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Steve O'Rahilly

Molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms in human obesity and insulin resistance

I have a long-standing interest in the aetiology and pathophysiology of human metabolic and endocrine disease and how such information might be used to improve diagnosis, prognostication, therapy and prevention.

My two principle areas of research are obesity and insulin resistance. We use a wide range of human genetic and physiological approaches, accompanied by studies in cellular and animal disease models to better understand the biological causes of extreme forms of obesity, insulin resistance and lipodystrophy, and also the mechanisms whereby more widespread genetic variants predispose to common forms of disease. Our long-term aim is better understanding of the pathways that control human energy balance, adipocyte biology and insulin sensitivity, which ultimately may lead to clinical benefits.

Key papers:

Hussain, K. et al. An activating mutation of AKT2 and human hypoglycemia. Science 334, 474 (2011).

Gulati, P. et al. Role for the obesity-related FTO gene in the cellular sensing of amino acids. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110, 25572562 (2013).


Professor Stephen O'Rahilly


Co-Director, Institute of Metabolic Science

Director, University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories

Director, MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit

Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Medicine

Contact details

Level 4, Wellcome TrustMRC Institute of Metabolic Science
Box 289, Addenbrooke's Hospital
Cambridge, CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom

Department: Clinical Biochemistry