Dr Abd Tahrani MD, MMedSci, CCT (Endocrinology and Diabetes), PhD, SCOPE (International Fellow), FRCP (London)

Dr Abd Tahrani

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Honorary Professor of Medicine

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Abd Tahrani is an Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Weight Management at the University Hospitals of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. He currently has a substantive role at Novo Nordisk global obesity team. Abd has wide ranging experience in the field of obesity academically and clinically. He worked extensively with patients organisations, policy makers, payers, professional societies, research funders and training bodies to improve obesity management and the care delivered to people living with obesity. His clinical experience covers wide aspects of obesity medicine including the management of obesity and its complications. His research work is focussed on translational research (including clinical trials) and real-world evidence as well as close collaborations with basic and public health scientists to develop our understanding of the pathogenesis of obesity from biological and environmental perspectives.

Obesity stigma: a key problem in tackling obesity

A recent report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity showed that 88% of people with obesity have been stigmatised, criticised or abused because of their disease.


  • SCOPE International Fellow in obesity, the World Obesity Federation, 2020
  • FRCP (London), 2017
  • SCOPE National Fellow in obesity, the World Obesity Federation, 2014
  • PhD in sleep, diabetes and microvascular complications, University of Birmingham, 2013
  • CCT in Diabetes and Endocrinology, 2012
  • MMedSci, Master of Medical Sciences, Keele University, 2008
  • MRCP (UK), 2003
  • MD in Medicine, University of Aleppo, Syria 1998


Abd Tahrani is currently the International Medical Vice President, Obesity & NASH, Clinical Drug Development, Novo Nordisk in Copenhagen. He is an Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Birmingham (UoB) and an Honorary Consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Weight Management at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Prior to joining Novo Nordisk, he was the lead for translational research in the Centre of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (CEDAM), Birmingham Health Partners and the chair of the clinical committee of the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) UK. Abd also was an associate editor for the European Journal of Endocrinology, a senior editor for BMC Endocrine Disorders, the chair of the Type 2 Diabetes Research Steering Group in Diabetes UK and a member of the nutrition and obesity group of the ESE.

Abd received several awards including NIHR research training fellowship (2008), NIHR Clinician Scientist (2012), the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Young investigator award in OSA research (2013), and SCOPE National & International Fellowships from the World Obesity Federation in (2014 & 2020). Abd’s research themes included: 1) the metabolic consequences of sleep-related disorders, 2) obesity management & health care delivery, 3) diabetes-related neuropathy. 

Abd has published over 190 peer reviewed articles and delivered more than 140 invited talks in the leading conferences globally.  Abd held a number of positions before joining Novo Nordisk including being a trustee of ASO (UK), a panel member of the British Sleep Society Research Committee, an Expert advisor to NICE technology appraisals in obesity and neuropathy, a member of the Obesity Policy Engagement Network (OPEN) UK and a member of the strategic council of the Obesity All Party Parliamentary Group (Obesity APPG). He is a regular peer reviewer to the leading journals and research funding organisations.

What barriers do health professionals face when raising the issue of obesity?

Postgraduate supervision

I currently do not accept new PhD students. I have 4 completed PhD students and 7 completed Master students. I currently have 4 PhD students under my supervision.


Research aims

  1. Examine the impact of sleep-related disorders (including obstructive apnoea) on metabolic health, diabetes and obesity and developing new treatment strategies to reduce the burden of metabolic disorders
  2. Obesity management including: the pharmacological and non-pharmacological, the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery and other treatment modalities, health service delivery) as well as the management of obesity-related comorbidities such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, idiopathic intracranial hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of diabetes-related microvascular complications (peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, nephropathy, foot disease) and to identify new treatment targets and effective screening strategies

Research groups and centres

Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Highlight publications

Singh, P, Adderley, N, Subramanian, A, Gokhale, K, Hazlehurst, J, Singhal, R, Bellary, S, Tahrani, A & Nirantharakumar, K 2022, 'Glycemic outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery compared with routine care: a population-based, real-world cohort study in the United Kingdom', Surgery for obesity and related diseases : official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soard.2022.08.001

Alshehri, Z, Subramanian, A, Adderley, N, Gokhale, K, Karamat, MA, Ray, C, Kumar, P, Nirantharakumar, K & Tahrani, A 2022, 'Risk of incident obstructive sleep apnoea in patients with type 1 diabetes: a population-based retrospective cohort study', Diabetologia, vol. 65, no. 8, pp. 1353-1363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-022-05714-5

Wang, Z, Hazlehurst, J, Subramanian, A, Tahrani, A, Hanif, W, Thomas, GN, Singh, P, Wang, J, Sainsbury, C, Nirantharakumar, K & Crowe, F 2022, 'Diabetic foot risk classification at the time of type 2 diabetes diagnosis and subsequent risk of mortality: a population-based cohort study', Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 13, 888924. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.888924

Mollan, SP, Mitchell, JL, Yiangou, A, Ottridge, RS, Alimajstorovic, Z, Cartwright, DM, Hickman, SJ, Markey, KA, Singhal, R, Tahrani, AA, Frew, E, Brock, K & Sinclair, AJ 2022, 'Association of amount of weight lost after bariatric surgery with intracranial pressure in women with idiopathic intracranial hypertension', Neurology, vol. 99, no. 11, pp. e1090-e1099. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000200839

