Dr Carolyn Greig MSc PhD

Dr Carolyn Greig

Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Ageing

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Greig is a translational scientist with research interests in the influence of use, disuse, age and disease on human skeletal muscle mass and function. She is particularly research active in nutritional, physical activity and pharmacological interventions to maintain muscle mass in older healthy men and women and in frail patient groups.  


BSc (Hons) University of Newcastle 1981

MSc University of London King’s College 1982

PhD Council for National Academic Awards 1988 (funded by the Sports Council of Great Britain)


Dr Greig graduated from Newcastle University (BSc Hons Physiology in 1981) and obtained an MSc in Human and Applied Physiology at King's College London (1982) and a Sports Council funded PhD from the Polytechnic of North London (1988). Following 2 years as a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at St Mary's College of Higher Education, Strawberry Hill, she joined Prof Archie Young at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine as a Lecturer in Human and Applied Physiology in the Department of Geriatric Medicine. She created a Human Performance Laboratory and embarked on a programme of work based on development of methods of measurement and strategies to improve physical performance and functional ability in older people. During this time she trained the field workers who made the functional ability measurements included in the English National Fitness Survey, supervised MSc and PhD students and was the first non-clinical recipient of the Dhole Bursary of the British Geriatrics Society. 

From 1992-2000 she took a career break and moved to Edinburgh where she worked as a part-time visiting lecturer at Queen Margaret University before resuming her research career at Edinburgh University (2000-2012) as a Research Fellow before taking up her present position within the prestigious MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research at the University of Birmingham. Since 2000 Dr Greig has been a grantholder on >£2M of research funding and has authored over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and review articles.


Dr Greig’s research is focussed on the maintenance of muscle mass and function in older healthy men and women and in frail patient groups (including upper GI cancer, stroke). She is particularly interested in the following areas: responsiveness to physical activity/ nutritional/ pharmacological interventions; molecular, biochemical and functional (imaging) biomarker discovery and evaluation; the influence of glucocorticoids on regulation of muscle mass; measurement of muscle protein synthesis; direct monitoring of physical activity.

Current research projects

  1. Responsiveness of older muscle to resistance exercise training and protein/ essential amino acid supplementation (MRC-ARUK Centre PhD studentship Danielle Thomas, collaborators Dr Phil Atherton/ Dr Ken Smith, University of Nottingham).
  2. Impact of lifestyle modifications on function and health related quality of life in older individuals with sarcopenic obesity (PhD studentship Christos Theodorakopoulos collaborator and principal supervisor Dr Elaine Bannerman, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh).
  3. Molecular and functional biomarkers for skeletal muscle frailty (main collaborators Prof KCH Fearon, Prof JA Ross, Prof A MacLullich University of Edinburgh; Dr I Gallagher University of Stirling; Dr H Wackerhage University of Aberdeen).
  4. Direct objective physical activity monitoring as an outcome for studies of healthy ageing/ cancer cachexia (collaborators Dr E Ferriolli University of Sao Paolo; Dr S Chastin Glasgow Caledonian University).
  5. Magnetic Resonance Elastography/ 3T MR protocol development (Edinburgh University small project grant and Moray Endowment fund, collaborators Dr Calum Gray, Prof Neil Roberts Dr S Semple, P Kennedy).
  6. Comparison of MR and DXA derived estimates of muscle mass (collaborators Dr Peter Tothill and Dr Calum Gray, University of Edinburgh).
  7. Using pedometers to promote physical activity in patients after stroke (Stroke Association PhD Fellowship to Sarah Nicholson, collaborator and principal supervisor Prof GE Mead, University of Edinburgh).
  8. Clinical trials in sarcopenia: Advisor Phase III trial nutritional supplementation in elderly community dwelling men and women (Danone Nutricia).

Other activities

Dr Greig is the current lead of the Physiological Society’s Human and Exercise themed group and a co-opted member of the Meetings Committee. She is also a member of the Society for Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders. She reviews for a number of journals and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.


