Dr James Hobkirk

Lecturer in Physiology

Faculty of Health Sciences


01482 463301

Programme director for Applied Exercise Science for Health/ Research Ethics Committee, Physiology/ Health and Safety Officer

Dr James Hobkirk joined the Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science in April 2015 as a lecturer in physiology.

He received his PhD, entitled Hypertriglyceridaemia, small dense low-density lipoproteins and cardio-metabolic risk stratification in paediatric obesity, in 2011.

James is scientific director and an honorary scientist in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust.

He collaborates with international academics and clinicians, and is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, an expert reviewer for the Health Research Authority and sits on the editorial board of a clinical journal.


Research Interests

  • Pathophysiology of human disease

  • Metabolic dysregulation

  • Organ specific lipotoxicity

Research groups

  • Professor Mahmoud Loubani, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust

  • Dr Handrean Soran, Consultant Endocrinologist and Lipidologist, Head of Lipoprotein research laboratory, Cardiovascular Research Group, University of Manchester

  • Professor John G F Cleland, Professor of Clinical Cardiology, University of Glasgow.

  • Dr Cordula Stover, Senior Lecturer in Immunology Infection and Inflammation, University of Leicester

  • Professor Matthijs Hesselink, Professor of Movement Science, University of Maastricht, Netherlands

  • Professor André Tchernof, Professor of Adipose Tissue Biology and Steroid Metabolism, Laval University, Canada

  • Dr Agata Burska, Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds


King R, Hobkirk J P, Cooke C B, Radley D, Gately P J, 'Low-Density Lipoprotein Sub-Fraction Profiles in Obese Children Before and After Attending a Residential Weight Loss Intervention', Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, 15 (2), pp 100-107 (2008)

Hobkirk J P, King R F G J, Gately P J, Pemberton P, Smith A, Barth J H, Carroll S, 'Longitudinal factor analysis reveals a distinct clustering of metabolic improvements during intensive, short-term dietary and exercise intervention in obese youth', Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 10 (1), pp 20-25 (2012)

Hobkirk J P, King R F G J, Pemberton P, Smith A, Barth J H, Gately P, Harman N, Davies I G, Carroll S, 'The Predictive Ability of Triglycerides and Waist (Hypertriglyceridemic waist) in Assessing Metabolic Triad Change in Obese Children and Adolescents', Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 11 (5), pp 336-342 (2013)

Hobkirk J P, King R F G J, Davies I G, Harman N, Gately P J, Pemberton P, Smith A, Barth J H, Carroll S, 'The metabolic inter-relationships between changes in waist circumference, triglycerides, insulin sensitivity and small dense low-density lipoprotein particles with acute weight loss in clinically obese children and adolescents', Pediatric Obesity, 9 (3), pp 209-217 (2014)

Kheder R, Hobkirk J, Stover C, 'In vitro Modulation of the LPS-Induced Proinflammatory Profile of Hepatocytes and Macrophages- Approaches for Intervention in Obesity?', Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (2016)


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Exercise Prescription for Health and Disease

  • Pathophysiology of Cardio-Metabolic Disease

Research PhDs

James currently co-supervises a number of postgraduate students within the remit of pathophysiology of human disease, metabolic dysregulation and organ specific lipotoxicity. He is particularly interested in the mechanisms and treatment of metabolic dysregulation in the blood and at the tissue and cellular level via nutritional, exercise and pharmaceutical therapies.

Completed PhDs

  • Mr Ramiar Kheder, Nutritional strategies to reduce lipogenesis, inflammation and fibrosis in mouse hepatic tissue, isolated macrophages and Hep G2 cells (PhD, with Dr C Stover, University of Leicester)

Current PhD supervisions 

  • Mr Yama Haqzad, Lipogenic and oxidative gene profiles controlling myocardial energy metabolism (MD)

  • Mr Zaheer Tahir, Modulating cardiac energy metabolism in ex vivo right atria and human cardiomyocytes with dicholoracetatev (MD)

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Professional highlights

External roles

  • Member of the Royal Society of Medicine

  • Expert reviewer for the Health Research Authority

  • Editorial board, Journal of Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiac Surgery