Yang, W, Abbott, S, Borg, C-M, Chesworth, P, Graham, Y, Logue, J, Ogden, J, O'Kane, M, Ratcliffe, D, Sherf-Dagan, S, Singhal, R, Snowdon-Carr, V, Tahrani, A & Mahawar, K 2022, 'Global variations in preoperative practices concerning patients seeking primary bariatric and metabolic surgery (PACT Study): a survey of 634 bariatric healthcare professionals', International Journal of Obesity, vol. 46, no. 7, pp. 1341-1350. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-022-01119-x

Recent publications


Makhdom, E, Maher, A, Ottridge, R, Nicholls, M, Ali, A, Cooper, BG, Ajjan, RA, Bellary, S, Hanif, W, Hanna, F, Hughes, D, Jayagopal, V, Mahto, R, Patel, M, Young, J, Nayak, AU, Chen, MZ, Kyaw-Tun, J, Gonzalez, S, Gouni, R, Subramanian, A, Adderley, N, Patel, S & Tahrani, A 2024, 'The Impact of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Treatment on Microvascular Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial: CPAP Impact on Microvascular Complications in T2D Patients', The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.11020

Gokhale, KM, Chandan, JS, Sainsbury, C, Tino, P, Tahrani, A, Toulis, K & Nirantharakumar, K 2024, 'Using Repeated Measurements to Predict Cardiovascular Risk in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus', The American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 210, pp. 133-142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2023.10.008

Keyte, R, Mantzios, M, Hussain, M, Tahrani, AA, Abbott, S, Strachan, R, Singhal, R & Egan, H 2024, '‘Surgery is my only hope’: A qualitative study exploring perceptions of living with obesity and the prospect of having bariatric surgery', Clinical Obesity. https://doi.org/10.1111/cob.12643

Alimajstorovic, Z, Mitchell, J, Yiangou, A, Hancox, T, Southam, A, Grech, O, Ottridge, R, Winder, C, Tahrani, A, Tan, TM, Mollan, S, Dunn, W & Sinclair, A 2023, 'Determining the role of novel metabolic pathways in driving intracranial pressure reduction after weight loss', Brain Communications, vol. 5, no. 5, fcad272. https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcad272

Kodsi, R, Chimoriya, R, Medveczky, D, Grudzinskas, K, Atlantis, E, Tahrani, AA, Kormas, N & Piya, MK 2022, 'Clinical use of the Edmonton obesity staging system for the assessment of weight management outcomes in people with class 3 obesity', Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 5, 967. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14050967

GENEVA collaborators 2022, 'Effect of BMI on safety of bariatric surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, procedure choice, and safety protocols - an analysis from the GENEVA Study', Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 249-253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2022.06.003

Hussain, M, Egan, H, Keyte, R, Strachan, R, Tahrani, AA & Mantzios, M 2022, 'Exploring the association between self-compassion, mindfulness and mindful eating with eating behaviours amongst patients with obesity', Nutrition and health. https://doi.org/10.1177/02601060221094671

Crasto, W, Altaf, Q-A, Selvaraj, DR, Jack, B, Patel, V, Nawaz, S, Murthy, N, Sukumar, N, Saravanan, P & Tahrani, AA 2022, 'Frequency rhythmic electrical modulation system (FREMS) to alleviate painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a pilot, randomised controlled trial (The FREMSTOP study)', Diabetic Medicine, vol. 39, no. 3, e14710. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.14710

GENEVA collaborators, Singhal, R, Wiggins, T, Pouwels, S, Rajeev, Y, Madhok, B, Hanif, W, Tahrani, AA, Graham, Y, Ludwig, C & Mahawar, K 2022, 'Handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Effects on Bariatric Surgical Practice: Analysis of GENEVA Study Database', Obesity surgery. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-022-06267-7

Hazlehurst, JM, Singh, P, Bhogal, G, Broughton, S & Tahrani, AA 2022, 'How to manage weight loss in women with obesity and PCOS seeking fertility?', Clinical Endocrinology, vol. 97, no. 2, pp. 208-216. https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.14726

Shepherd, LM, Schmidtke, KA, Hazlehurst, JM, Melson, E, Dretzke, J, Hawks, N, Arlt, W, Tahrani, AA, Swift, A & Carrick-Sen, DM 2022, 'Interventions for the prevention of adrenal crisis in adults with primary adrenal insufficiency: a systematic review', European Journal of Endocrinology , vol. 187, no. 1, pp. S1-S20. https://doi.org/10.1530/EJE-21-1248

Thaller, M, Wakerley, B, Abbott, S, Tahrani, A, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2022, 'Managing idiopathic intracranial hypertension in pregnancy: practical advice', Practical Neurology, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 295-300. https://doi.org/10.1136/practneurol-2021-003152


Makhdom, E, Tahrani, A, Ottridge, R & Maher, A 2023, 'The impact of obstructive sleep apnoea treatment on pain in patients with type 2 diabetes: Results from a 2-year feasibility RCT', 33rd Annual Meeting of Neurodiab conference , Thessaloniki, Greece, 28/09/23 - 1/10/23.

Review article

Tahrani, AA & Morton, J 2022, 'Benefits of weight loss of 10% or more in patients with overweight or obesity: a review', Obesity, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 802-840. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.23371

Dobbie, LJ, Tahrani, A, Alam, U, James, J, Wilding, J & Cuthbertson, DJ 2022, 'Exercise in obesity-the role of technology in health services: can this approach work?', Current Obesity Reports, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 93-106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-021-00461-x

View all publications in research portal


Obesity, sleep apnoea, diabetes