Professor Wiebke Arlt MD DSc FRCP FMedSci

Professor Wiebke Arlt

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Honorary Professor

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+44 (0)121 415 8712
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Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Wiebke Arlt is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research.

She led a large, multi-disciplinary research group, comprising biologists, biochemists, clinician scientists and computational biologists, investigating the role of steroids in health and disease, with a particular focus on the link between steroids and metabolic disease. As an Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist, she leads specialist services for patients with adrenal and gonadal disorders at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, as part of the Birmingham Health Partners Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (CEDAM).

Wiebke has published over 200 original research articles and is a sought-after lecturer. Her scientific work has attracted several major national and international prizes including awards from the Society for Endocrinology UK (Society for Endocrinology Medal Lecture 2010, Clinical Endocrinology Trust Lecture 2015), the European Society of Endocrinology (EJE Prize 2009, Clinical Endocrinology Trust Medal Lecture 2016), the German Society for Endocrinology (Berthold Medal Lecture 2017) and the Endocrine Society USA (Ernst Oppenheimer Award 2010), Outstanding Clinical Investigator Award 2019). She was elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences in 2010. 


  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences 2010
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians 2006
  • DSc 2001
  • CCT in General Medicine and Endocrinology & Diabetes 1998
  • MD 1993
  • MBChB 1990


Wiebke Arlt qualified in medicine at the University of Cologne, Germany, in 1990. Three years later she obtained an academic MD degree with a thesis on the effects of suramin on adrenal function in sleeping sickness and adrenocortical carcinoma. After her core medical training, she trained in Endocrinology from 1994 to 1998 under the auspices of Professor Bruno Allolio at the University Hospital Würzburg, Germany. Supported by a German Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant, she then spent two years in the Molecular Endocrinology Lab of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), hosted by Walter Miller. Following her return to Wuerzburg in 2001, she was appointed Consultant Endocrinologist. She obtained a prestigious Heisenberg Fellowship from the German Research Council and moved to Birmingham in October 2002, initially as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow following an invitation by Paul Stewart. In 2004, she obtained an MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship and was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. This was followed by her promotion to Chair of Medicine in 2006 and to Head of the Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in 2008. She was awarded the William Withering Chair of Medicine in 2014 and was Director of the newly founded Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research from 2015-2022.


  • MBChB – Endocrinology (Years 1 & 2)
  • BMedSc – Molecular Endocrinology (Year 3)

Postgraduate supervision

Wiebke Arlt regulary acts as primary and secondary supervisor for basic scientists and clinical research training fellows and is a supervisor on the Wellcome and MRC Doctoral Training Programmes of the University of Birmingham.


Wiebke’s research focus is the exploration of the role of steroid synthesis and metabolism in human health and disease. Her work has identified the key role of adrenal androgens in women, establishing DHEA replacement in women with adrenal insufficiency (N Engl J Med 1999). She has discovered the molecular basis of novel androgen excess disorders (POR deficiency, Lancet 2004; PAPSS2 deficiency, N Engl J Med 2009), leading to new insights into pathways of human androgen synthesis and metabolism.

As a Wellcome Trust Investigator, she applies an integrated systems medicine approach to the dissection of androgen excess and metabolic dysfunction in the context of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). To this end, she combines state-of-the-art human in vivo physiology, innovative ex vivo and in vitro approaches and the exploration of the steroid and global metabolome by machine learning-based computational tools. Her group also applies this steroid metabolomics approach, the combination of mass spectrometry-based steroid profiling with machine learning-based data analysis, to the delineation of steroid excess and metabolic impact in the context of endocrine hypertension and adrenal tumours.

Wiebke leads the Dissecting Androgen excess and metabolic dysfunction – an Integrated Systems approach to PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (Daisy PCOS) Research Project. It's a new research study which examines the metabolic nature of PCOS and its links to other health conditions. Please see the new website for more information and about the public engagement programme.

