Professor Gareth G Lavery PhD

Gareth Lavery

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Gareth is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and leads the Molecular Metabolism Research Group (MMRG).

Metabolism plays a critical role in all cellular processes, and metabolic plasticity permits both transient and long-term adaptations to changes in nutritional status and energetic demand.

The MMRG seeks to understand the mechanisms by which hormones, nutrients and exercise interact and impact metabolic pathways that influence basal and adaptive physiology in health and disease. We focus on metabolically important tissues to decode these signals and processes, defining their molecular and metabolic properties. The MMRG has developed extensive capacity for cell and animal bioenergetic analysis through the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping facility and Metabolic Tracer Analysis Core.

Aims of the MMRG

  • Define the underpinning mechanisms by which nutrients, exercise, and hormones integrate to control whole- body and tissue-specific metabolism
  • Identify therapeutic strategies that can support and improve the adaptive capacity and flexibility of metabolism to maintain metabolic health
  • Ultimately we hope that our research creates opportunities to develop human benefit, in order to decrease the incidence of age-related metabolic disease


  • PhD Medicine 2003
  • BSc (Hons) Genetics 1998


Gareth is a proud Cumbrian who completed his PhD training at the University of Birmingham with Professor Paul Stewart studying genetic and molecular aspects of glucocorticoid metabolism and its relationship with blood pressure. He then moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas in 2002 with Professor Keith Parker and identified a novel mechanism for redox regulated glucocorticoid action, generating a series of animal models that have gone on to define the tissue-specific properties of glucocorticoid regulated metabolism.

In 2009 Gareth was awarded a BBSRC David Philips Career Development Fellowship and joined the Centre for Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism in Birmingham and furthered his work of understanding how redox regulated glucocorticoid action impacts metabolic energy homeostasis. During this period he consolidated his research and helped define how enzymes involved in steroid metabolism can modulate the ageing process and defined the genetic basis of the syndromes of ‘apparent’ and ‘true’ cortisone reductase deficiency. Also during this period he defined a mechanism by which glucocorticoids exert their activity when in patho-physiological excess, leading to increased potential for patients with this problem to receive novel therapies.

In 2014 Gareth became a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and established The Molecular Metabolism Research Group. Gareth is working to consolidate Metabolism and Systems Research at the forefront of translational research efforts, while fostering a vibrant and enabling working environment at the University of Birmingham.



Research in the Molecular Metabolism Research Group (MMRG)

The MMRG seeks an understanding of systemic and tissue-specific nutrient and energy metabolism, defining signals and processes that mediate homeostasis and using this information to better understand health and disease. We focus on hormonal and nutritional mediators of metabolism in the context of exercise and ageing, with particular focus on skeletal muscle. The aim is to define the properties of these processes and target them in ways that may stave off the increasing incidence of metabolic and age-related decline. Identifying ways to retain healthy, functional skeletal muscle that can maximally benefit from exercise and nutritional interventions will be important to support ageing societies. The MMRG have developed a range of technologies to decipher metabolic process using in vitro and in vivo metabolic tracing (MTAC), mitochondrial analysis and rodent genetic models assessed in the Mouse Metabolic Profiling Facility, extending in to human experimental medicine approaches. The group is comprised of technicians and PhD students working alongside clinical and postdoctoral fellows. The MMRG is currently supported by the Wellcome Trust, MRC, DUK and the EU.  


  • Regulation of NAD+ metabolism in skeletal muscle during ageing and exercise
  • Glucocorticoid regulation of Muscle metabolism and function
  • NAD+ therapy in human ageing and disease.


  • Stuart Morgan - Marie Curie Global Fellow
  • Antje Garten- Marie Curie Individual Fellow
  • Craig Doig- Senior Post Doctoral fellow
  • Rachel Fletcher- Post-Doctoral fellow
  • Yasir Elhassan- Clinical Fellow
  • Kathi Lang- Clinical fellow
  • Silke Heising- Senior technician
  • David Cartwright- PhD student

Other activities

  • IMSR Executive and Research Committee member
  • Wellcome Trust ISSF management group member
  • Editorial board of ‘Endocrinology’
  • Active member of Society for Endocrinology (Career support, Programme organising and Science Committee)


Recent publications


Sinton, M, Meseguer-Ripolles, J, Lucendo-Villarin, B, Wernig-Zorc, S, Thomson, J, Carter, R, Lyall, M, Walker, P, Thakker, A, Meehan, R, Lavery, G, Morton, N, Ludwig, C, Tennant, D, Hay, D & Drake, A 2021, 'A human pluripotent stem cell model for the analysis of metabolic dysfunction in hepatic steatosis', iScience, vol. 24, no. 1, 101931.

Grech, O, Clouter, A, Mitchell, J, Alimajstorovic, Z, Ottridge, R, Yiangou, A, Roque, M, Tahrani, A, Nicholls, M, Taylor, A, Shaheen, F, Arlt, W, Lavery, G, Shapiro, K, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Cognitive performance in idiopathic intracranial hypertension and relevance of intracranial pressure', Brain Communications, vol. 3, no. 3, fcab202.

