Skip to content
Profile icon

Rebecca Dumbell

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology


Dr Rebecca Dumbell is a senior lecturer in biosciences 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 in particular 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 Aberdeen and MRC Harwell Institute in Oxfordshire.

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

If you have an interest in carrying out a PhD on any of the areas above, please contact Dr Dumbell by email to discuss projects and opportunities.

External activity

Dr Dumbell is a trustee and communications secretary for the British Society for Neuroendocrinology