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Larkins, Richard Graeme (1943 - )

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Endocrinologist, Educator and Dean
Born: 17 May 1943

Richard Larkins' connection with medicine at the University of Melbourne spanned four decades, including medical training, Stewart Professor of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (1984-97) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (1998-2003).

During that time, he excelled in patient care, research and medical education.

He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Monash University in 2003.

Career Highlights

After undertaking medical training and a PhD in London, Richard Larkins started research on a model for non-insulin dependent diabetes in 1970. In an article in Nature he and colleague F.I.R. ('Skip') Martin demonstrated a unique defect in one form of spontaneous laboratory diabetes. Larkins then showed that this defect could be partially reversed by dietary restriction and control of blood glucose. This led to the realisation of a general characteristic of non-insulin dependent diabetes in humans.

Larkins subsequently demonstrated that the defect in insulin release was related to impaired glucose utilisation by the Islets of Langerhan in the pancreas. In the 1980s, he and Marjorie Dunlop demonstrated that panecreatic islets could synthesise phospholipids directly from glucose thus providing a link between glucose metabolism and insulin release. He was also involved in research that showed a relationship between prostaglandins and structural changes in the kidneys.

While Larkins revelled in research, he was also active in medical education and wrote, co-wrote or co-edited a number of textbooks.

After nearly five years as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Monash University in 2003.

"Richard fought for the University of Melbourne, the Department of Medicine, and the faculty, and I am sure he will use those skills to fight for Monash just as vigorously."
- Professor Bruce Singh at a farewell function to mark his departure to take up his Monash post in 2003.

1967 - 1969

Resident Medical Officer, Royal Melbourne Hospital.

1970 - 1972

Assistant Endocrinologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital.

1972 - 1974

Churchill Research Fellow, Hammersmith Hospital, London.

1974 - 1977

Physician to Endocrine Laboratory, Royal Melbourne Hospital.

1978 - 1983

First Assistant, Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital.

1978 - 1983

Director, Endocrine and Metabolic Unit, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.


Awarded Eric Susman Prize for Medical Research.

1982 - 1984

President, Endoctrine Society of Australia.


Publication of Textbook of Clinical Medicine: An Approach To Patients' Major Problems co-edited by Priscilla Kincaid-Smith, Larkins and Gregory Whelan.


Reader in Medicine, University of Melbourne.

1984 - 1997

Stewart Professor of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.


Publication of A Practical Approach to Endocrine Disorders

1991 - 1995

Chairman, Accreditation Committee of he Australian Medical Council.


Publication of Clinical Skills: The Medical Interview, Physical Examination And Assessment Of The Patient's Problems co-authored with Richard Smallwood.

1997 - 2000

Member, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council.

1997 - 2000

Member, Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

1997 - 2000

Chairman, National Health and Medical Research Council.

1998 - 2003

University of Melbourne Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Related Entries for Larkins, Richard Graeme


Professorial Chair

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Ann Westmore
Created: 19 September 2002
Modified: 23 May 2005

Published by Centre for the Study of Health and Society, 8 September 2003
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Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 12 January 2009

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