Dr Frank Thies

Dr Frank Thies
Dr Frank Thies
Dr Frank Thies


Personal Chair

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 437954
Office Address

School of Medicine, medical Sciences and Nutrition, Rowett Institute,  Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition


Frank Thies graduated in animal Physiology from the University of Burgundy (France) in 1987 before undertaking a PhD in Nutritional Physiology, also at the University of Burgundy and awarded in 1991. Dr Thies then completed a 3 year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Health (Bethesda, USA) before joining Prof Philip Calder's group within the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University. In 1998, he moved to the University of Southampton before taking a lecturer position in Human Nutrition  at the University of Aberdeen in 2001. Dr Thies was then promoted to Senior lecturer in 2005, and Reader in  2013.  

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Deputy Director,  (Rowett Institute)

Teaching lead (Rowett Institute)

Member, Rowett Institute executive committee

Member of University of Aberdeen Senate (2015-2018)

External Memberships

External Examiner, Glasgow Caledonian University (2007-2012)

External Examiner, Queen Margaret University (2008-2013)

External Examiner, Northumbria University (2013-2017)

External Examiner, Ulster University (2017-2021)

Secretary, Scottish Section of the Nutrition Society (2011-2014)

Member, Council, The Nutrition Society (2011-present)

Member, Scientific Commitee, The Nutrition Society (2011-2014)

Honorary Science Officer and Trustee, the Nutrition Society (2015-2021)

Trustee, the Academy of Nutrition Sciences (2019-present)

Teasurer, Federation of European Nutrition Societies (2019-present)


Research Overview


My research interests mainly relate to the influence of various dietary components on cardiovascular function and cardiovascular risk, with particular emphasis being placed on the role of inflammatory processes. My research activities include relatively large as well as pilot intervention studies in healthy individuals and patients, supported by in vitro work for the mechanistic aspects. Other current projects relates to identifying methods for  beneficially changing eating behaviour in low income populations via social prescribing, in order to reduce health inequalities.


  1. “Compilation, validation and implementation of an anti-inflammatory diet” by Adrian Wood. Awarded November 2007.
  2. “atherosclerosis, fibrosis and nutrition: effect of n-3PUFA on smooth muscle activity and relevance to atherosclerosis” by Claire White. Awarded January 2009
  3. Effects of fish oil on epoxyeicosatrieonic acid metabolism: relevance to inflammation and vascular function” by Yiannis Mavromatis. Awarded January 2009
  4. “Effect of lycopene on immune cell function and activity” by Lynsey Mills, Awarded June 2010
  5. “Effect of Regular Mealtime Inclusion of Oat Containing Products on Glycaemic Response and Postprandial Inflammation in Early Type 2 Diabetes” by Susan Christina McGeoch, Awarded October 2011
  6. “Improving Insulin Sensitivity and Preventing Diabetes by Altering Muscle Membrane Fatty Acid Composition” by Louise Frances Clark, Awarded October 2014
  7. “Effects of Oat Products on Human Colonic Health” by Andrew John Chappell (Co-lead) October 2015
  8. The Effects of Nitrite on Muscle Metabolic Efficiency and its Relevance to Cardiac Disease” by Maria Ntessalen (Co-supervisor), November 2015
  9. Modulation of Dimethylarginine Dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) as a Therapeutic Target in Neurodegenerative Disorders” by Sara Tommasi (Co-supervisor), awarded July 2016.
  10. ”Influence of short chain fatty acids on blood pressure regulation”, by Karolin Musz, awarded April 2017.
  11. “Investigating the effects of dietary-derived and sunlight-derived vitamin D3 on markers of immune function” by Wakuny Ambo Maboshe, awarded May 2018.
  12. Marine-derived n-3 fatty acids: a potential therapeutic target for stroke? by Celia Alvarez-Campano, awarded 25 May 2020
  13. Study and impact of zinc in haemostasis by Sumya Um-May, awarded 28th September 2020

Funding and Grants


Grant income since 2005: >£4millions

2004-2007- PhD scholarship, Food Standard Agency (G Duthie, F Thies)