The Human Urinary Proteome Fingerprint Database UPdb. Husi H, Barr JB, Skipworth RJ, Stephens NA, Greig CA, Wackerhage H, Barron R, Fearon KC, Ross JA. Int J Proteomics. 2013;2013:760208. doi: 10.1155/2013/760208. Epub 2013 Oct 9.PMID: 24222850

Responsiveness of muscle size and strength to physical training in very elderly people: A systematic review. Stewart VH, Saunders DH, Greig CA. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Oct 24. doi: 10.1111/sms.12123. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24151875

Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Saunders DH, Sanderson M, Brazzelli M, Greig CA, Mead GE. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Oct 21;10:CD003316. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003316.pub5. PMID: 24142492

CT and Clinical Predictors of Fatigue at One Month after Stroke. Kutlubaev MA, Shenkin SD, Farrall AJ, Duncan FH, Lewis SJ, Greig CA, Dennis MS, Wardlaw JM, Maclullich AM, Mead GE. Cerebrovasc Dis Extra. 2013 Mar 22;3(1):26-34. doi: 10.1159/000347113. PMID: 24052792

Exercise for depression. Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, Lawlor DA, Rimer J, Waugh FR, McMurdo M, Mead GE. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Sep 12;9:CD004366. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub6. PMID: 24026850

A novel oral tracer procedure for measurement of habitual myofibrillar protein synthesis. MacDonald AJ, Small AC, Greig CA, Husi H, Ross JA, Stephens NA, Fearon KC, Preston T. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2013 Aug 15;27(15):1769-77. doi: 10.1002/rcm.6622. PMID: 23821570

A systematic review of perceived barriers and motivators to physical activity after stroke.
Nicholson S, Sniehotta FF, van Wijck F, Greig CA, Johnston M, McMurdo ME, Dennis M, Mead GE.
Int J Stroke. 2012 Sep 13. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00880.x. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 22974010

Is tissue cross-talk important in cancer cachexia? Johns N, Greig C, Fearon KC. Crit Rev Oncog. 2012;17(3):263-76. Review. PMID: 22831157

Exercise for depression.Rimer J, Dwan K, Lawlor DA, Greig CA, McMurdo M, Morley W, Mead GE.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jul 11;7:CD004366. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub5. Review. PMID: 22786489

Physical fitness training for patients with stroke: updated review.Brazzelli M, Saunders DH, Greig CA, Mead GE. Stroke. 2012 Apr;43(4):e39-e40. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 22567668

Suppression of skeletal muscle turnover in cancer cachexia: evidence from the transcriptome in sequential human muscle biopsies. Gallagher IJ, Stephens NA, MacDonald AJ, Skipworth RJ, Husi H, Greig CA, Ross JA, Timmons JA, Fearon KC. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 May 15;18(10):2817-27. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2133. Epub 2012 Mar 27. PMID: 22452944

The use of pedometers in stroke survivors: are they feasible and how well do they detect steps?
Carroll SL, Greig CA, Lewis SJ, McMurdo ME, Sniehotta FF, Johnston M, Johnston DW, Scopes J, Mead GE. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Mar;93(3):466-70. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.08.047. PMID: 22373934

Sexual dimorphism modulates the impact of cancer cachexia on lower limb muscle mass and function. Stephens NA, Gray C, MacDonald AJ, Tan BH, Gallagher IJ, Skipworth RJ, Ross JA, Fearon KC, Greig CA. Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.12.008. Epub 2012 Jan 31.
PMID: 22296872

Physical activity monitoring: a responsive and meaningful patient-centered outcome for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy? Ferriolli E, Skipworth RJ, Hendry P, Scott A, Stensteth J, Dahele M, Wall L, Greig C, Fallon M, Strasser F, Preston T, Fearon KC. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Jun;43(6):1025-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.06.013. Epub 2012 Jan 24. PMID: 22269181

Fatigue after stroke: a systematic review of associations with impaired physical fitness.
Duncan F, Kutlubaev MA, Dennis MS, Greig C, Mead GE. Int J Stroke. 2012 Feb;7(2):157-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2011.00741.x. Review. PMID: 22264369

Relationship between sedentary behaviour, physical activity, muscle quality and body composition in healthy older adults. Chastin SF, Ferriolli E, Stephens NA, Fearon KC, Greig C. Age Ageing. 2012 Jan;41(1):111-4. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afr075. Epub 2011 Jul 12. No abstract available. PMID: 21749993 Free Article

Detecting and categorizing frailty status in older adults using a self-report screening instrument.
Barreto Pde S, Greig C, Ferrandez AM. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 May-Jun;54(3):e249-54. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Sep 1. PMID: 21889807

Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Brazzelli M, Saunders DH, Greig CA, Mead GE. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Nov 9;(11):CD003316. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003316.pub4. Review. PMID: 22071806

