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Dr Philip McTernan



Associate Professor (Reader)


WMS - Translational Medicine
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 7696 8587

Research Interests

Obesity is on the increase worldwide and in the majority of cases this increase will lead to type 2 diabetes. At present, 50% of the UK population is overweight and this percentage is set to increase. Fat accumulation around the abdomen is associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (late onset diabetes). Fat is also known to produce a number of factors that are thought to increase this risk. Our team works on several of these factors to examine how they impact on the progression of the disease and its complications, such as hypertension and the risk of heart disease. We perform both clinical and laboratory patient based studies assessing the effects of risk factors on fat, as well as the role of drug treatment on reducing pathogenic factors produced by fat. As such, by researching the processes involved in the increase of the associated risk factors, our studies aim to provide a deeper understanding of how present drug therapy works in the body. In addition, our studies also evaluate novel drug therapeutic agents for future treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Current Research Aspects: The multidisciplinary team consists of 5 basic scientist PhD students, 6 clinical Research Fellows, 4 Postdoctoral research fellows, a Research Council Fellow, Visiting fellows, as well as cross clinical specialists and academic departments (Biology, Chemistry Maths, and Systems Biology). The following highlights key research areas: 1) Sub-clinical inflammation in pre- and post- diabetes 2) Obesity mediated hypertension 3) Appetite Control & its dysregulation in obesity 4) Ectopic fat Research 5) Premature ageing in diabetes. 6) Neuropeptides & Adipose tissue 7) Mitochondria, obesity & Diabetes 8) Adipocytokines 9) The 'Gut-Fat-Brain' Axis


As a Reader within the Diabetes and Metabolism team based on the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Site within the Clinical Science Research Laboratories my main interest involves understanding causes for type 2 diabetes and potential therapeutic targets. The main aim of the team is to develop translational multidisciplinary medical research into obesity and type 2 diabetes. The current research programmes are exploring the underlying mechanisms that lead to the pathogenesis of obesity mediated type 2 diabetes. As such we have researchers within the team focussed on human metabolism examining several aspects such as: the importance of adipokines on human adipocyte signalling, mediators and mechanisms of inflammation, understanding the importance of diet and cell signalling in response to metabolic endotoxinaemia, the role of ectopic fat in the liver and heart, as well as using mathematical modelling of human adipocyte systems.

Research Projects

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Post Graduate Supervision

  • The functional effects of oestrogens and androgens in human adipose tissue. Date of Completion:2002
  • The Expression and Regulation of C-Jun amino terminal kinase in Humanj adipose tissue.
  • The role of HRT therapies in altering the metabolic lipid and adipocytokine profile in menopausal patients. Date of Completion:2003
  • The role of insulin and insulin sensitisers in modulating pathogenic risks factors from human adipose tissue implicated in metabolic syndrome. Date of Completion:2003
  • The role of Adiponectin and resistin in the pathogenesis of obesity mediated type 2 diabetes. Date of Completion:2004
  • The role of sex steriods, glucocorticoids and their metabolism by adipose tissue. Date of Completion:2003

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