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Dr Andrew J Murray

Dr Andrew J Murray

University Senior Lecturer

Andrew Murray is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333863, Fax: 0870 1357474

Research Interests

Our work is concerned with mitochondrial function; how this is altered in metabolic diseases, during development and ageing, and with changes in diet, exercise and oxygen; and what effects these changes have on physiological performance. We aim to elucidate the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction and the impact this has on function at the level of the tissue, intact organ and whole body.

Mitochondrial function in health and disease

Our interest lies in the control of mitochondrial respiration and energy metabolism. We are interested in the metabolic response to dietary manipulation and alterations in oxygen supply, including the matching of oxygen demand and supply. We study this in cells, tissues, animal models and healthy humans at high altitude, and in relation to diseases such as heart failure, COPD, anaemia and pathologies of pregnancy such as preeclampsia. A major recent interest is the role of dietary nitrate in the regulation of metabolism.


Research team
Dr Katie O'Brien
Miss Sarah Burgess
Mr Ross Lindsay
Miss Alice Sowton

Previous team members
Dr Helen Atherton
Dr Francesca Colleoni
Dr James Horscroft
Dr Aleksandra Kotwica
Dr David Menassa
Dr Andrea Morash
Dr Augustine Ocloo

Main research collaborators
Professor Graham Burton (PDN)
Professor Kieran Clarke (University of Oxford)
Professor Martin Feelisch (University of Southampton)
Professor Abby Fowden (PDN)
Professor Dino Giussani (PDN)
Professor Erich Gnaiger (University of Innsbruck)
Dr Julian Griffin (University of Cambridge)
Professor Mike Grocott (University of Southampton)
Professor Hugh Montgomery (UCL)
Dr Lee Roberts (MRC-HNR)
Dr Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri (PDN)


Course Organiser - 1B NST Physiology

Lecturer - 1A NST Physiology of Organisms, 1B NST Physiology, 1B MVST Human Reproduction, Part 2 PDN Systems and Clinical Physiology

Key Publications

Ashmore T, Fernandez BO, Evans CE, Huang Y, Branco-Price C, Griffin JL, RS Johnson, Feelisch M, Murray AJ, (2015), Suppression of erythropoiesis by dietary nitrate, FASEB J, 29:1102-1112

Roberts LD, Ashmore T, Kotwica AO, Murfitt SA, Fernandez BO, Feelisch M, Murray AJ, Griffin JL, (2015), Inorganic nitrate promotes the browning of white adipose tissue through the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway, Diabetes, 64:471-484

AshmoreT , Fernandez BO, Branco-Price C, West JA, Cowburn AS, Heather LC, Griffin JL, Johnson RS, Feelisch M, Murray AJ, (2014), Dietary nitrate increases arginine availability and protects mitochondrial complex I and energetics in the hypoxic rat heart, J Physiol, 592:4715-4731

Colleoni F, Padmanabhan N, Yung H-W, Watson ED, Cetin I, Tissot van Patot MC, Burton GJ, Murray AJ, (2013), Suppression of mitochondrial electron transport chain function in the hypoxic human placenta: a role for miRNA210 and protein synthesis inhibition, PLOS One, 8:e55194

Levett DZ, Radford EJ, Menassa DA, Graber EF, Morash AJ, Hoppeler H, Clarke K, Martin DS, Ferguson-Smith AC, Montgomery HE, Grocott MP, Murray AJ, (2012), Acclimatization of skeletal muscle mitochondria to high-altitude hypoxia during an ascent of Everest, FASEB J, 26:1431-1441

Roberts LD, Murray AJ, Menassa D, Ashmore T, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL, (2011), The contrasting roles of PPARδ and PPARγ in regulating the metabolic switch between oxidation and storage of fats in white adipose tissue, Genome Biol, 12:R75

Cole MA, Murray AJ, Cochlin LE, Heather LC, McAleese S, Knight NS, Abd Jamil A, Sutton E, Parassol N, Clarke K, (2011), A high fat diet increases mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and uncoupling to decrease efficiency in rat heart, Basic Res Cardiol, 106:447-457

Murray AJ, Knight NS, Cochlin LE, McAleese S, Deacon RM, Rawlins JN and Clarke K, (2009), Deterioration of physical performance and cognitive function in rats with short-term high-fat feeding, FASEB J, 23:4353-4360

Murray AJ, Cole MA, Lygate CA, Carr CA, Stuckey DJ, Little SE, Neubauer S, Clarke K, (2008), Increased mitochondrial uncoupling proteins, respiratory uncoupling and decreased efficiency in the chronically infarcted rat heart, J Mol Cell Cardiol, 44:694-700

Murray AJ, Lygate CA, Cole MA, Neubauer S, Clarke K, (2006), Insulin resistance, abnormal energy metabolism and increased ischemic damage in the chronically infarcted rat heart, Cardiovascular Res, 71:149-157

Murray AJ, Panagia M, Hauton D, Gibbons GF, Clarke K, (2005), Plasma free fatty acids and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α in the control of myocardial uncoupling proteins, Diabetes, 54:3496-3502

Murray AJ, Anderson RE, Watson GC, Radda GK, Clarke K, (2004), Uncoupling proteins in human heart, Lancet, 364:1786-1788

Plain English

Mitochondria are the “power plants” of our body, small structures found in cells which are responsible for converting oxygen and nutrients into energy that the cell can use. Our lab studies what happens to mitochondria when you reduce oxygen, change the diet or the environment, or exercise. This helps us understand what happens to humans at high altitudes and in several diseases where metabolism of the cell is altered.

Above: The pathways of energy metabolism converge on the mitochondrion.

Above: Respiration trace of mitochondria isolated from rat heart.

Above: James and Aleks carry out high-resolution respirometry to measure mitochondrial function in human muscle samples at the Xtreme Everest 2 laboratory, Mt Everest Base Camp, Nepal, 2013.