Mater Researcher conferred title of Emeritus Professor alongside Lifetime Achievement Award 

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Endocrinologist and Mater Researcher David McIntyre has been conferred the title of Emeritus Professor in recognition of his outstanding commitment and contribution to The University of Queensland. 

An endocrinologist for more than 30 years, Professor McIntyre has also been recognised by the Australian Diabetes Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work dedicated to improving care in the field of women’s health and diabetes, particularly during pregnancy. 

Professor McIntyre says his most significant career achievement is the introduction of the DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) program to Australia. DAFNE is an intensive five-day course that empowers people with Type 1 diabetes to better understand the condition and take control of their lives. Since its introduction to Australia in 2005, over 2,000 Australians have completed the course. 

"DAFNE is an intensive insulin treatment for people with Type 1 diabetes that takes some of the guesswork out of managing diabetes, giving people more freedom,” Professor McIntyre said.  

“DAFNE teaches people with Type 1 diabetes to work out the amount of carbohydrate in their food and the right dose of insulin to take." 

After beginning his training as a resident medical officer at Mater Hospital Brisbane in 1982, he completed his endocrinology training in Queensland and in Belgium before returning to Mater as a specialist in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine in 1993, where he established a new sub-speciality service dealing with Diabetes and Endocrinology within the Mater Adult and Mater Mothers’ Hospitals. 

In 1998, he established and became Foundation Director of the Queensland Diabetes Centre (QDC) at Mater - the first tertiary centre for comprehensive diabetes care in Queensland - and was instrumental in introducing insulin pump therapy for people with Type 1 diabetes at Mater.  He established the Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic at Mater Hospital and was Director of Obstetric Medicine from 1999 to 2022. Professor McIntyre led Mater Research’s Mother and Baby Program from 2011 until 2016 and served on the Mater Reseach Board from 2011 to 2019.  

He has mentored over 40 trainees during his time at Mater Hospital Brisbane - many of whom now occupy senior clinical and academic positions – and thanks to his expertise and innovation, Mater Hospital Brisbane is proud to be an established site for advanced training in endocrinology and obstetric medicine. 

Professor McIntyre is passionate about ensuring that there is a succession plan to continue his life’s work for when he eventually retires. 

“Ensuring that there are enough specialist endocrinologists and obstetric medicine physicians at Mater to provide a sustained and consistent service for Queenslanders is very important to me,” Professor McIntyre said. 

“I’ve been honoured to be able to mentor some incredible Mater clinicians, such as Dr Jo Laurie, Dr Janelle Nisbet and Associate Professor Shelley Wilkinson who are skilled and motivated to progress work in the area of diabetes during pregnancy.”  

Associate Professor Shelley Wilkinson said that Professor McIntyre has been a generous advisor and collaborator on many projects she has worked on in the gestational diabetes space.  

“He has always been very gracious with his time and advice, as well as being very forthcoming and humorous,” Associate Professor Wilkinson said.  

Dr Jo Laurie congratulated and thanked Professor McIntyre for the 20 years of clinical and research mentorship he has given her as a mentor. 

“He has been an amazing advocate for women in medicine and can be relied upon to always give sage advice and tell entertaining stories!” Dr Laurie said. 

Throughout his entire career, Professor McIntyre’s main interest has always been diabetes during pregnancy, including both pre-existing and gestational diabetes.  

“One of the things I am most proud of is having developed a world-class service for women with diabetes in pregnancy,” he said. 

“Seeing women who were previously told that they shouldn't or couldn't fall pregnant go on to have successful pregnancies and enjoy motherhood is incredibly fulfilling.” 

Professor McIntyre is currently at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he is serving as an Honorary Skou Professor and Danish Diabetes Academy Visiting Professor, a position he has carried out during multiple visits since 2017. 

“It’s a wonderful research placement where I have a number of PhD students and I'm involved several clinical research projects,” he said. 

“I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Denmark and helped create their most recent gestational diabetes guidelines.” 

Whilst Professor McIntyre isn’t ready to retire just yet, he is very confident about his mentees taking over when he does. 

“I know that the endocrinology and obstetric medicine services at Mater will be in good hands when I do decide to retire."  

To learn more about Professor McIntyre, please click here.