Calum Sutherland

+44 (0)1382 383098


Career: Dr Sutherland has worked in industry with Glaxo Group Research, obtained his PhD under the supervision of Professor Sir Philip Cohen, at the University of Dundee, and studied under Professor Daryl K Granner, at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee. He has obtained personal Fellowships from the American Diabetes Association, the Wellcome Trust and Diabetes UK covering his work from 1994 to 2008.

Dr Sutherland is a member of the Diabetes UK Science and Research Advisory Group, Diabetes UK Annual Conference Organising committee, CSO Experimental and Translational Medicine research committee, Diabetes UK Research panel (studentships/fellowships), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, the European Translational Medicine Research Council, and the Alzheimer’s Research UK East of Scotland research Network. In 2016 he will Chair the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference.


Overview: The Sutherland lab has contributed to the understanding of insulin signalling mechanisms and regulation of gene transcription, most recently in human tissue, with a focus on how it contributes to human health and disease. Major breakthroughs include establishing a major regulatory mechanism of the key protein kinase GSK3, demonstrating that GSK3 inhibition enhances insulin action in the liver and is a potential treatment for diabetes, identifying the signalling pathway by which insulin turns off hepatic glucose production, finding the mechanism by which the protein CRMP2 is modified to promote its accumulation into tangles in Alzheimer’s disease and finding new physiological functions for GSK3 and the CRMP family of proteins.

Current Focus: The lab continues to develop technology for the discovery of insulin sensitising drugs and biomarkers of poor insulin response that would help identify people at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. In recent years the lab has characterised molecular connections between Diabetes and Dementia that could explain the increased risk of Dementia in the diabetic population, and is investigating the impact of insulin resistance and obesity on heart disease, cancer, behaviour and the effectiveness of diabetes therapies.

Current Funding: Medical Research Council, JDRF and CSO.

PhD supervision

1998- 2001 Pamela A. Lochhead, Wellcome Trust funded Research Assistant, Registered for a PhD in the Biochemistry Department, University of Dundee, October 1998, Graduated in November 2001.

1999- 2003 Satish Patel, BBSRC CASE award in partnership with Glaxo Smith Kline (industrial supervisor Dr Matthew Coghlan). Registered for a PhD in the Biochemistry Department, University of Dundee, October 1999. Satish graduated in Jan 2003.

2002-2006 Christopher Lipina, BBSRC CASE award in partnership with AstraZeneca. , Registered for a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Dundee, October 2002.

2002-2005 David Finlay, Diabetes UK funded research assistant, Registered for a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Dundee, October 2002.

2006-2010 Marc Soutar, MRC Capacity Building studentship, Registered for a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Dundee, March 2006, successfully completed in March 2010.

2006-2011 Jana Rundle, Tenovus funded PhD, jointly supervised with Dr Ewan Pearson and Prof Ann Burchell, Registered for a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Dundee, successfully completed March 2011.

2007-2011 Lindsay Graham, MRC DTI studentship, jointly supervised with Professor Jerry Lambert and Professor David Balfour. Defended thesis in Nov 2011. Currently working with Axis Sheild, Dundee.

2007-2011 Ceri Adams, ART studentship, jointly supervised with Professor Bruno Frenguelli, University of Warwick. Qualified in April 2011. Currently a science administrator at BBSRC.

2008-2011 Christopher Schofield, Wellcome Clinical PhD Studentship, registered Oct 2008, successfully defended thesis in Nov 2011. Returned to clinical duties at Senior Registrar.

2010-present Nicola Grant, Tenovus funded PhD, registered October 2010.

2011-present Louise Saul, Diabetes UK Studentship, registered October 2011.

2011-2013 Kash Patel, Wellcome Clinical PhD Studentship, registered Oct 2010, completed October 2013, returned as Senior Registrar in Liverpool.

Group members

  • Dr. Changwei Chen
  • Dr. Nicola Morrice

Group alumni

Pamela Lochhead, After a post-doc with Viktor Cleghorn at the Beatson Institute, Glasgow, Pam has moved to Simon Cooks lab to work as a senior research associate in the Laboratory of Molecular Signalling at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge.

Satish Patel, First postdoc in lab of Prof Jim Woodgett, University of Toronto. Currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Lab of Dr David Savage, University of Cambridge

David Finlay, After a post-doctoral spell in the Lab of Prof Doreen Cantrell, School of Life Sciences Univ of Dundee, David obtained a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship to start his own group at Trinity College, Dublin.

Chris Lipina, Currently a post-doc with Dr H Hundal, Life Sciences, University of Dundee.

Stephane Perrier, Moved to the lab of Prof David Lane and is currently at Laboratoire SVFp, UFR Pharmacie, CLARA, CRNH-A, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Dr. Hui-Kang, Liu (Glenn), Assistant Research Fellow, National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Taiwan.

Marc Soutar, Currently a post-doc with Dr H. Plun-Favreau UK PARKINSON'S DISEASE CONSORTIUM, UCL INSTITUTE OF NEUROLOGY, London

Jana Rundle, Currently a postdoc with Prof Anna Gloyn, University of Oxford.

Antonio Ruiz-Alcaraz, Currently a lecturer at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.

