Professor Francis Stephens

Professor Francis Stephens, Professor of Exercise Metabolism and Physiology at the University of Exeter

We know that ingestion of a Quorn mycoprotein-rich meal lowers blood glucose and insulin, but we don’t know why. This is important to understand, as lowering blood glucose and insulin following a meal can help in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Blood glucose lowering has also been observed with ingestion of fibre similar to that in Quorn mycoprotein, and increasing the amount of fibre in our diet can improve our health and prevent disease. My research aims to determine if, and how, regular consumption of Quorn products can help treat Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Francis Stephens is currently a Professor of Exercise Metabolism and Physiology at the University of Exeter, UK, where he is researching nutritional strategies to enhance muscle adaptation to exercise training and improve blood glucose control.

Following his PhD and post-doctoral positions at the University of Nottingham studying the regulation of skeletal muscle fat and carbohydrate metabolism in humans, Francis was awarded a 5-year Research Councils UK (RCUK) Academic Fellowship in Molecular Nutrition to investigate the molecular pathways underpinning metabolic perturbation in ageing and type 2 diabetes. His recent research has demonstrated that fat accumulation within muscle impairs how our muscles use protein to grow, and that the specific subcellular localisation of fat within muscle causes insulin resistance in older individuals. In addition, Francis has authored numerous original, peer-reviewed research and review articles in international journals and several book chapters on skeletal muscle metabolism and nutrition.

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