Dr. Paul J Thornalley | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


Dr. Paul J Thornalley

Dr. Paul J Thornalley

Director, Diabetes Research Center
Diabetes Research Center
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute

Joint Professor
College of Health and Life Sciences

  • Phone+974 70901635
  • Office locationQBRI, RC-B2-D128


Paul J. Thornalley is an international diabetes researcher. His studies focus on metabolic dysfunction driving the development of insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes and diabetic vascular complications. He has 560 publications (316 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in books; 244 conference abstracts and papers – first or last author in ca. 95%) and 15 patents, receiving over 38,000 citations, h-index 105.

Research Interests

  • Metabolic dysfunction driving the development of insulin resistance and obesity, type 2 diabetes and diabetic vascular complications: (i) hexokinase-2 linked unscheduled glycolysis and glycolytic overload, and (ii) increased methylglyoxal (MG), “dicarbonyl stress”, protein glycation by MG and activation of the unfolded protein response
  • Development of glyoxalase 1 inducers for prevention and treatment of diabetes and vascular complications of diabetes and healthy aging
  • Protein glycation and oxidation biomarkers for clinical diagnostic applications in diabetes and other conditions
  • Other: development of glyoxalase 1 inhibitor therapeutics for treatment of multidrug resistant tumors and repurposing of glyoxalase-1 based therapeutics for COVID-19


Scientific Director

Diabetes Research Center, QBRI and Professor, CHLS.

2018 - Present
  • Professor of Systems Biology

    Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

    2007 - 2018
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer Reader and Professor in Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics

    University of Essex, Colchester, UK.

    1988 - 2006
  • Lecturer in Toxicology

    Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

    1984 - 1988
  • Postdoctoral researcher

    New York University Medical School, Department of Pharmacology, New York, USA.

    1982 - 1983


BSc Chemistry (first class)

University of Manchester, UK

  • PhD Biochemistry

    University of Oxford, UK


Selected Publications

  • Murphy, M.P., Bayir, H., Belousov, V., Chang, C.J., Davies, K.J.A., Davies, M.J., Dick, T.P., Finkel, T., Forman, H.J., Janssen-Heininger, Y., Gems, D., Kagan, V.E., Kalyanaraman, B., Larsson, N.-G., Milne, G.L., Nyström, T., Poulsen, H.E., Radi, R., Van

    Guidelines for measuring reactive oxygen species and oxidative damage in cells and in vivo. Nature Metabolism 4, 651 – 662.

  • Rabbani, N. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Emerging glycation-based therapeutics – glyoxalase 1 inducers and glyoxalase 1 inhibitors. Internat J. Molec. Sci. 23, 2453

  • Rabbani, N., Xue, M. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Hexokinase-2-linked glycolytic overload and unscheduled glycolysis – driver of insulin resistance and development of vascular complications of diabetes. Internat J. Molec. Sci. 23, 2165.

  • Alhujaily, M., Abbas, H., Xue, M., de la Fuente, A., Rabbani, N. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Studies of glyoxalase 1-linked multidrug resistance reveal glycolysis-derived reactive metabolite, methylglyoxal, is a common contributor in cancer chemotherapy targeting the spliceosome. Frontiers in Oncol 11, 748698

  • Rabbani, N., Xue, M., Weickert, M.O. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Reversal of insulin resistance in overweight and obese subjects by trans-resveratrol and hesperetin combination – link to dysglycemia, blood pressure, dyslipidemia and low-grade inflammation. Nutrients 13, 237.

  • Rabbani, N., Xue, M. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Dicarbonyl stress, protein glycation and the unfolded protein response. Glycoconjugate J. 38, 331 – 334.

  • Rabbani, N. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Protein glycation – biomarkers of metabolic dysfunction and early-stage decline in health in the era of precision medicine. Redox Biology 42, 101920.

  • Ashour, A., Xue, M., Al-Motawa, M.S., Thornalley, P. J. and Rabbani, N.

    Glycolytic overload-driven dysfunction of periodontal ligament fibroblasts in high glucose concentration, corrected by glyoxalase 1 inducer. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. 8, e001458.

  • Al-Motawa, M.S., Abbas, H., Wijten, P., de la Fuente, A., Xue, M., Rabbani, N. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Vulnerabilities of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to proteotoxicity – opportunity for repurposed chemotherapy of COVID-19 infection. Frontiers in Pharmacology 11, Article 585408

  • Irshad, Z., Xue, M., Ashour, A., Larkin, J.R., Thornalley, P.J. and Rabbani, N.

    Activation of the unfolded protein response of endothelial cells in high glucose by methylglyoxal. Scientific Reports 9, 7889

  • Rabbani, N. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Hexokinase-2 glycolytic overload in diabetes and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 30, 419 – 431.

  • Rabbani, N., Xue, M., Weickert, M.O. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Multiple roles of glyoxalase 1-mediated suppression of methylglyoxal glycation in cancer biology – involvement in tumour suppression, tumour growth, multidrug resistance and target for chemotherapy. Seminars in Cancer Biology 49, 83 – 93.

  • Rabbani, N., Xue, M. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Methylglyoxal-induced dicarbonyl stress in ageing and disease – first steps towards glyoxalase 1-based treatments. Clin. Sci. 130, 1677–1696.

  • Xue, M., Weickert, M.O., Qureshi, S., Kandala, N.-B., Anwar, A., Waldron, M., Shafie, A., Messenger, D., Fowler, M., Jenkins, G., Rabbani, N. and Thornalley, P.J.

    Improved glycemic control and vascular function in overweight and obese subjects by glyoxalase 1 inducer formulation. Diabetes 65, 2282 – 2294.