Adam Cole, Obtained the NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship and started the Neurosignalling Group at the Garvan Institute in Sydney Australia.

Ritchie Williamson, After a postdoc with Prof Daan van Aalten, University of Dundee, taken a position of Lecturer at the University of Bradford.

Alison McNeilly, Currently working with Professor Rory McCrimmon, University of Dundee

Lectures and conferences

Member of Organising Committee for Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference (2009-2013)

Jan 2012 ‘Molecular connections between Diabetes and Dementia’, MarioNegri Institute, Milan.

May 2012 ‘High fat Diet, Insulin Signalling and the Brain’ University of Newcastle

September 2012 ‘High fat Diet, Insulin Signalling and the Brain’, University of Aberdeen

November 2012 ‘Insulin Action and Diabetes’ Diabetes UK Scottish National Volunteers Conference- Keynote Seminar at Carnoustie Golf and Spa Hotel.

Feb 2013 ‘Diabetes and Dementia’, University of Edinburgh

March 2013 ‘GSK3; Diabetes, Dementia and the rest’, IMS, University of Aberdeen.

April 2013 ‘GSK3 dysregulation results in pathology in liver, brain and heart.’ University of Glasgow.

May 2013 ‘How Basic Science supports good Clinical Science’- Public talk at the Clinical Research Centre Open Day, Dundee.

October 2013 'Work of the Dundee Diabetes Research Centre’ – Public Talk at Ninewells Hospital, meeting of the Tayside Diabetes UK volunteers group.

November 2013 'Alzheimer’s Research Public Debate', Chair and Science representative on panel for question and answer public debate held at Ninewells Hospital.


Contributes Lectures and Examination material for BMSc and MSc courses. Lecture series covers ‘Signaling and human disease’.

Supervises Honours wet lab and dissertation projects.


Recent Publications:


1) Davidson, J., McDonald, T., Sutherland, C., Mostazir, M., van Aalten, L. and Wilkin, T. (2017) Intact proinsulin remains stable for 24 hours at room temperature in EDTA. PLOS One. In Press.


2) Dayalan Naidu S, Sutherland C, Zhang Y, Risco A, de la Vega L, Caunt CJ, Hastie CJ, Lamont DJ, Torrente L, Chowdhry S, Benjamin IJ, Keyse SM, Cuenda A, Dinkova-Kostova AT. (2016) Heat Shock Factor 1 is a Substrate for p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases. Mol Cell Biol. Aug 26;36(18):2403-17. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00292-16

3) Zhou, K., Yee, S.W., Seiser, E.L. et al. 2016 Variation in the Glucose Transporter gene SLC2A2 is associated with glycaemic response to metformin. Nature Genetics Sep;48(9):1055-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.3632.

4) Amy R. Cameron, Lisa Logie, Kashyap Patel, Sandra Bacon, Calum Forteath, Jean Harthill, Adam Roberts, Calum Sutherland, Derek Stewart, Benoit Viollet, Kei Sakamoto, Gordon McDougall, Marc Foretz, Graham Rena. Investigation of salicylate hepatic responses in comparison with chemical analogues of the drug, BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease (2016), Aug;1862(8):1412-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.04.015.

5) McNeilly, AD., Balfour, DJ., Sutherland, C., and Stewart, CA. (2016) The effect of dietary intervention on the metabolic and behavioural impairments generated by short term high fat feeding in the rat. Physiology and Behaviour. Dec 1;167:100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.08.035.


6) Grant, NJ,. Coates, PJ,. Woods, YL,. Bray, SE,. Morricee, NA,. Hastie, CJ., Lamont, D., Carey, FA., and Sutherland, C. (2015) Phosphorylation of a splice variant of Collapsin Receptor Mediated Protein 2 in the nucleus of tumour cells links Cyclin Dependent Kinase-5 to oncogenesis. BMC Cancer Nov 10;15:885. doi: 10.1186/s12885-015-1691-1.

7) Balastik M, Zhou XZ, Alberich-Jorda M, Weissova R, Žiak J, Pazyra-Murphy MF, Cosker KE, Machonova O, Kozmikova I, Chen CH, Pastorino L, Asara JM, Cole A, Sutherland C, Segal RA, Lu KP. (2015) Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 Regulates Axon Guidance by Stabilizing CRMP2A Selectively in Distal Axons. Cell Rep. 2015 Oct 27;13(4):812-28. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.09.026. Epub 2015 Oct 17.

8) McNeilly, AD. Stewart, CA., Sutherland, C., and Balfour, DJK. (2015) High fat feeding is associated with chronic stimulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and behavioural dis-inhibition in the rat. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2015) 52, 272—280 (Feb)

9) Sutherland, C and Duthie, AC (2015) Invited commentary on … Lithium treatment and risk for dementia in adults with bipolar disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry Jul 2015, 207 (1) 52-54; DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.161729

10) John D Hayes, Sudhir Chowdhry, Albena Dinkova-Kostova, Calum Sutherland (2015) Dual regulation of transcription factor Nrf2 by Keap1 and by the combined actions of beta-TrCP and GSK-3. Biochem.Soc.Trans. 43 (Aug 1, 4), 611-620.