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    Research Facilities



    Physiology, Metabolism and Nutrition Research Group 

    The Physiology, Metabolism, and Nutrition (PMN) Group encompasses outstanding research expertise and facilities housed in the David Greenfield Human Physiology Unit (DGHPU) and analytical laboratories in the Division of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience of The School of Life Sciences. 

    The PMN research group conducts world-leading investigations into metabolic and physiological regulation. Our highly skilled team of academic researchers, doctors, nurses, and specialist research technicians, as well as our excellent facilities, provide us with the capabilities to deliver a broad range of research studies involving human volunteers. The PMN group analytical laboratories within the Medical School allow for specialist analytical techniques to be carried out by our highly skilled technical research specialists.  

    We actively collaborate with researchers, particularly in the School of Medicine and the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (which includes the School of Life Sciences as an active member). 



    David Greenfield Human Physiology Unit

    Location: Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre (B7)

    Our bespoke in vivo human research unit includes: 

    David Greenfield Human Physiology Unit Laboratory
    Exercise Physiology Laboratories

    The labs are equipped with:

    • Isokinetic cycle ergometers 
    • Motor driven treadmills allowing exercise on both an incline and decline 
    • Magnetic Resonance-compatible ergometers (for small and large muscle group investigation) 
    • Breath-by-breath indirect calorimeters 
    • Isokinetic resistance exercise dynamometers 
    • Intramuscular electromyography 
    • Rapid response venous and capillary blood sample analysers for determination of lactate, glucose, lipid profile, creatine kinase, haemoglobin, haematocrit and blood gases 
    • Heart rate monitors 
    • Automated blood pressure, ECG and pulse oximetry monitors 
    • Physical activity monitors  
    • Laptops with specialist software for nutritional and MRI analysis 
    Resting Metabolism Laboratory 

    We have a five-bed resting metabolism ward equipped with ventilated hood indirect calorimeters, high-specification ultrasound machines, beat-by-beat blood pressure equipment (Finometry) and blood analysers. 

    This lab has the capability to conduct: 

    • Hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamps 

    • Intravenous infusion and oral administration of nutrients and stable isotopes of amino acids, fatty acids and glucose 

    • Short term bed rest and immobilisation studies 

    • Resting metabolism measures in longitudinal exercise training and nutritional intervention studies 

    • Acute nutritional interventions 

    • Bergstrom needle muscle biopsy and Bard micro-biopsy muscle sampling 

    • Adipose fat sampling 

    • Plethysmography 

    Research Gym 

    State-of-the-art gym with free weights, resistance exercise equipment, and cycle ergometers providing capability for various exercise training protocols. 

    Screening Rooms

     Our screening rooms are used to provide in-depth assessments prior to research participation and are equipped to provide capability for: 

    • Venepuncture 

    • 12-lead Electrocardiography 

    • Automated blood pressure 

    • Anthropometry assessments (stadiometers, Seca weigh scales, skinfold calipers, bioelectrical impedance) 

    Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry Facility 

    The dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) laboratory houses a GE Lunar Prodigy DEXA scanner and allows the investigation of body composition and bone density.

    Biological Sample Preparation Laboratory 

    Sample preparation laboratory allows for processing of blood, saliva, and muscle for subsequent analysis. 

    This lab is equipped with: 

    • Chilled centrifuges 

    • Facilities for muscle, fat, and blood processing 

    • Microscopes for single muscle fibre isolation 

    • Sample storage: -4 oC, -20oC and -80oC   

    Analytical Laboratory

    Analytical Laboratories

    Location: D Floor and E Floor, Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre

    Laboratory Techniques

    Our laboratories are equipped to provide capability for:

    • General protein, DNA and RNA quantification using In-house extraction assays and Spectroscopy (Visible and UV). 

    • Specific protein quantification (detecting changes in the levels of specific protein molecules among a mixture of proteins) using Western blotting. 

    • Gene expression analysis (detecting changes in the level of expression of specific genes) using Real-time PCR. 

    • Live cell imaging (studying living cells over some time) and Fixed Cell imaging (studying lipid accumulation in muscle cells) using Fluorescence Microscopy. 

    • Substrate and metabolite analysis using a variety of techniques including spectrophotometry, fluorimetry, ELISAs, magnetic bead flow cytometry, and in-house radiochemical assays. 

    • Mitochondrial respiration measurements using respirometry and luminescence. 




    Physiology, Metabolism & Nutrition Research Group

    David Greenfield Human Physiology Unit
    School of Life Sciences
    Medical School
    University of Nottingham
    Nottingham, NG7 2UH