• Role: Honorary Research Associate

Dr Morag Young is a leading authority on the role of hormones, such as mineralocorticoid (MR) signalling mechanisms, in cardiovascular disease. Dr Young completed a CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Baker Institute of Medical Research and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, USA. Her studies performed in the late Keith Parker’s laboratory on SF-1 null mice enabled animals unable to produce steroid hormones to survive, opening up studies in adults on the role of the orphan nuclear receptor SF-1. These studies identified an important novel role for SF-1 in the brain and in the control of leptin signalling. Dr Young continued working with transgenic mouse models and steroid hormone signalling upon her return to Dr Tim Cole’s laboratory at the Baker Institute and also returned to her doctoral work on cardiac remodelling with Professor John Funder.

Dr Young joined the Prince Henry’s Institute (now Hudson Institute of Medical Research) in 2002 as a Senior Research Officer and established the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory in 2005. Dr Young’s research has discovered that mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation in the heart drives cardiac fibrosis and inflammation, which leads to heart failure. Her work has been validated by several large clinical trials but the use of MR antagonists is limited by significant renal side effects (hyperkalaemia). She received the Best Basic Research Paper published in Hypertension in 2009 from the American Heart Association for her work on the role MR in macrophages and regulation of cardiac remodelling and blood pressure control. Dr Young’s work has been funded by six NHMRC project grants (four of them as CIA) as well as by industry, the National Heart Foundation and philanthropic organisations.

Dr Young’s research team comprises three PhD students, two post doctoral fellows and a senior research assistant. This team includes two Endocrine Fellows (FRACP). Several high profile awards have been received by students while training with Dr Young including an NHMRC/INSERM training fellowship, a commendation for the ASMR Victorian Premier’s Award, the Novartis New investigator Award (ESA) and an RACP Post Doctoral Fellowship.

Dr Young serves as a Senior Editor for The Journal of Endocrinology and the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology and the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and also held editorial roles for Endocrinology and Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is an appointed member of the Faculty of 1000, Physiology.

Selected publications

  • Peer Reviewed

    Yao Y, Rogerson F, Young MJ, Fuller PJ. Identification and characterization of a ligand selective mineralocorticoid receptor coactivator FASEB Epub

  • Armani A, Cinti F, Marzolla V, Morgan J, Cranston GA ,Antelmi A, Carpinelli G, Canese R, Pagotto U, Quarta C,Malorni W, Matarrese P, Marconi M , Fabbri A, Rosano G, Cinti S, Young MJ (equal last author), Caprio M. Mineralocorticoid Receptor antagonism counters metabolic dysfunctions induced by high fat diet in mice, through browning of the adipose organ. FASEB, Epub.

  • Lazarus KA, Brown KA, Young MJ, Zhao Z, Coulson R, Chand AL, Clyne CD. Conditional over-expression of Liver Receptor Homolog -1 in female mouse mammary epithelium results in altered mammary morphogenesis via the induction of TGF-beta. Endocrinology, 155(5):1606-17.

  • Huang LL, Nikolic-Paterson DJ, Han Y, Ozols E, Ma F, Young MJ, Tesch GH. Myeloid mineralocorticoid receptor activation contributes to progressive kidney disease. J Am Soc Nephrol (JASN-2012-11-1094, Epub).

  • Shen JZ, Morgan J, Tesch GH, Fuller PJ, Young MJ. Macrophage MR signaling regulates systolic blood pressure and cardiovascular remodelling. Endocrinology. 155(3):1057-66.

  • Rickard AJ, Morgan J, Chrissobolis’ S, Miller AA, Sobey, CG, Young MJ (2014) Endothelial cell mineralocorticoid receptors regulate DOC/salt-mediated cardiac remodeling and vascular reactivity, but not blood pressure. Hypertension 63(5):1033-40. Selected for Editorial Comment IF=6.8.

  • Rickard AJ, Morgan J, Bienvenu LA, Fletcher EK, Cranston GA, Shen JZ, Reichelt ME, Delbridge LM, Young MJ (2012) Cardiomyocyte MR signaling is essential for DOC/salt-mediated cardiac fibrosis and blood pressure regulation. Hypertension. 60:1443-50. IF=6.8.