2005-2007- Effect of n-3 PUFA on platelet activation, markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in patients with peripheral arterial disease, British Heart foundation, (J Brittenden, F. Thies, I. Ford, M. Greaves)

2005-2008- Effect of whole grain food on CVD risk markers, Food Standard Agency,  (F Thies, G. Duthie, J. Brittenden)

2006- Diet, aspirin and platelets aggregation in patients with peripheral arterial disease NHS Grampian Endowments (J Brittenden, F Thies)

2007-2010- Tomato, lycopene, and CVD risk, Food Standard Agency, (F Thies, G. Duthie, L Masson)

2008-2009- Development of a method to measure methylated  derivatives of arginine in plasma , Development Trust, (F. Thies, J. Brittenden, G. Cameron)

2007-2009- Imaging atherosclerotic plaque inflammation with flurodeoxyglucose positron emisson tomography and CT angiography TMRI Ltd (J Brittenden, K Cassar, F Thies)

2008-2011- Effect of 1 year vitamin D intervention on risk of cardiovascular disease: a randomized controlled trial at 57ºN, Food Standard Agency (H MacDonald, F Thies, A Mavroiedi, D Reid)

2008-2009- In Vivo 18-FDG PET Imaging and Atherosclerotic Plaque Inflammatory Biomarkers in Mouse Model of Atherosclerosis- A Randomized Controlled Trial TMRI Ltd (J Brittenden, S Shaikh, G Small, H Wilson , A Welch, F Thies, P Brown)

2009-2012- A comprehensive longitudinal study of diet and chronic low-grade systemic inflammation in a well-characterized population of postmenopausal women Food Standard Agency (H MacDonald, F Thies,  D Reid, G Duthie)

2010- Fish oil supplementation and immune function and inflammatory responses to exerciseTenovus Scotland (S Gray, F Thies)

2011-2012-Development of novel DDAH inhibitors for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases SULSA Pooling network  (A Mangoni, I Creig, F Thies , P Teismann, M Zanda)   

2011-2012-Dimethylarginine dimethylamino hydrolase (DDAH) modulation as a potential therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s disease:a pilot study. Alzeihmer’s research trust  (A Mangoni, F Thies, R Soiza)

2011-2012- Can ADMA predict cognitive decline? NHS Grampian endowments (A Mangoni, R Soiza, F Thies)

2011-2015- Strategic partnership on food and drink science, Scottish Government (K Scott, F Thies, M Frenneaux)

2016-2018- Muscle fat compartments and turnover as a determinant of insulin sensitivity. British heart Foundation (D Dawson, M Delibegovic, F Thies)

2017-2018- DHA supplementation as a treatment for ischaemic stroke (DASTIS). NHS Grampian Endowment (MJ MacLeod, M. J. & F Thies)

2018-2022-Modelling individual responses to healthier diets and new ways to quantify the importance of physiology and behaviour for successful dietary changes. BBSRC database 39358/Unilever studentship, BBSRC (B de Roos & F Thies)

2018-2022- Modelling individual responses to healthier diets and new ways to quantify the importance of physiology and behaviour for successful dietary changes. BBSRC database 39364/Unilever studentship, Unilever R&D/Vlaardingen  (B de Roos & F Thies)

2018-2022- Using wearable technology to optimise timing of concomitant metformin and exercise prescription. NHS Grampian Endowments (B Gabriel, F Thies, S Philips)

2021-2022- Newton fund: exploitation of mesquite tree as a sustainable source of food with high nutritional and economicl value in the mezquital valley, Hidalgo. British Council, Newton Fund (F Thies, W Russel, N Hoggard, V Raikos)               


Teaching Responsibilities

Teaching of nutritional physiology and biochemistry at undergraduate (exercise physiology (year 3) and year1 MBChB (year 1) and postgraduate level (MSc Human nutrition and MSc cardiovascular and diabetes).

MSc Human Nutrition & Metabolism programme coordinator 2001-2007

MSc Molecular Nutrition course coordinator  2010-2014

MSC Metabolic nutrition course coordinator 2014

MSc Human Nutrition Research project course coordinator 2015-2017

MSc Assessment of nutritional status course coordinator 2018-present

Teaching Lead, Rowett Institute (2022-)