Diabesity - novel molecular targets for obesity and type 2 diabetes



Professor John Nolan Professor John Nolan
Metabolic Research Unit
Department of Clinical Medicine
Trinity College Dublin
St James’s Hospital
Phone: +353 1 416 2488
Professor John Nolan


Research Focus
The pathogenesis of Type 2 diabetes.  Mechanisms underlying insulin resistance, beta-cell failure, and new mechanisms for the treatment of these defects in pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Main Achievements
This group is focused on the integrative physiology of obesity, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.  We have established a clinical investigation group (the Metabolic Research Unit), currently based in Hospital 5, adjacent to and integrated with the Diabetes Day Centre.  This group conducts metabolic studies in human subjects, and clinical trials.  We are now developing the biochemical and molecular extension of these clinical studies at the IMM.  The group has been successfully funded since 1997 from a variety of sources including HRB, HEA (PRTLI), EU and industry.  Dr Maria Byrne (Research Senior Lecturer, Consultant Endocrinologist) and Dr Vivion Crowley (Consultant Chemical Pathologist) have recently joined the group.Populations

St James's is one of the busiest diabetes centres in Ireland with 6,000 patients, and 1,000 new patients per year. We have established studies in the following populations:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Patients with severe insulin resistance
  • Diabetes and Haemochromatosis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • First degree relatives of patients with diabetes
  • Pre-diabetes (IGT and IFG)
  • Healthy Controls
  • Children and adolescents
  • Early onset Type 2 diabetes (before age 25)
We have established a range of techniques in the clinical investigation of fuel metabolism, including:
  • Glucose clamp: A gold standard method to measure insulin sensitivity
  • IVGTT: This method allows a model-based calculation of insulin secretion and sensitivity
  • Muscle and adipose tissue biopsy: can be combined with the clamp, to analyse signalling, gene expression, protein expression
  • Glucose Turnover: Using isotopic tracers
  • Exercise Physiology: We have an exercise unit, run by graduate student Nicole Mag, where we can study the metabolic effects of varying forms of exercise in a range of settings and patient groups


Diabesity: Novel molecular targets for obesity and type 2 diabetes
  home | research | publications | members | events | about diabesity | press | links | contact us