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Metal Metabolism

About Metal Metabolism Group

Metal Metabolism

The Metal Metabolism research group have established a tradition of excellence over 30 years for studying metals in nutrition, biology, health and medicine. Current research focuses on systemic, cellular, and molecular regulation of iron and zinc homeostasis in health and disease.

Members of the group have discovered and characterised several genes involved in iron homeostasis including Dcytb (ferric-reductase), ferroportin (iron exporter) and HCP1/PCFT (haem importer). We demonstrated that hepcidin inhibits intestinal iron transport through down-regulation of DMT1 and ferroportin.

Investigations include studying molecules involved in cellular zinc homeostasis; the control of cellular zinc ion fluxes in signalling, antioxidant and stress (glucocorticoid) responses; and how cellular metal ions are buffered and compartmentalized.

A particular strength of the Metal Metabolism research group is their multidisciplinary approach:

  • Animal models to study the physiology of metal absorption and homeostasis
  • Cell culture models to determine metal bioavailability and nutrient-gene interactions
  • Genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics to build interaction pathways for metal regulation
  • Inorganic chemical biology to investigate cellular metal ion fluxes with fluorescent probes


Several national and international institutes, including University College London, Institute Cochin, Paris, and National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, Norway.

Research in the Metal Metabolism group is funded by the BBSRC, MRC (NC3Rs), NERC, EU and Industry.

The Metal Metabolism research group is led by Professor Christer Hogstrand.

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