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We work to understand how hormones regulate metabolic health in liver, fat and skeletal muscle. Our research has helped to define the role of ‘pre-receptor’ hormone metabolism in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease and has contributed to the development of novel interventions with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.

Understanding metabolic function in liver, fat and muscle.
Understanding metabolic function in liver, fat and muscle.

We deliver a truly translational program of research; our aim is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which steroid hormones modulate metabolic phenotype including lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as insulin signalling and action in liver, adipose tissue and muscle. The group uses in vitro cell culture models, generates and characterizes rodent models and translates these findings through to state-of-the-art metabolic clinical studies in healthy and obese individuals and those with type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

More specifically and adopting a translational approach incorporating both basic science and clinical research, we continue to explore the role of pre-receptor regulation of steroid hormone action through manipulation (genetic and pharmacological) of expression and activity of the enzymes including the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and the A-ring reductases (5α-reductase and 5β-reductase) that have the ability to increase or decrease local steroid hormone availability. 

Through the support of a recently awarded 5-year MRC programme grant, we can ensure that we continue to deliver the highest quality research. In collaboration with both world-leading national and international scientists and clinicians with complementary expertise, we aim to answer our research questions and translate basic science into the clinical setting.

Our team

Selected publications


Prof Leanne Hodson – OCDEM – University of Oxford – United Kingdom

Prof Fredrik Karpe – OCDEM – University of Oxford – United Kingdom

Prof Wiebke Arlt – IMSR – University of Birmingham – United Kingdom

Prof Oliver Rider – Cardiovascular Medicine – University of Oxford – United Kingdom

Prof Stefan Neubauer – Cardiovascular Medicine – University of Oxford – United Kingdom

Dr Jeremy Cobbold – John Radcliffe Hospital – Oxford – United kingdom

Prof Udo Oppermann – NDORMS – University of Oxford – United Kingdom

Prof Trevor Penning – University of Pennsylvania - USA

Lab alumni

Dr. Ahmad Moolla

Dr. Jonathan Hazlehurst

Dr Laura Gathercole

Dr Conor Woods

Related research themes