2020: Research Fellow in Cardiovascular and Diabetes Science, The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen.
2019-2020: Research Fellow, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh.
2015-2019: Research Fellow, Institute for Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute.
2015-2016: Visiting Fellow, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen.
2010-2015: PhD, Institute of Medical Science, University of Aberdeen.
- Affiliated Researcher, FYFA | 171 77 Stockholm | Von Eulers Väg 4a, Karolinska Institutet
firstname.lastname@example.org | ki.se/en/people/bregab
Prizes and Awards
- Innovator in Diabetes (IDia), Diabetes UK (2020)
- European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD)/Lilly - Young Investigator Research Award (2020)
My research primarily focuses on the role of skeletal muscle in disease pathology, taking into account the principles of chronobiology. In addition, I investigate the potential of physical activity as a treatment or preventative intervention in metabolic disease, considering the influence of circadian rhythms on skeletal muscle metabolism.
My Research Vision
I aim to drive improvements in metabolic disease treatment and prevention by conducting ambitious, multimodal research in a supportive and inclusive environment.
Our team presented data at Physiology 2023 in the spa town of Harrogate. Both PhD students presented talks at the conference.
The Rowett Institute Hiking Group participate in physical activity near Balmoral Castle in beautiful Aberdeenshire
I am currently accepting PhDs in Biomedical Sciences, Applied Health Sciences, Nutrition and Health.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
Applied Health SciencesAccepting PhDs
Nutrition and HealthAccepting PhDs
Identifying novel skeletal muscle targets for obesity treatment and prevention.
Skeletal muscle is important in the pathology of obesity and other metabolic diseases as it is the major postprandial glucose depot and oxidises a large proportion of postprandial lipids. Approximately 40% of the human body is comprised of skeletal muscle, which contributes the largest quantitative component of energy expenditure in the body. Notably, the muscle of obese individuals may be energetically impaired in comparison to non-obese individuals. One of my core projects, uses data generated from a polygenic mouse model, alongside human validation to identify new targets which are causal for obesity. Several factors contribute to obesity development including a genetic predisposition. However, there are thought to be many, as yet, unidentified or uncharacterised inherited traits involved in obesity development. Ultimately, discovery and characterisation of these inherited traits could lead to more targeted treatments for obesity. Data generated from this project could steer future research regarding more personalised treatment/preventative interventions. This research is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Using chrono-medicine to optimise concomitant metformin and exercise prescription.
Additionally, skeletal muscle is a highly plastic tissue which responds beneficially to exercise training. Indeed, exercise may be one of the most potent clinical interventions in this tissue. People with Type II Diabetes (T2D) are often prescribed metformin and encouraged to engage in regular physical activity. However, many people with T2D do not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines and report more relapse from physical activity than the general population. Recent studies suggest that although metformin is an effective treatment strategy of T2D, patients undergoing this treatment may have an ablated beneficial response to exercise. Our recent work has shown disturbances in the intrinsic rhythmicity of circadian metabolism in skeletal muscle of people with T2D. These results underscore the need to consider approaches in chrono-medicine when prescribing pharmacological therapy for T2D. With this in mind, this parallel project aims to test the hypothesis that metformin interferes with exercise induced signal transduction in skeletal muscle. Additionally, we aim to test whether timed treatment can improve the beneficial effects of these combined therapies. This project is funded by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD).
A schematic diagram of the speculated interactions between type 2 diabetes and skeletal muscle Zeitgebers
Contraction increases calcium influx, resulting in binding of the phosphorylated form of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) to the Per2 promoter and a ‘re-setting’ of Per2 mRNA rhythmic expression (Small et al. 2020). Metformin, type 2 diabetes, exercise and ageing can all act to modulate calcium metabolism and mitochondrial function (Short et al. 2005; Weisleder & Ma, 2008; Eshima et al. 2014; Loubiere et al. 2017). Glucose metabolism is altered in response to exercise at different times of day (Savikj et al. 2019), and this may also play a role in molecular circadian rhythm regulation, given the role of cellular glucose metabolism in regulating non-transcriptional rhythmic processes (Ch et al. 2021). Dashed lines indicate speculated effects, continuous lines represent interactions with more evidence. Image and legend from Gabriel & Zierath (2021, The Journal of Physiology)
- Our team presented data at Physiology 2023 in the spa town of Harrogate. Both PhD students presented talks at the conference.
It was a pleasure to share the work of our lab and my previous work at the
- American Diabetes Association’s 82nd Scientific Sessions, June 3-7 2022, in New Orleans, LA, USA
- EASO’s 29th annual European Congress on Obesity, 4-7 May 2022, Maastricht, Netherlands.
You can still access my talks if you were a registered delegate at either conference.
Centenary of discovery of insulin event - Aberdeen Science Centre 2021
A group of scientists from the University of Aberdeen and I conducted 2 weekend events to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of insulin in collaboration with the Aberdeen Science Centre and TechFest. I received funding from The Physiological Society to conduct a bespoke event to demonstrate the latest glucose monitoring technology to the public. Most of the volunteers are also STEM Ambassadors.
You can hear me discuss the centenary of discovery of insulin in this podcast:
Men's Fitness 2021 - When is the best time to work out?