  • Bienvenu LA, Morgan J, Tesch GH, Cranston GA, Fletcher EK, Delbridge LM, Young MJ (2012) Macrophage mineralocorticoid receptor signaling plays a key role in aldosterone-independent cardiac fibrosis. Endocrinology. 153(7):3416-25. IF=4.993

  • Mellor KM, Bell JR, Young MJ, Ritchie RH, Delbridge LM (2011) Myocardial autophagy activation and suppressed survival signaling is associated with insulin resistance in fructose-fed mice. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 50(6):1035-43. IF= 5.499 CI=3

  • Lim AK, Ma FY, Nikolic-Paterson DJ, Ozols E, Young MJ, Bennett BL, Friedman GC, Tesch GH (2011) Evaluation of JNK Blockade as an Early Intervention Treatment for Type 1 Diabetic Nephropathy in Hypertensive Rats. Am J Nephrol. 26;34(4):337-346. IF= 2.658

  • Young MJ, Morgan J, Brolin K, et al (2010) Activation of Mineralocorticoid Receptors by Exogenous Glucocorticoids and the Development of Cardiovascular Inflammatory Responses in Adrenalectomized Rats. Endocrinology. 51(6): 2622-2628 IF= 4.993 CI= 2

  • Yang J, Chang CY, Safi R, Morgan J, McDonnell DP, Fuller PJ, Clyne CD, Young MJ (2011) Identification of ligand-selective peptide antagonists of the mineralocorticoid receptor using phage display. Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Jan;25(1):32-43. IF= 4.889 CI=1

  • Clyne CD, Chang CY, Safi R, Fuller PJ, McDonnell DP, Young MJ (2009) Purification and characterization of recombinant human mineralocorticoid receptor. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 10;302(1):81-5. IF= 4.119 CI=5

  • Wilson P, Morgan J, Funder JW, Fuller PJ, Young MJ (2009) Mediators of mineralocorticoid receptor-induced profibrotic inflammatory responses in the heart. Clin Sci. 116(9):731-9. IF=4.613 CI=6

  • Rickard AJ, Morgan J, Tesch G, Funder JW, Fuller PJ, Young MJ (2009) Deletion of mineralocorticoid receptors from macrophages protects against DOC/salt-induced cardiac fibrosis and hypertension. Hypertension. 54(3):537-43. CI=53 IF=6.8.

  • Selected Invited reviews

    Editorial: Young MJ (Chief Guest Editor) Fuller PJ, Stowasser M, Mihailidou AS (2013) Frontiers in Science Review Series. Aldosterone and salt; heart and kidney, A symposium of the 24th International Society of Hypertension, 2012 Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 40(12):872–875

  • * Young MJ (2013) Targeting the mineralocorticoid receptor in cardiovascular disease. Expert Opinion in Therapeutic Targets 17(3):321-31

  • Bienvenu LA, Reichelt ME, Delbridge LMD, Young MJ (2013) Mineralocorticoid receptors and the heart, multiple cell types and multiple mechanisms – a focus on the cardiomyocyte. Clinical Science. 125(9):409-21

  • *Shen JZ, Young MJ (2012) Minireview: Corticosteroids, heart failure and hypertension; a role for immune cells? Endocrinology 153(12):5692-700

  • Dinh QN, Arumugam TV, Young MJ, Drummond GR, Sobey CG, Chrissobolis S (2012) Aldosterone and the mineralocorticoid receptor in the cerebral circulation and stroke. Experimental & Translational Stroke Medicine 30;4(1):21

  • *Young MJ, Rickard AJ (2011). Mechanisms of mineralocorticoid salt-induced hypertension and cardiac fibrosis.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 2011 Sep 10

  • Mineralocorticoids in Melbourne, more than just physiology. Australian Biochemist 38: 4-7

  • *Young MJ (2007) Novel mechanisms of mineralocorticoid receptor activation and cardiac fibrosis. Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. 17:174-180

  • *Yang J, Young MJ (2009) The Mineralocorticoid Receptor and its Coregulators. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 43: 53-64

  • Book Chapters

    Fuller PJ, Young MJ (2014) In: 7th Edition Jameson and De Groot: Chapter 101 Endocrinology: Adult and Paediatric. Aldosterone secretion and action