Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Reader in Molecular Physiology



+44 (0)20 3313 3942j.gardiner




commonwealth building 6S8Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





Dr James Gardiner is a reader in molecular physiology.  He completed his BSc in biochemistry at the University of Birmingham graduating in 1989.  He completed a PhD in Biochemistry and Physiology at Imperial College.

His main research focus is using genetic models to investigate novel mechanisms which regulate energy homeostasis.  Dr Gardiner is expert in utilising recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) in combination with stereotaxic injection to either increase or decrease expression of proteins within specific regions of the central nervous system.  With particular emphasis on studying the role of the hypothalamus and the brain stem. 

His work focuses on understanding the physiological processes within the central nervous system that regulate energy and glucose homeostasis.  The regulation of energy homeostasis is a complex process with signals originating in the periphery and the CNS being integrated within specialised centres in the brain notably the hypothalamus and brainstem. 

Recently he has identified a role for a family of proteins the prokineticins in the regulation of energy homeostasis.  This family of proteins are potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity.

He has also identified a novel role for the enzyme glucokinase in the regulation of glucose intake ( .  This is the first time that a homeostatic pathway regulating the intake of a specific nutrient has been identified.  It is possible that this pathway represents a novel target for the treatment of obesity.



Funding for the work is from BBSRC, MRC and EU.



Izzi-Engbeaya C, Ma Y, Buckley NW, et al., 2020, Effects of corticosterone within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus on food intake and body weight in male rats, Molecular Metabolism, Vol:36, ISSN:2212-8778, Pages:1-7

Ma Y, Ratnasabapathy R, De Backer I, et al., 2020, Glucose in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus regulates GLP-1 release, Jci Insight, Vol:5, ISSN:2379-3708

Gardiner JV, Ma Y, Ratnasabapathy R, et al., 2018, Hypothalamic arcuate nucleus glucokinase regulates insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Vol:20, ISSN:1462-8902, Pages:2246-2254

Cork SC, Eftekhar A, Mirza KB, et al., 2018, Extracellular pH monitoring for use in closed-loop vagus nerve stimulation, Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol:15, ISSN:1741-2552, Pages:1-11

Ma Y, Ratnasabapathy R, Gardiner J, 2017, Carbohydrate craving: not everything is sweet, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, Vol:20, ISSN:1363-1950, Pages:261-265

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