A world-renowned scientist whose research spans why locusts swarm to the dietary causes of ageing and human obesity has been appointed Academic Director of the University of Sydney's new multidisciplinary centre specialising in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Professor Stephen Simpson is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences and a scientific adviser to Obesity Australia.

The new centre, to be known as the Charles Perkins Centre will research solutions to the alarming levels of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Australia and worldwide.


Professor  Simpson said the Charles Perkins Centre would innovate and challenge existing approaches to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


"The centre will integrate and enhance existing research across the University in an effort to address and solve the huge social and health costs arising from these metabolic diseases, which we believe can be prevented," he said.


"We are committed to improving health outcomes not just here in Australia, but around the world."


Professor Simpson's research integrates techniques and ideas from humanities, physical, medical and biological systems, including the most extensive study to date into whether calories or nutrient balance is responsible for ageing and longevity.


The University of Sydney is investing $385 million to build a research and education facility behind the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital site. It will serve as a central research and education hub supporting the broader University network.


The centre's core strategy is a commitment to cross-disciplinary partnerships and collaborations. It supports research and education across a diverse mix of disciplines including agriculture, architecture, law, psychology, sociology and business, physics, chemistry, biomedical sciences, imaging, clinical research and health policy.