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Paul Greenhaff

Professor of Muscle Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


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    Queen's Medical Centre
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Paul Greenhaff is a member of the Division of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham (UoN), deputy director of the Medical Research Council (MRC)/Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, and an active member of the ARUK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. Paul is also the metabolism stand lead for the Musculoskeletal Disease theme of the Nottingham NIHR BRC, heads the Research Priority Area in Musculoskeletal Health in Ageing and Wellbeing at the University of Nottingham, and is a board member of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine-East Midlands.

Paul has an international research reputation centred on the loss of muscle mass and the dysregulation of metabolism in immobilisation, inflammation, ageing and disease, and strategies (including exercise, nutrition and pharmacological interventions) to offset these effects. He has published >160 original full (non-review) scientific papers (H-index: 49), numerous review articles and book chapters, and is a past recipient of the Scientific Achievement Award of the Society for Guanidino Compounds in Biology and Medicine.

Paul has served as a core member of BBSRC Research Committee A, and on the editorial board of a number of international physiology research journals (current editorial board membersip: Acta Physiologica, The Journal of Physiology and the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, and of the Scientific Board of the European College of Sports Science). Paul's research leadership is exemplified by having supervised 27 PhD students to completion (1991-present; the majority of whom are employed in academic, industry, government, and NHS research organisations), and maintaining continuous research funding for 25 years from government, charities and industry. He is a named inventor on several musculoskeletal related patents filed by UoN, and has been hired as an industry consultant on many occasions (sport and clinical nutrition, and exercise).

Expertise Summary

Skeletal muscle mass regulation and muscle fuel metabolism.

Research Summary


Skeletal muscle metabolism, growth and atrophy in health and disease.

Skeletal muscle fatigue in health and disease.

Acute and chronic nutritional, physiological and pharmacological strategies to alter skeletal muscle metabolism and function.


Determination of skeletal muscle function in vivo and ex vivo using a variety of approaches.

Biochemical characterisation of skeletal muscle intermediary metabolism (spectrophotometry, fluorimetry and luminesence).

mRNA and protein determination in anabolic and catabolic skeletal muscle (Taqman, Microarray, Western blotting).

Research Projects

Structural and metabolic determinants of sarcopenia and efficacy of concentric vs. eccentric exercise training: a novel temporospatial approach. BBSRC 2014 - 2017 (with Prof M Narici (PI), Dr K Smith, Dr P Atherton, Dr N Szewczyk).

Determination of the time-course of development of insulin resistance, and associated molecular and muscular adaptations, during prolonged bed-rest. BBSRC 2016 - 2018(with Prof IA Macdonald (PI), Prof M Narici, Dr Nathaniel Szewczyk, Dr Francis Stephens).

Non-invasive, real time quantification of skeletal muscle metabolism during exercise in healthy volunteers using Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation magnetic resonance spectroscopy. MRC-CiC 2016-2018 (with Dr S Serres, Prof. P Gowland, Prof. D Auer).

The impact of trauma and related inflammation on skeletal muscle fuel and protein metabolism. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory 2017-2018 (with Dr D Constantin-Teodosiu D).

Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (Musculoskeletal Disease theme) 2017-2022 (Walsh theme lead, Metabolism strand lead PLG).

MRC/Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research 2017-2022(with J Lord PI).

Non-invasive approaches to identify the cause of fatigue in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Crohn's and Colitis UK 2017-2020 (with G Moran (PI), S Serres, S Francis).

Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. 2018-2023 (with M Batt PI)

Local Academic Collaborators

  • Dr Phil Atherton
  • Dr. Tim Constantin-Teodosiu
  • Dr Sue Francis
  • Professor Penny Gowland
  • Professor Ian Macdonald
  • Dr Ken Smith
  • Professor Brigitte Scammell
  • Dr Nate Szewczyk

Local Clinical Collaborators

  • Professor John Gladman (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Dileep Lobo (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor John Lund (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Mick Steiner (University of Leicester)

Selected Publications

Future Research

Regulation of skeletal muscle energy metabolism invivo and the significance that this has on muscle growth and function in the context of acute and chronic exercise intervention in health and disease utilising animal models and human volunteers.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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