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Patient volunteers are critical to successful medical research. They are the people who offer their valuable time to help researchers better understand diseases, trial new treatments and hopefully one day in the future, find cures.

For 71-year-old Michael Chiew from Burnside, being a volunteer patient involved in Type 2 Diabetes studies, was a very easy decision.

Born in Malaysia, Michael moved to Adelaide for his high school education and also attended Adelaide University, a time when he met his wife who currently works as a nurse.

Once he retired from running a Teppanyaki Restaurant, the first of its kind in Adelaide, Michael decided to use his free time to volunteer to help the community in a number of ways. One of these included becoming a patient in clinical trials run by Dr Tongzhi Wu at the CRE in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health.

“My father had diabetes and then I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes over 10 years ago. Apparently it can be quite common in the Asian population – it’s suggested this could be related to the diet, which includes a lot of rice,” Michael said.

“A couple of years ago, I was very interested to hear about what the Centre is doing here in Adelaide – I was very happy to become a patient involved in their studies.

“By being involved in these types of research projects, I may be able to find a benefit for myself, as well as people in the community.

“I’ve now been involved in two studies here at the Centre and the current one involves having a tube placed inside the gut for administration of nutrients into the different areas of the intestine – but these types of procedures help the researchers better understand how the gut facilitates blood sugar control. This then provides important knowledge for developing dietary intervention for diabetes, so I’m happy to offer my time.

“I think research is very important to find out any cures or other ways to improve people’s lives.”

Michael lives with his wife and has two daughters and two grandchildren who live in Melbourne. Since retirement he spends his time exploring the world, keeping healthy with regular exercise and keeping to a strict diet when he can.

We’d like to thank Michael for offering his time to be involved in these studies.

For more information on participating in a trial at the CRE in Translating Nutritional Science, please click here     or phone 8222 2960.

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