Other activities

 National Committees (selected):

 International Activities (selected):


For a complete list of publications, please see the PubMed website.  and also Google Scholar

Selected Recent Publications:

Urine steroid metabolomics for the differential diagnosis of adrenal incidentalomas in the EURINE-ACT study: a prospective test validation study. Bancos I, Taylor AE, Chortis V, Sitch AJ, Jenkinson C, Davidge-Pitts CJ, Lang K, Tsagarakis S, Macech M, Riester A, Deutschbein T, Pupovac ID, Kienitz T, Prete A, Papathomas TG, Gilligan LC, Bancos C, Reimondo G, Haissaguerre M, Marina L, Grytaas MA, Sajwani A, Langton K, Ivison HE, Shackleton CHL, Erickson D, Asia M, Palimeri S, Kondracka A, Spyroglou A, Ronchi CL, Simunov B, Delivanis DA, Sutcliffe RP, Tsirou I, Bednarczuk T, Reincke M, Burger-Stritt S, Feelders RA, Canu L, Haak HR, Eisenhofer G, Dennedy MC, Ueland GA, Ivovic M, Tabarin A, Terzolo M, Quinkler M, Kastelan D, Fassnacht M, Beuschlein F, Ambroziak U, Vassiliadi DA, O'Reilly MW, Young WF Jr, Biehl M, Deeks JJ, Arlt W; ENSAT EURINE-ACT Investigators. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2020 Sep;8(9):773-781. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30218-7

Intracrine Testosterone Activation in Human Pancreatic β-Cells Stimulates Insulin Secretion. Xu W, Schiffer L, Qadir MMF, Zhang Y, Hawley J, Mota De Sa P, Keevil BG, Wu H, Arlt W, Mauvais-Jarvis F. Diabetes. 2020 Nov;69(11):2392-2399. doi: 10.2337/db20-0228.

Prevention of Adrenal Crisis: Cortisol Responses to Major Stress Compared to Stress Dose Hydrocortisone Delivery. Prete A, Taylor AE, Bancos I, Smith DJ, Foster MA, Kohler S, Fazal-Sanderson V, Komninos J, O'Neil DM, Vassiliadi DA, Mowatt CJ, Mihai R, Fallowfield JL, Annane D, Lord JM, Keevil BG, Wass JAH, Karavitaki N, Arlt W. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Jul 1;105(7):2262-74. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa133.

Alternative pathway androgen biosynthesis and human fetal female virilization. Reisch N, Taylor AE, Nogueira EF, Asby DJ, Dhir V, Berry A, Krone N, Auchus RJ, Shackleton CHL, Hanley NA, Arlt W. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Oct 29;116(44):22294-22299. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1906623116.

Polycystic ovary syndrome, androgen excess, and the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in women: A longitudinal study based on a United Kingdom primary care database. Kumarendran B, O'Reilly MW, Manolopoulos KN, Toulis KA, Gokhale KM, Sitch AJ, Wijeyaratne CN, Coomarasamy A, Arlt W, Nirantharakumar K. PLoS Med. 2018 Mar 28;15(3):e1002542. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002542.

AKR1C3-Mediated Adipose Androgen Generation Drives Lipotoxicity in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. O'Reilly MW, Kempegowda P, Walsh M, Taylor AE, Manolopoulos KN, Allwood JW, Semple RK, Hebenstreit D, Dunn WB, Tomlinson JW, Arlt W. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Sep 1;102(9):3327-3339. doi: 10.1210/jc.2017-00947.

Steroid metabolome analysis reveals prevalent glucocorticoid excess in primary aldosteronism. Arlt W, Lang K, Sitch AJ, Dietz AS, Rhayem Y, Bancos I, Feuchtinger A, Chortis V, Gilligan LC, Ludwig P, Riester A, Asbach E, Hughes BA, O'Neil DM, Bidlingmaier M, Tomlinson JW, Hassan-Smith ZK, Rees DA, Adolf C, Hahner S, Quinkler M, Dekkers T, Deinum J, Biehl M, Keevil BG, Shackleton CH, Deeks JJ, Walch AK, Beuschlein F, Reincke M. JCI Insight. 2017 Apr 20;2(8):e93136. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.93136

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