Dr Alexander Ross

Dr Alexander Ross
Dr Alexander Ross
Dr Alexander Ross

Advanced Research Fellow


Research Overview

In our research we are investigating how different foods and their constituents inform fullness and satiety to the brain. The objectives are to identify how cells of the gut and liver respond differently to different nutrients, and also how these nutrients may differentially affect metabolism to promote improved health. We are also interested in how diet-induced differences in the gut microbiome may alter host metabolism and health. The research results should provide evidence which, after validation in human trials, may be released as advice to the general public, or as product formulation advice to the food or drug industry aimed at healthy weight management. 

We use molecular biology and biochemical approaches including Next Generation Sequencing, Real-time PCR, in situ hybridization and Western blotting to identify target genes and exploit novel in vivo agonist/antagonist or antibody delivery in techniques aimed at addressing functional responses.


Research team

Prof Alexandra Johnstone

Claire Fyfe - Research Assistant

Gail Hepseed - Research assistant



Funding and Grants

Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) grant number BB/K001043/1 entitled: Inflammatory signals regulate neuroendocrine control of growth and energy balance through re-modelling of mammalian hypothalamus.


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  • Dose-dependent effects of a soluble dietary fibre (pectin) on food intake, adiposity, gut hypertrophy and gut satiety hormone secretion in rats

    Adam, C. L., Williams, P. A., Garden, K. E., Thomson, L. M., Ross, A. W.
    PloS ONE, vol. 10, no. 1, 0115438
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • A Thyroid Hormone Challenge in Hypothyroid Rats Identifies T3 Regulated Genes in the Hypothalamus and in Models with Altered Energy Balance and Glucose Homeostasis

    Herwig, A., Campbell, G., Mayer, C., Boelen, A., Anderson, R. A., Ross, A. W., Mercer, J. G., Barrett, P.
    Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 1575-1593
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Different types of soluble fermentable dietary fibre decrease food intake, body weight gain and adiposity in young adult male rats

    Adam, C. L., Williams, P. A., Dalby, M. J., Garden, K., Thomson, L. M., Richardson, A. J., Gratz, S. W., Ross, A. W.
    Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 11, 36
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Neuromedin U partly mimics thyroid stimulating hormone and triggers Wnt/β-Catenin signalling in the photoperiodic response of F344 rats

    Helfer, G., Ross, A. W., Morgan, P. J.
    Journal of Neuroendocrinology, vol. 25, no. 12, pp. 1264-1272
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Patterning of retinoic acid signaling and cell proliferation in the hippocampus

    Goodman, T., Crandall, J. E., Nanescu, S. E., Quadro, L., Shearer, K., Ross, A., McCaffery, P.
    Hippocampus, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 2171-2183
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Photoperiodic Expression of Two RALDH Enzymes and the Regulation of Cell Proliferation by Retinoic Acid in the Rat Hypothalamus

    Shearer, K. D., Stoney, P. N., Nanescu, S. E., Helfer, G., Barrett, P., Ross, A. W., Morgan, P. J., McCaffery, P.
    Journal of Neurochemistry, vol. 122, no. 4, pp. 789-799
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Photoperiod regulates vitamin A and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in F344 rats

    Helfer, G., Ross, A. W., Russell, L., Thomson, L. M., Shearer, K. D., Goodman, T. H., McCaffery, P. J., Morgan, P. J.
    Endocrinology, vol. 153, no. 2, pp. 815-824
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Thyroid hormone signalling genes are regulated by photoperiod in the hypothalamus of F344 rats

    Ross, A. W., Helfer, G., Russell, L., Darras, V. M., Morgan, P. J.
    PloS ONE, vol. 6, no. 6, e21351
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Photoperiodic regulation of retinoic acid signaling in the hypothalamus

    Shearer, K. D., Goodman, T. H., Ross, A., Reilly, L., Morgan, P. J., McCaffery, P. J. A.
    Journal of Neurochemistry, vol. 112, no. 1, pp. 246-257
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Divergent regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein by photoperiod in F344 rats with differential food intake and growth

    Ross, A., Johnson, C. E., Bell, L., Reilly, L., Duncan, J., Barrett, P., Heideman, P. D., Morgan, P. J.
    Journal of Neuroendocrinology, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 610-619
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
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