Mollan, S, Mitchell, J, Ottridge, R, Aguiar, M, Alimajstorovic, Z, Cartwright, D, Grech, O, Lavery, G, Westgate, C, Vijay, V, Scotton, W, Wakerley, B, Matthews, T, Ansons, A, Hickman, S, Benzimra, J, Rick, C, Singhal, R, Tahrani, A, Brock, K, Frew, E & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Effectiveness of Bariatric Surgery vs Community Weight Management Intervention for the Treatment of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: A Randomized Clinical Trial', JAMA Neurology, vol. 78, no. 6, pp. 678-686.

Yiangou, A, Mitchell, J, Fisher, C, Edwards, J, Vijay, V, Alimajstorovic, Z, Grech, O, Lavery, G, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Erenumab for headaches in idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a prospective open-label evaluation', Headache, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 157-169.

Webster, J, Sagmeister, M, Fenton, C, Seabright, A, Lai, Y-C, Jones, S, Filer, A, Cooper, MS, Lavery, G, Raza, K, Langen, R & Hardy, R 2021, 'Global deletion of 11β-HSD1 prevents muscle wasting associated with glucocorticoid therapy in polyarthritis', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 15, 7828.

Mollan, S, Wakerley, B, Alimajstorovic, Z, Mitchell, J, Ottridge, R, Yiangou, A, Thaller, M, Gupta, A, Grech, O, Lavery, G, Brock, K & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Intracranial pressure directly predicts headache morbidity in idiopathic intracranial hypertension', The Journal of Headache and Pain, vol. 22, 118 .

Fenton, C, Martin, C, Jones, R, Croft, A, Campos, J, Naylor, A, Taylor, A, Chimen, M, Cooper, M, Lavery, G, Raza, K & Hardy, R 2021, 'Local steroid activation is a critical mediator of the anti-inflammatory actions of therapeutic glucocorticoids', Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 80, no. 2, pp. 250-260.

Armitage, EG, Barnes, A, Patrick, K, Bechar, J, Harrison, MJ, Lavery, GG, Rainger, GE, Buckley, CD, Loftus, NJ, Wilson, ID & Naylor, AJ 2021, 'Metabolic consequences for mice lacking endosialin: LC-MS/MS-based metabolic phenotyping of serum from C56Bl/6J control and CD248 knock-out mice', Metabolomics, vol. 17, no. 2, 14.

Stocks, B, Ashcroft, SP, Joanisse, S, Dansereau, LC, Koay, YC, Elhassan, YS, Lavery, GG, Quek, LE, O'Sullivan, JF, Philp, AM, Wallis, GA & Philp, A 2021, 'Nicotinamide riboside supplementation does not alter whole-body or skeletal muscle metabolic responses to a single bout of endurance exercise', Journal of Physiology, vol. 599, no. 5, pp. 1513-1531.

Yiangou, A, Mitchell, J, Nicholls, M, Chong, YJ, Vijay, V, Wakerley, B, Lavery, G, Tahrani, A, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Obstructive sleep apnoea in women with idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a substudy of the Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Weight randomised controlled trial (IIH:WT)', Journal of Neurology.

Nasteska, D, Cuozzo, F, Viloria, K, Johnson, E, Thakker, A, Bakar, RB, Westbrook, R, Barlow, J, Hoang, M, Joseph, J, Lavery, G, Akerman, I, Cantley, J, Hodson, L, Tennant, D & Hodson, D 2021, 'Prolyl-4-hydroxylase 3 maintains β-cell glucose metabolism during fatty acid excess in mice', JCI Insight, vol. 6, no. 16, e140288.

Westgate, C, Botfield, H, Alimajstorovic, Z, Yiangou, A, Walsh, M, Smith, G, Singhal, R, Mitchell, J, Grech, O, Markey, K, Hebenstreit, D, Tennant, D, Tomlinson, J, Mollan, S, Ludwig, C, Akerman, I, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Systemic and adipocyte transcriptional and metabolic dysregulation in idiopathic intracranial hypertension', JCI Insight, vol. 6, no. 10, e145346.

Allen, SL, Marshall, RN, Edwards, SJ, Lord, JM, Lavery, GG & Breen, L 2021, 'The effect of young and old ex vivo human serum on cellular protein synthesis and growth in an in vitro model of aging', AJP: Cell Physiology, vol. 321, no. 1, pp. C26-C37.

Review article

Hardy, R, Botfield, H, Markey, K, Mitchell, J, Alimajstorovic, Z, Westgate, C, Sagmeister, M, Fairclough, R, Ottridge, R, Yiangou, A, Storbeck, K-H, Taylor, A, Gilligan, L, Arlt, W, Stewart, P, Tomlinson, J, Mollan, S, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2021, '11βHSD1 inhibition with AZD4017 improves lipid profiles and lean muscle mass in Idiopathic intracranial hypertension', Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 174-187.

Grech, O, Mollan, S, Wakerley, B, Fulton, D, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2021, 'The role of metabolism in migraine pathophysiology and susceptibility', Life: Physiology and Pathology, vol. 11, no. 5, 415.

View all publications in research portal