The advantages and limitations of cross-sectional body composition analysis. MacDonald AJ, Greig CA, Baracos V. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2011 Dec;5(4):342-9. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e32834c49eb. Review. PMID: 21986910

Blunting of adaptive responses to resistance exercise training in women over 75y. Greig CA, Gray C, Rankin D, Young A, Mann V, Noble B, Atherton PJ. Exp Gerontol. 2011 Nov;46(11):884-90. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.07.010. Epub 2011 Jul 28. PMID: 21821111

Intramyocellular lipid droplets increase with progression of cachexia in cancer patients. Stephens NA, Skipworth RJ, Macdonald AJ, Greig CA, Ross JA, Fearon KC. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2011 Jun;2(2):111-117. Epub 2011 May 31. PMID: 21766057 Free PMC Article

Proteomic analysis of urinary upper gastrointestinal cancer markers. Husi H, Stephens N, Cronshaw A, MacDonald A, Gallagher I, Greig C, Fearon KC, Ross JA. Proteomics Clin Appl. 2011 Jun;5(5-6):289-99. doi: 10.1002/prca.201000107. Epub 2011 Apr 28. PMID: 21538913

Serum concentrations of myostatin and myostatin-interacting proteins do not differ between young and sarcopenic elderly men. Ratkevicius A, Joyson A, Selmer I, Dhanani T, Grierson C, Tommasi AM, DeVries A, Rauchhaus P, Crowther D, Alesci S, Yaworsky P, Gilbert F, Redpath TW, Brady J, Fearon KC, Reid DM, Greig CA, Wackerhage H. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011 Jun;66(6):620-6. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr025. Epub 2011 Mar 7. PMID: 21382886

Is fatigue after stroke associated with physical deconditioning? A cross-sectional study in ambulatory stroke survivors. Lewis SJ, Barugh AJ, Greig CA, Saunders DH, Fitzsimons C, Dinan-Young S, Young A, Mead GE. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011 Feb;92(2):295-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.10.030. PMID:  21272727

Magnetic resonance imaging with k-means clustering objectively measures whole muscle volume compartments in sarcopenia/cancer cachexia. Gray C, MacGillivray TJ, Eeley C, Stephens NA, Beggs I, Fearon KC, Greig CA. Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;30(1):106-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.07.012. Epub 2010 Aug 19. PMID: 20727625

Can an NSAID a day keep muscle wasting away? Greig CA, Atherton PJ, Rennie MJ.
J Physiol. 2009 Dec 15;587(Pt 24):5799-800. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.184416. No abstract available. PMID: 20008469 Free PMC Article

Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Saunders DH, Greig CA, Mead GE, Young A.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD003316. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003316.pub3. Review. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(11):CD003316. PMID: 19821305

Exercise for depression. Mead GE, Morley W, Campbell P, Greig CA, McMurdo M, Lawlor DA.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jul 8;(3):CD004366. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub4. Review. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;7:CD004366. PMID: 19588354

3D freehand ultrasound for in vivo determination of human skeletal muscle volume.
MacGillivray TJ, Ross E, Simpson HA, Greig CA. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2009 Jun;35(6):928-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2008.11.013. Epub 2009 Jan 30. PMID: 19185972

Exercise for depression. Mead GE, Morley W, Campbell P, Greig CA, McMurdo M, Lawlor DA.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD004366. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub3. Review. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(3):CD004366. PMID: 18843656

Association of activity limitations and lower-limb explosive extensor power in ambulatory people with stroke. Saunders DH, Greig CA, Young A, Mead GE. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Apr;89(4):677-83. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.09.034. PMID: 18373998

Fatigue after stroke: the development and evaluation of a case definition. Lynch J, Mead G, Greig C, Young A, Lewis S, Sharpe M. J Psychosom Res. 2007 Nov;63(5):539-44. PMID: 17980228

Stroke: a randomized trial of exercise or relaxation. Mead GE, Greig CA, Cunningham I, Lewis SJ, Dinan S, Saunders DH, Fitzsimons C, Young A. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jun;55(6):892-9. PMID: 17537090

Evaluation of fatigue scales in stroke patients. Mead G, Lynch J, Greig C, Young A, Lewis S, Sharpe M.
Stroke. 2007 Jul;38(7):2090-5. Epub 2007 May 24. PMID: 17525397  Free Article

