School of Health & Human Performance


Primary Department
School of Health & Human Performance
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
Room Number

Academic biography

Dr. Donal O’Gorman is Interim Director of the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB), a leading research institute located on the DCU campus in Dublin. The NICB is a major focus for cell and molecular biology research in Ireland, in particular as it interacts with clinical translational research in the cancer, diabetes and ocular disease areas, and with the Biopharma and other bioscience-related industry.

Dr. O'Gorman also leads the 3U Diabetes Partnership, an initiative integrating the research expertise of DCU, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Maynooth University. In addition, he is Deputy Director of the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology at DCU. Dr. O’Gorman’s research focuses on metabolic physiology, in particular the regulation of insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure as well as the cellular regulation of gene expression and mitochondrial function.

Dr. O’Gorman has a strong track record of working on large scale, collaborative, European research projects. DEXLIFE is an EU FP7 collaborative project to identify biomarkers that better predict the onset of type 2 diabetes and INTERCONNECT is a global initiative on diabetes gene-environment. In addition, he is on the management committee of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on Diet and Diet related diseases (DEDIPAC), heads a European Space Agency group on metabolism and is a member of the ESF funded roadmap for space research in Europe (THESEUS).

In 2010 he was a co-recipient of the XII National award for research on Sports Medicine in Spain. He was a member of the National Task Force on Obesity in Ireland, a former president of the Exercise and Sport Science Association of Ireland and is currently on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism

Research interests

Skeletal muscle contraction as a regulator of gene transcription and protein content Muscle contraction is an important stimulus of gene transcription and it is known that in trained individuals across all age groups, the number of mitochondria and the content of key regulators of metabolism are increased. We are looking at the role of contraction intensity on the regulation of gene transcription. Insulin and non-insulin mediated glucose transport The evaluation of insulin-mediated signalling pathways is central to our understanding of glucose transport. We also use the model of muscular contraction to elicit improvements in GLUT-4 translocation and subsequent improvements in metabolic function. This model is useful for the study of insulin and non-insulin mediated pathways of glucose transport and especially useful in the identification of novel pathways that may become pharmacological targets. Cellular and molecular regulation of substrate utilisation The regulation of energy expenditure, especially glucose-free fatty acid cycling in skeletal muscle, contributes to the progressive decrease in insulin sensitivity.