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Rebecca Dumbell

Rebecca Dumbell

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology


Dr Rebecca Dumbell is a researcher and chartered scientist, and is part of the pharmacology teaching team at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests are in the neuroendocrine regulation of growth, appetite and adipose physiology, and the influence of genetics and biological rhythms on these processes.

Career overview

Dr Dumbell joined NTU in Summer 2020. Her research interests were developed during her undergraduate degree in Zoology, University of Aberdeen, where she worked on the pharmacological induction of torpor, attaining first class honours. She then won a scholarship for an MRes at the vet school at the University of Glasgow, working on a neurobehavioural model of delayed puberty. Dr Dumbell’s PhD research at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, was on the seasonal and exercise driven regulation of metabolic phenotype. This was followed by a postdoc at the University of Luebeck, Germany, in the chronophysiology research group, investigating the role of the adrenal cortex circadian clock. In 2014 Dr Dumbell joined MRC Harwell working on non-coding genetic regulation of adipose physiology and body fat distribution, and developed projects on the neuroendocrine regulation of growth and appetite.

Research areas

Dr Dumbell’s research interests are in the neuroendocrine regulation of energy balance – appetite, growth and energy expenditure, and how these pathways are influenced by seasonal and circadian rhythms, and genetic contribution to their disruption.

In particular Dr Dumbell has developed investigations into the role of the circadian gene Zfhx3 in growth and appetite, and how this gene may be involved in key neurons of the hypothalamus to regulate energy balance.  Dr Dumbell is interested in the temporal regulation of gene expression, and how this may alter adipose tissue development and physiology, particularly in different subcutaneous and visceral white adipose tissues. Dr Dumbell collaborates with researchers at the University of Bradford, University of Nottingham, University of Aberdeen and MRC Harwell Institute in Oxfordshire.

Opportunities may arise to carry out postgraduate research towards a PhD in the areas identified above. Further information maybe obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website or visit

If you are interested in carrying out a PhD with Dr Dumbell, please contact her by email to discuss projects and opportunities. This is worth doing even if no project is currently advertised. Please contact Dr Dumbell in advance of submitting an application.

External activity

Trustee and Communications Secretary for the British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Grant Panel Member
British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Ad Hoc Grant Reviewer
Medical Research Council,
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Review Editor 
Frontiers in Neuroscience (Neuroenergetics, Nutrition and Brain Health). Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience (Behavioural Endocrinology)

Ad hoc reviewer
PLoS One, Scientific Reports, Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Journal of Endocrinology

Contributor to The Conversation  

Obesity: Hamsters may hold the clue to beating it 

Belly fat linked to higher risk of premature death regardless of your weight

Contributor to The Endocrinologist
Hypothalamic links between growth and energy balance

Contributor to The Biologist
A day in the life

Contributor to Physiology News
Featured on The Physiological Society's "PhD and Beyond" webpage: The beauty of science is that it takes you across borders.

Casden Oral Presentation Prize, BSN-SNE 4th Joint Meeting of Neuroendocrinology 2021
Molecular Metabolism Early Career Researcher Prize, Physiology 2019
MRC Harwell Institute Awards, Team Player 2019
MRC Special Awards Scheme Award 2018
Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health Cuthbertson Prize 2012
Famelab  Regional Finalist 2011

External Funding
Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard 2023, British Society for Neuroendocrinology Academic Support Fund 2022, Society for Endocrinology Equipment Grant 2021. Society for Endocrinology Travel Award 2021. BSN Research Visit Grant 2019. Physiological Society Travel Grant 2019. Genetics Society Training Grant 2017. BSN Conference Travel Grant 2015. BSN Neuroendocrinologist Research Visit Grant 2012


Dr Dumbell regularly publishes in international peer reviewed journals. An up-to-date list of her publications is available through iRep, and can be viewed on her ORCID profile, and google scholar.

See all of Rebecca Dumbell's publications...