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Full NameProfessor Neil G Docherty

School of Medicine (Anatomy)

University College Dublin

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Research Fields
  • physiology and non-communicable disease
  • comparative medicine
  • nutrition
  • clinical trials
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pathology
Medical Subspecialties
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Nephrology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
My Work

The current major focus of research work in the lab centres on the role of obesity and diabetes as modifiable risk factors for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. To this end, I co-lead translational research studies at The UCD Metabolic Medicine group wherein we work to identify and characterise optimised surgical and medical approaches for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and associated chronic kidney disease.

Potential Projects

Coordinating Metabolic and Renal Biorhythms Through Chrononutrition: A New Paradigm for the Treatment of Diabetic Kidney Disease

Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and chronic kidney disease. Dietary advice in patients
with obesity and diabetic kidney disease (DKD) emphasises the importance of quantity and quality of
caloric intake. Whether the timing and frequency of food intake might also impact DKD progression
remains an important unanswered question. Time-restricted eating (TRE) improves metabolic and
cardiovascular control in animal models and humans. Consequently, such approaches may be of value
in slowing the progression of DKD.

Using a pre-clinical rat model, we will assess whether circadian rhythms in eating, metabolic control and
blood pressure are disrupted during the evolution of experimental DKD, in parallel with altered circadian
patterns of gene expression in the kidney. Thereafter we will examine whether TRE protocols ± time optimised
pharmacology can restore circadian rhythms and arrest the progression of renal injury.

To extend clinical translation, we will explore the prevalent eating chronotypes of patients with obesity and
DKD and gauge patient and physician perceptions of TRE as a therapeutic concept. We will test the
impact of TRE on markers of renal injury, prognostic biomarkers of renal disease progression and
associated cardiometabolic parameters in patients with obesity and DKD.

Emerging Supervisor

Work in my laboratory would involve interaction with, and co-supervision by, leading basic and clinical research colleagues in the areas of obesity, diabetes and nephrology.