Rena, Graham


  • 3137 Citations
  • 23 h-Index
1995 …2022
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Personal profile

Research interests


Dr Graham Rena's undergraduate BSc studies were at University of Bristol, followed by Ph.D. studies with Professor Miles Houslay FRSE at the University of Glasgow and postdoctoral work with Professor Sir Philip Cohen FRS, FRSE at the University of Dundee. Graham was a Caledonian Research Foundation Fellow between 2004 and 2007 before staying on to take up a permanent lectureship at the University of Dundee. Graham has been a contributing author on over 30 peer-reviewed publications. The key area of current research is drug repurposing, particularly including recent key insights into metformin action. Graham’s research has attracted grant funding from MRC, BHF Diabetes UK as well as other major funders. Graham enjoys teaching, particularly including innovative international teaching activities in Kuwait.


Repurposing metformin, studies from cells to patients

A major recent focus has been metformin, which is the gold-standard treatment of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Collaborative work particularly with Prof Chim Lang has included investigation of anti-inflammatory effects of the drug, which are likely to contribute towards cardioprotective effects in patients, irrespective of diabetes status. This insight provides an easily understood rationale for further testing of non-diabetic cardiovascular patient groups that may benefit from metformin and has been published in high impact journals (Circulation and Circulation Research)

Lectures and conferences

2018 European Heart Failure Association annual meeting Vienna

2017 “Metformin: heart failure drug?” Translational Research Workshop, Brussels, Belgium

2017 12th Annual Winter Research Meeting of the Heart Failure Association and Working Group on Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology, Les Diablerets, Switzerland

2016 Danish Technical University, Lyngby, Denmark


PRIZE: Best Manuscript Award at Circulation Research editorial board dinner in New Orleans, November 2016.


M.Sc. Dissertation Lead, Quantitative (Kuwait, Dasman Diabetes Institute)

The MSc makes use of modern approaches, including for example a recently generated virtual poster room (see separate picture) 

Life Sciences Teaching: Regulatory Physiology and Pharmacology

Medical School Teaching: BMSc Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders



  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Graham Rena is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Metformin Medicine & Life Sciences
Phosphorylation Chemical Compounds
AMP-Activated Protein Kinases Medicine & Life Sciences
Pharmaceutical Preparations Medicine & Life Sciences
Rhabdomyosarcoma Medicine & Life Sciences
Insulin Medicine & Life Sciences
Transcription Factors Medicine & Life Sciences
Copper Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2013 2022

Research Output 1995 2019

4 Downloads (Pure)

Editorial: Metformin: Beyond Diabetes

Bost, F., Rena, G. & Viollet, B., 6 Dec 2019, In : Frontiers in endocrinology. 10, p. 1-3 3 p., 851.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
55 Downloads (Pure)

Metformin and its Potential for Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction

Mohan, P., Iskandar, Z., Mordi, I., Yeow, C., Neaogoie, A., Rena, G., Chew, S. & Lang, C., 26 Aug 2019, In : Journal of Diabetes and Treatment. 4, 2, 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access

Scientific Business Abstracts of the 113th Annual Meeting of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland

Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) Study, Cacciottolo, T. M., Perikari, A., van der Klaauw, A., Henning, E., Stadler, L. K. J., Keogh, J., Farooqi, I. S., Tenin, G., Keavney, B., Ryan, E., Budd, R., Bewley, M., Coelho, P., Rumsey, W., Sanchez, Y., McCafferty, J., Dockrell, D., Walmsley, S., Whyte, M. & 31 others, Liu, Y., Choy, M-K., Tenin, G., Abraham, S., Black, G., Keavney, B., Watkins, S., Robertson, K., Collison, D., Rush, C., Marshall, J., McGowan, R., Fraser, R., Gandhi, S., Cooper, C., Howden, A., Hukelmann, J. L., Cantrell, D. A., Mordi, I., Forteath, C., Wong, A., Mohan, M., Palmer, C., Doney, A., Rena, G., Lang, C., Gray, E. H., Williams, R., Williams, S., Hughes, J. & Davies, J., 5 Sep 2019, In : QJM : an International Journal of Medicine. 112, 9, p. 724-729 6 p., 9.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

Blood Pressure
Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
28 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)

Heart failure and diabetes: metabolic alterations and therapeutic interventions: a state-of-the-art review from the Translational Research Committee of the Heart Failure Association-European Society of Cardiology

Maack, C., Lehrke, M., Backs, J., Heinzel, F. R., Hulot, J-S., Marx, N., Paulus, W. J., Rossignol, P., Taegtmeyer, H., Bauersachs, J., Bayes-Genis, A., Brutsaert, D., Bugger, H., Clarke, K., Cosentino, F., De Keulenaer, G., Dei Cas, A., González, A., Huelsmann, M., Iaccarino, G. & 15 others, Lunde, I. G., Lyon, A. R., Pollesello, P., Rena, G., Riksen, N. P., Rosano, G., Staels, B., van Laake, L. W., Wanner, C., Farmakis, D., Filippatos, G., Ruschitzka, F., Seferovic, P., de Boer, R. A. & Heymans, S., 21 Dec 2018, In : European Heart Journal. 39, 48, p. 4243-4254 12 p., ehy596.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Translational Medical Research
Heart Failure
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Drug Repositioning
40 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)

Metformin selectively targets redox control of complex I energy transduction

Cameron, A., Logie, L., Patel, K., Erhardt, S., Bacon, S., Middleton, P., Harthill, J., Forteath, C., Coats, J., Kerr, C., Curry, H., Stewart, D., Sakamoto, K., Repiščák, P., Paterson, M. J., Hassinen, I., McDougall, G. & Rena, G., Apr 2018, In : Redox Biology. 14, p. 187-197 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Circulation Research Best Manuscript Award 2016

Graham Rena (Recipient), 13 Nov 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

The Rank Prize Funds Nutrition Committee Prize

Graham Rena (Recipient), 20 May 2002

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2002 2013

  • 4 Participation in conference

Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2013

Graham Rena (Participant)
13 Mar 201315 Mar 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2012

Graham Rena (Participant)
7 Mar 20129 Mar 2012

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

44th General Assembly of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes

Graham Rena (Participant)
10 Sep 2008

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

676th Biochemical Society Meeting

Graham Rena (Participant)
8 Apr 200210 Apr 2002

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Press / Media

Diabetic drug may offer benefits in heart failure

Chim C. Lang & Graham Rena


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research


Investigation of plant derived compounds mediating cell signalling effectson FOXO1a and AMPK

Author: Bacon, S., 2012

Supervisor: Rena, N. (Supervisor) & McDougall, G. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Role of Amino Acid Transport in the Regulation of mTORC1 by Metformin

Author: Forteath, C. D., 2017

Supervisor: Rena, N. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy