Professor Rory McCrimmon

Professor of Experimental Diabetes and Metabolism, Associate Dean of Research (School of Medicine), Deputy Head of Molecular & Clinical Medicine Division

Central regulation of glucose and energy metabolism

Professor Rory McCrimmon


Division of Molecular & Clinical Medicine
School of Medicine, University of Dundee
Level 5, Mailbox 12
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School

Phone Number:

+(44) 01382 383444

Email Address:


Rory McCrimmon trained at the University of Edinburgh and completed his clinical and speciality training in the South-East of Scotland before becoming an NHS Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Endocrinology at University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, in 2000. In 2002, he joined the faculty at Yale University, Connecticut, to investigate why people with type 1 and 2 diabetes are very prone to developing low glucose (Hypoglycaemia). He returned to Scotland in 2009 to establish his laboratory at the University of Dundee, where he is currently Professor of Experimental Diabetes and Metabolism and Honorary Consultant, and to develop his clinical interests in Hypoglycaemia Unawareness and Exercise in Type 1 diabetes. He was recently awarded the 2015 RD Lawrence Lecture by Diabetes UK for his research in Hypoglycaemia.

Prof McCrimmon is currently also Lead Clinician for the Scottish Diabetes Research Network (SDRN), which provides the necessary infrastructure to co-ordinate and enable academic and commercial research throughout Scotland. The SDRN hosts a National Research Register of over 11,000 subjects with diabetes pre-consented to be contacted about clinical trials. The register is directly linked to SCI-diabetes, which contains secure clinical and biochemical data on over 350,000 people with diabetes in Scotland.

Prof McCrimmon is currently research lead for the Academic Health Sciences Partnership in Tayside. Serves on Editorial Boards of Diabetologia, Diabetes Care and the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is a panel member for: Diabetes UK, Clinical Studies Group Management Committee; Diabetes UK, Intermediate Clinical Fellowships Panel; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation PEAK Programme; Panel member, International Hypoglycaemia Study Group;  Panel Member Medical Research Council Clinical Fellowship Training and Career Development Awards panel; Panel Member, Research Advisory Board, Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation. 


The primary research of the McCrimmon group is in the area of diabetes and metabolic disorders. Within this general field the focus of the laboratory is in the CNS (hypothalamic) mechanisms that underlie glucose-sensing, and in particular those mechanisms operative during disturbances of glucose homeostasis such as hypoglycemia. The laboratories work encompasses basic research in cell culture models as well as translational research in human studies. The McCrimmon Laboratory has successfully obtained »£2.5 million in direct funds for laboratory research into Type 1 diabetes since re-location to the University of Dundee as well as obtaining significant funds through collaborative research. In particular, the McCrimmon Laboratory has been continuously funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for more than 10 years. The JDRF are the world’s leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research and have contributed >£1 billion in funds to research since its inception 40 years ago. 


  • McCrimmon RJ. Old habits are hard to break: Lessons from the study of hypoglycaemia. Diabetic Medicine (in press)
  • Haythorne , E., Hamilton, D. L., Findlay, J. A., Beall, C., McCrimmon, RJ & Ashford, M. Chronic exposure to KATP channel openers results in attenuated glucose sensing in hypothalamic GT1-7 neurons. Neuropharmacology. 2016 111:212-222.
  • George, PS, McCrimmon RJ. Saxagliptin co‐therapy in C‐peptide negative Type 1 diabetes does not improve counter‐regulatory responses to hypoglycaemia. Diabetic Medicine 2016. Vol. 33, No. 9, 28.12.2015, p. 1283-1290.
  • Read SH, Kerssens JJ, McAllister DA, Colhoun HM, Fischbacher CM, Lindsay RS, McCrimmon RJ, McKnight JA, Petrie JR, Sattar N, Wild SH; Scottish Diabetes Research Network Epidemiology Group. Trends in type 2 diabetes incidence and mortality in Scotland between 2004 and 2013.  Diabetolgia 2016 Oct;59(10):2106-13.
  • McNeilly AD, Gallagher JR, Dinkova-Kostova AT, Hayes JD, Sharkey J, Ashford MLJ, McCrimmon RJ. Nrf2-mediated neuroprotection against recurrent hypoglycemia is insufficient to prevent cognitive impairment in a rodent model of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes 2016 Oct;65(10):3151-60
  • Aucott LS, Philip S, Avenell A, Afolabi E, Sattar N, Wild S, Emslie Smith Fischbacher C, Cunningham S, Looker H, Colhoun H, Petrie J, McKnight J, Lindsay R, McCrimmon RJ, Leese G, Scottish Diabetes Research Network Epidemiology Group. BMJ Open e010836.
  • Yavari, A., C. J. Stocker, S. Ghaffari, E. T. Wargent, V. Steeples, G. Czibik, K. Pinter, M. Bellahcene, A. Woods, P. B. Martinez de Morentin, C. Cansell, B. Y. Lam, A. Chuster, K. Petkevicius, M. S. Nguyen-Tu, A. Martinez-Sanchez, T. J. Pullen, P. L. Oliver, A. Stockenhuber, C. Nguyen, M. Lazdam, J. F. O'Dowd, P. Harikumar, M. Toth, C. Beall, T. Kyriakou, J. Parnis, D. Sarma, G. Katritsis, D. D. Wortmann, A. R. Harper, L. A. Brown, R. Willows, S. Gandra, V. Poncio, M. J. de Oliveira Figueiredo, N. R. Qi, S. N. Peirson, R. J. McCrimmon, B. Gereben, L. Tretter, C. Fekete, C. Redwood, G. S. Yeo, L. K. Heisler, G. A. Rutter, M. A. Smith, D. J. Withers, D. Carling, E. B. Sternick, J. R. Arch, M. A. Cawthorne, H. Watkins and H. Ashrafian "Chronic Activation of gamma2 AMPK Induces Obesity and Reduces beta Cell Function." Cell Metab 2016  23(5): 821-836.
  • Wilkin T, Greene S, McCrimmon R. Testing the accelerator hypothesis: a new approach to type 1 diabetes prevention (adAPT 1). Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Jan;18(1):3-5. PubMed PMID: 26511442.
  • McNeilly AD, McCrimmon RJ. The Scylla and Charybdis of glucose control in childhood type 1 diabetes? Pediatr Diabetes. 2015 Jun;16(4):235-41. PubMed PMID: 25727089.
  • Malik MO, Govan L, Petrie JR, Ghouri N, Leese G, Fischbacher C, et al. Ethnicity and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD): 4.8 year follow-up of patients with type 2 diabetes living in Scotland. Diabetologia. 2015 Apr;58(4):716-25. PubMed PMID: 25669630.
  • Livingstone SJ, Levin D, Looker HC, Lindsay RS, Wild SH, Joss N, et al. Estimated life expectancy in a Scottish cohort with type 1 diabetes, 2008-2010. JAMA. 2015 Jan 6;313(1):37-44. PubMed PMID: 25562264. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4426486.
  • George PS, Tavendale R, Palmer CN, McCrimmon RJ. Diazoxide improves hormonal counterregulatory responses to acute hypoglycemia in long-standing type 1 diabetes. Diabetes. 2015 Jun;64(6):2234-41. PubMed PMID: 25591873.
  • Meakin PJ, Chowdhry S, Sharma RS, Ashford FB, Walsh SV, McCrimmon RJ, et al. Susceptibility of Nrf2-null mice to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis upon consumption of a high-fat diet is associated with oxidative stress, perturbation of the unfolded protein response, and disturbance in the expression of metabolic enzymes but not with insulin resistance. Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Sep;34(17):3305-20. PubMed PMID: 24958099. Pubmed Central PMCID: 4135558.
  • McCrimmon RJ. The challenges of hypoglycemia in the community. Diabetic Hypoglycemia. 2014 1;6(3):1.
  • McCrimmon RJ. Challenges associated with exercise in type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Hypoglycemia. 2014 6;7(1):1-2.
  • McNay EC, Teske JA, Kotz CM, Dunn-Meynell A, Levin BE, McCrimmon RJ, et al. Long-term, intermittent, insulin-induced hypoglycemia produces marked obesity without hyperphagia or insulin resistance. a model for weight gain with intensive insulin therapy. American Journal of Physiology 2013 1/15;304(2):E131-E8.
  • George P, McCrimmon RJ. Potential role of non-insulin adjunct therapy in Type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine. 2013 2/1;30(2):179-88.
  • George P, McCrimmon RJ. Avoiding hypoglycemia during protracted physical exercise by utilizing modern technology. Diabetic Hypoglycemia. 2013 2/28;5(3):12-4.
  • Gardiner A, George PS, Pearson E, McCrimmon RJ. An interesting case of new-onset ketosis-prone diabetes in a Scottish teaching hospital. British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease. 2013 10/1;13(5-6):265-8.
  • Beall C, Watterson KR, McCrimmon RJ, Ashford MLJ. AMPK modulates glucose-sensing in insulin-secreting cells by altered phosphotransfer to KATP channels. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. 2013 6;45(3):229-41.
  • Beall C, Haythorne E, Fan X, Du Q, Jovanovic S, Sherwin R, et al. Continuous hypothalamic KATP channel activation blunts glucose counter-regulation in vivo in rats and supresses KATP conductance in vitro. Diabetologia. 2013 9;56(9):2088-92.
  • Yang L, Isoda F, Yen K, Kleopoulos SP, Janssen W, Fan X, et al. Hypothalamic Fkbp51 is induced by fasting, and elevated hypothalamic expression promotes obese phenotypes. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;302(8):E987-E91.
  • McCrimmon RJ, Ryan CM, Frier BM. Diabetes and cognitive dysfunction. Lancet. 2012 6/16;379(9833):2291-9.
  • McCrimmon RJ, Oz G. Cerebral adaption to recurrent hypoglycemia. Translational Endocrinology and Metabolism. Chevy Chase, MD: Endocrine Society; 2012. p. 89-114.
  • George P, McCrimmon RJ. Diazoxide. Practical Diabetes International. 2012 1/1;29(1):36-7.
  • McCrimmon RJ. Update in the CNS response to hypoglycemia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2012 1/1;97(1):1-8.
  • George PS, McCrimmon RJ. Therapeutic strategies to prevent hypoglycemia using pharmacologic interventions. Diabetic Hypoglycemia. 2012 10;5(2):13-6.
  • Beall C, Hamilton DL, Gallagher J, Logie L, Wright K, Soutar MP, et al. Mouse hypothalamic GT1-7 cells demonstrate AMPK-dependent intrinsic glucose-sensing behaviour. Diabetologia. 2012 9;55(9):2432-44.
  • Beall C, Ashford ML, McCrimmon RJ. The physiology and pathophysiology of the neural control of the counterregulatory response. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2012 1;302(2):R215-R23.
  • Ashford M, Beall C, McCrimmon RJ. Hypoglycaemia: exercise for the brain? Neuroendocrinology 2012 10;24(10):1365-6.


Primary teaching role is in academic mentoring and supervision of clinicians and undergraduates, as well as delivery of lectures as part of the undergraduate and post-graduate training in Diabetes and Endocrinology.

PhD Supervision

Elizabeth Hawthorne (2010-2014)

Dr Priya George (2011-2015)

Geoffrey Denwood (2011-2015)

Adonis Yiannakas (2012-2015)

Harriet Johnston (2010-2012)


International Lectures

09/16            Clinical Inertia: Lessons from Scotland, EASD, Munich, Germany.

09/16            Exercise in Type 1 Diabetes: JDRF PEAK Program Overview, Munich, Germany.

04/16            Physiology of Exercise in Type 1 Diabetes; JDRF PEAK, Boston, US

02/16            Impaired hypoglycaemia awareness; The habit of a lifetime. Steno Diabetes Centre, Denmark

10/15            Impaired hypoglycaemia awareness; The habit of a lifetime. International Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, Brisbane, Australia.

03/15            Cerebral adaption to recurrent hypoglycaemia. Levine Symposium, San Diego, USA.

08/14            The Scylla and Charybdis of glucose control in Type 1 Diabetes. Norwegian Diabetes Meeting, Oslo.

01/14            Hypoglycaemia: The study of stress, starvation and tolerance. 3U Meeting, Dublin.

12/13            Diabetes and Dementia, IDF, Melbourne, Australia, Keynote lecture.

10/13            The highs and lows of metabolic stress in type 1 diabetes. International Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Gothenberg, Sweden.

10/12            Another piece of the jigsaw: How the brain regulates pancreatic endocrine function. International Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes conference, Istanbul, Turkey.

09/12            Hypoglycaemia Tolerance: An adaptive response to repeated hypoglycaemia, National Diabetes Symposium, Helsinki, Finland.

03/12            Hypoglycaemia and the brain: does age play and important role. Lilly peaks and Valleys meeting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

04/12            Hypoglycaemia and the brain: does age play and important role. Lilly peaks and Valleys meeting, Amsterdam, Holland.

08/12            Hypoglycaemia and the brain: does age play and important role. Lilly peaks and Valleys meeting, Santiago, Chile.

09/11            Mechanisms of hypoglycaemia sensing, Diabetes Dialogue, Barcelona, Spain.

Group Alumni

Dr Ligang Zhou – Professor and Director of Department of Endocrinology, Shuguang hospital, Shanghai, China.

Dr Haiying Cheng - Assistant Professor, Dept of Oncology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr Craig Beall -  Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellow