Building the Asian Non-Communicable Diseases Research Network for Regional Research Capacity ASCEND: $1,034,300

2010-2014: Bygbjerg I, Flemming K, de Courten M. Novo Nordisk Foundatio. Establishment Grant of the Global Public Health Unit at the Copenhagen School of Global Health: $3,000,000

2014: de Courten, M, Ngum Chi Watts, M, Van Uffelen, J. The integration of oral health with chronic disease prevention: current status, future potential: $140,000

2007-2011: McNeil J, Peeters A, Frederick B, Hollingsworth B, Nelson MR, de Courten M. NHMRC Health Services Strategic Grant. Epidemiological modelling of prevention; Health Service: $1,823,750

2009-2011: Peeters A, de Courten M, Bilsborough SA. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant. Global Corporate Challenge Evaluation: The evaluation of a low-cost, low-impact Physical activity workplace intervention: $113,000

2010-2011: de Courten B, Forbes J, Walker K, de Courten M. NHMRC, Project Grant. Will reduction of dietary AGEs reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals?: $234,700

2009-2011: Oldenburg B, Dunbar J, Reddy P, Audehm R, Johnson G, de Courten M, Wolfe R, Carter R, Absetz P, Zaini A. NIH. A controlled evaluation of the Australasian Peers for Progress Diabetes Program (PfP-DP) and its transferability to other countries: $1,253,000

2008-2010: Manderson, Oldenburg, Lin Hollingsworth, de Courten. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Strategic grant. Care-seeking, use of CAM, and self-management among people with Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: $782,300

2008: de Courten M, Oldenburg B, Keleher H. Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS). Development of evaluation frameworks to monitor impacts of physical activity and healthy eating health promotion programs: $99,000

2008: Yasin, S; Oldenburg, B, Solarsh, G, de Courten M. Monash Strategic Initiatives International Portfolio. Developing a New Approach for the Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease in Malaysia and Other Middle Income Countries: $30,000

2007-2008: Forbes AB, Peeters A, de Courten M. NHMRC, Project Grant. Fitness versus fatness: $245,874

Professional memberships

  • Foederatio Medicinae Helveticorum
  • Swiss Association Against High Blood Pressure
  • American Diabetes Association
  • European Association for the Study of Diabetes
  • Australian Society for the Study of Obesity
  • Australian Epidemiology Association, Australia

Industry experience

  • Board member for the Euro Health Group
  • Council Member for the Danish Global Health Minders
  • Co-chair of the subcommittee on education in Global Health of the European Academic GlobalHealth Alliance
  • Adjunct Professor, Monash University, Melbourne, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Consultant to the WHO European Regional Office on non-communicable disease (NCD) surveillance
  • Expert Advisor to the Health Project of the Millennium Challenge Account – Mongolia on chronic disease control and prevention
  • Expert Reviewer to the Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet on Global Health Research Grants 2012/2013
  • Reviewer of numerous professional Journals in the area of diabetes, hypertension, global health and chronic diseases
  • Member of the Lancet NCD Action Group
  • Co-Founder, and Trustee of the International Insulin Foundation, a UK registered charitable Foundation (Charity No. 10999032) to improve access to insulin for people with Type 1 diabetes in developing countries
  • Co-Founder and member of the Medical Screening Society, London.

Appearances in the media

Areas of expertise

  • Chronic disease surveillance with focus on assessment of risk factors
  • Clinical trials to test pathophysiological responses and potential of novel interventions to control NCDs
  • Community and/or workplace based health interventions to prevent and control chronic diseases
  • Implementation, evaluation and monitoring of complex public health interventions in the area of chronic disease prevention and control
  • Prevention of chronic diseases through public health policy approaches
  • Translation of clinical research evidence into public health implementation

Contact details