Sports and Exercise Medicine

Image of Paul Greenhaff

Paul Greenhaff

Professor of Muscle Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


  • workRoom D65a The University of Nottingham Medical School
    Queen's Medical Centre
    NG7 2UH
  • work0115 82 30133
  • fax0115 82 30103


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)-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, and the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis. Paul is also the metabolism stand lead for the Musculoskeletal Disease theme of the Nottingham NIHR BRC, and a board member of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine-East Midlands.

Paul's research interests are centred on the loss of muscle mass and the dysregulation of muscle metabolism in ageing, immobilisation, acute trauma and inflammation and chronic disease, and strategies (including exercise, nutrition and pharmacological interventions) to offset these negative and pathophysiological effects. He has published >180 peer-reviewed publications to date (H-index = 79, total citations 24,091 (Google Scholar), and numerous review articles and book chapters. He is also a named inventor on musculoskeletal related patents filed by the University of Nottingham.

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 membership: Acta Physiologica, The Journal of Physiology and the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports). Paul's research leadership is exemplified by having supervised >30 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 30 years from government, charities and industry.

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

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 2016-2019 (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 2017-2019 (with Dr D Constantin-Teodosiu D).

Examining the impact of inactivity and diet on muscle health with age in C. elegans. BBSRC 2018 - 2021 (with Prof N Szewczyk PI, and Dr D Constantin-Teodosiu).

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

MRC/Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research 2017-2022 (with Prof 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 Dr G Moran (PI), Dr S Serres, Prof S Francis).

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

Evaluating protein dose requirements for women in ground close combat roles. Ministry of Defence. 2018 - 2019 (with Prof P Atherton, Dr D Wilkinson).

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 Guru Aithal (University of Nottingham
  • Professor John Gladman (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Dileep Lobo (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor John Lund (University of Nottingham)
  • Dr Ben Ollivere (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.

Sports and Exercise Medicine Group

School of Medicine
The University of Nottingham
Queen's Medical Centre, C Floor, West Block
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

telephone: +44 (0) 115 823 1111