I contributed to an article in Men's Fitness, you can read it here:
Rashmi Siva Sengh - PhD Student (2022-2025)
Rashmi is an Elphinstone Scholarship supported PhD student in my lab with co-supervision by Prof Mirela Delibegovic. Rashmi is working on a project identifying novel skeletal muscle targets within the aetiologies of obesity and diabetes
Brenda Pena Carrillo - PhD student (2021-2025)
Brenda is a Mexican CONACyT scholarship funded PhD student in my lab with co-supervision by Dr Nimesh Mody, and Prof Mirela Delibegovic. Brenda is working on the interaction between metformin, exercise and skeletal muscle metabolism.
Sati Gürel - Visiting PhD student (2022)
Sati is a visiting PhD student from Gazi University in Turkey. Subsequently, she will return to complete her doctoral studies.
- I also supervise annual MSc & BSc projects
Bastian Duquesne - Hotstart Summer Student (June-August 2023)
Bastian completed his HotStart summer studentship with me and will now go on to complete his BSc degree at the University of Aberdeen.
Flora Alapy - EASTBIO Research Experience Intern (June-August 2022)
Flora is an EASTBIO funded Widening Participation Research Experience Placement intern. She will go on to complete her BSc degree at the University of Aberdeen.
Rebecka Bornhall - Summer studentship (June-August 2022)
Rebecka is a BSc (Hons) Mathematical Biology student who has just finished her second year at the University of Dundee. She joined the team for the months of June and July to strengthen her skills in data analysis. She has gone on to finish her studies at the University of Dundee
Nadine Sommer - Research Assistant (May-July, 2021)
Nadine worked on a short-term project funded by the Scottish Funding Council in summer 2021 before moving to Dr Justin Rochford's lab to begin a PhD within the University of Aberdeen.
Louis Kimanzi - Summer vacation student (May-July, 2021)
Louis worked on a project as a summer vacation student funded by The Physiological Society. He subsequently went on to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh.
Emily Cope - MSc student and volunteer (May-December, 2021)
Emily completed her MSc thesis project in my lab after which she continued to volunteer on a part-time basis. She went on to start a fully-funded MRes with Dr Dawn Thompson at the University of Aberdeen.
Funding and Grants
British Heart Foundation, Non-clinical PhD Studentship [Co-I] (2023-2027), £115,309
Tenovus Scotland Pilot Research Grant [PI] (2022-2023), £12,000
Mexican CONNACyT PhD scholarship [PI] (2021-2025)
Novo Nordisk Foundation - Postdoc Fellowship [PI] - NNF19OC0055072 (2020-2024), ~£460,000
European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD)/Lilly - Young Investigator Research Award Programme [PI] (2020-2022), €50,000
NHS Grampian Endowment Fund - Research Grant [PI] (2021), £12,000
Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Covid-19 grant extension fund (Internal) [PI] (2021), £12,000
MSc Human Nutrition - Molecular Nutrition (RN5502)*
MSc Diabetes and Metabolism (BM5502)
BSc Sport & Exercise Science - Nutrition, Obesity and Metabolic Health (SR4008)
MBChB Medicine - Year 1 SSC (ME2511)
Advanced Research Project (PU5045)
Biomedical Sciences Honours project (BM4501)
Fundamentals of Human Nutrition and Metabolism (RN5001)
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Myotube growth is associated with cancer-like metabolic reprogramming and is limited by phosphoglycerate dehydrogenaseExperimental Cell Research, vol. 433, no. 2, 113820Contributions to Journals: Articles
Morning exercise and pre-breakfast metformin interact to reduce glycaemia in people with Type 2 Diabetes: a randomized crossover trialWorking Papers: Preprint Papers
Is it wiser to train in the afternoon or the early evening to sleep better?: the role of chronotype in young adolescent athletesSleep, vol. 46, no. 7, pp. 1-13Contributions to Journals: Articles
Shorter sleep duration is associated with greater visceral fat mass in US adults: Findings from NHANES, 2011–2014Sleep Medicine, vol. 105, pp. 78-84Contributions to Journals: Articles
Editorial: Circadian rhythms and exercise in cardiometabolic healthFrontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 14Contributions to Journals: Editorials
Palmitate impairs circadian transcriptomics in muscle cells through histone modification of enhancersLife Science Alliance, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-14Contributions to Journals: Articles
Can aerobic exercise really be a ‘warm-up’ for brown adipose tissue?The Journal of Physiology, vol. 600, no. 10, pp. 2271-2272Contributions to Journals: Articles
Challenges and solutions for diabetes early career researchers in the COVID-19 recovery: perspectives of the Diabetes UK Innovators in DiabetesDiabetic Medicine, vol. 39, no. 3, e14698Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Disrupted circadian oscillations in type 2 diabetes are linked to altered rhythmic mitochondrial metabolism in skeletal muscleScience Advances, vol. 7, no. 43, eabi9654Contributions to Journals: Articles
Three weeks of interrupting sitting lowers fasting glucose and glycemic variability, but not glucose tolerance, in free-living women and men with obesityAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 321, pp. E203–E216Contributions to Journals: Articles