Oxygen uptake kinetics measured at the onset of comfortable self-paced walking in elderly women after hip fracture. Fitzsimons C, Simpson H, Young A, Greig C. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007 Jun;100(3):355-62. Epub 2007 Apr 12. PMID: 17429682

Skeletal muscle IGF-I isoform expression in healthy women after isometric exercise. Greig CA, Hameed M, Young A, Goldspink G, Noble B. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2006 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):373-6. Epub 2006 Nov 14. PMID: 17107821

Longitudinal changes in muscle strength and mass after acute stroke. Carin-Levy G, Greig C, Young A, Lewis S, Hannan J, Mead G. Cerebrovasc Dis. 2006;21(3):201-7. Epub 2006 Jan 9. PMID: 16401884

Responses to walking-speed instructions: implications for health promotion for older adults.
Fitzsimons CF, Greig CA, Saunders DH, Lewis SH, Shenkin SD, Lavery C, Young A. J Aging Phys Act. 2005 Apr;13(2):172-83. PMID: 15995263

Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Saunders DH, Greig CA, Young A, Mead GE. Stroke. 2004 Sep;35(9):2235. Epub 2004 Jul 15. Review. No abstract available.  PMID: 15256681 Free Article

Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Saunders DH, Greig CA, Young A, Mead GE. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD003316. Review. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(4):CD003316. PMID: 14974012

The trainability of elderly people. Greig C. Age Ageing. 2002 Jul;31(4):223-4. No abstract available.
PMID: 12147556 Free Article

Views of stroke patients on physical fitness training. Payne A, Greig C, Young A, Mead G. Age Ageing. 2001 Sep;30(5):429. No abstract available. PMID: 11709388 Free Article

Muscle function of women aged 65-89 years meeting two sets of health criteria. Skelton DA, Young A, Greig CA. Aging (Milano). 1997 Feb-Apr;9(1-2):106-11. PMID: 9177593

Effects of resistance training on strength, power, and selected functional abilities of women aged 75 and older. Skelton DA, Young A, Greig CA, Malbut KE. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Oct;43(10):1081-7.
PMID: 7560695

Strength, power and related functional ability of healthy people aged 65-89 years. Skelton DA, Greig CA, Davies JM, Young A. Age Ageing. 1994 Sep;23(5):371-7. PMID: 7825481

Exercise studies with elderly volunteers. Greig CA, Young A, Skelton DA, Pippet E, Butler FM, Mahmud SM. Age Ageing. 1994 May;23(3):185-9. PMID: 8085501

The quadriceps strength of healthy elderly people remeasured after eight years. Greig CA, Botella J, Young A. Muscle Nerve. 1993 Jan;16(1):6-10. PMID: 8423833

Treadmill walking in old age may not reproduce the real life situation. Greig C, Butler F, Skelton D, Mahmud S, Young A. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1993 Jan;41(1):15-8. PMID: 8418117

Short-stepping gait in severe heart failure. Davies SW, Greig CA, Jordan SL, Grieve DW, Lipkin DP. Br Heart J. 1992 Nov;68(5):469-72. PMID: 1467030 Free PMC Article

Novel exercise protocol suitable for use on a treadmill or a bicycle ergometer. Davies SW, Greig CA.
Br Heart J. 1992 May;67(5):422. No abstract available. PMID: 1389728 Free PMC Article

A controlled trial of community based coronary rehabilitation. Davies SW, Greig CA. Br Heart J. 1991 Jul;66(1):114-5. No abstract available. PMID: 1854568 Free PMC Article

Prevalence and severity of morbidity among Gujarati Asian elders: a controlled comparison.
Ebrahim S, Patel N, Coats M, Greig C, Gilley J, Bangham C, Stacey S. Fam Pract. 1991 Mar;8(1):57-62.
PMID: 2044874

The effect of oral supplementation with L-carnitine on maximum and submaximum exercise capacity. Greig C, Finch KM, Jones DA, Cooper M, Sargeant AJ, Forte CA. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1987;56(4):457-60. PMID: 3305002

Within-breath changes of airway calibre in patients with airflow obstruction by continuous measurement of respiratory impedance. Davidson RN, Greig CA, Hussain A, Saunders KB.
Br J Dis Chest. 1986 Oct;80(4):335-52. PMID: 3620321

Strength training and power output: transference effects in the human quadriceps muscle.
Rutherford OM, Greig CA, Sargeant AJ, Jones DA. J Sports Sci. 1986 Autumn;4(2):101-7.
PMID: 3586102