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An aerial view example of the metabolic chamber, now open at ACU’s Melbourne campus (ACU)

The Australian Catholic University has opened its state-of-the-art human metabolic chamber – the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere – at its Melbourne campus in Fitzroy.

The new $5 million facility within ACU’s health precinct reinforces the university’s position at the forefront of global research into metabolic health, exercise, and diet.

Designed and built by the world-leading team from Maastricht Instruments in the Netherlands, it will revolutionise metabolic disorders research, ranging from obesity and type 2 diabetes to diseases underpinned by rare metabolic conditions.

The two-room chamber allows researchers to perform resting metabolic rate measurements, take blood and other tissue samples, and monitor a person overnight or over several days to study their metabolism, sleep patterns, and other health-related outcomes.

At the official opening, ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Zlatko Skrbis said the facility’s sophisticated technology will strengthen the university’s research capacity and unlock new avenues of research for academic, industry and government partners to become a catalyst for innovation and discovery.

“We celebrate not only the physical infrastructure of ACU’s health precinct but also the intellectual capital it represents—the brilliant minds, the relentless curiosity, and the unwavering dedication to advancing knowledge for the betterment of society within a thriving ecosystem of partners,” Professor Skrbis said.

“The establishment of the human metabolic chamber facility within this precinct signifies our commitment to fostering collaboration, strengthening our existing health research capacity, and translating research into tangible outcomes for people living with life-threatening conditions.”

The driving force behind the development of the chamber and director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Professor John Hawley, said the facility will boost ACU’s research capacity in many areas including the study of obesity, type 2 diabetes, sleep, circadian biology, and sports nutrition.


ACU opens new metabolic chamber the only one of its kind in southern hemisphere (ACU)