Ryan Russell

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Ryan Russell

Junior Research Fellow
Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Room 436-01 , Medical Science 2

+61 3 6226 4655 (phone)

Dr Russell's chosen career pathway is to take a cross-disciplinary, and translational approach to studying the junking where CVD and type 2 diabetes intersect. His primary area of research is metabolic function/dysfunction, and how exercise improves this in diabetes.


I began my research career at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) under  Drs. Enette Larson-Meyer and Eric Ravussin. Though yet unspecialized, for all practical purposes, I was an exercise physiologist.  

Since then, I received my PhD in exercise physiology (diabetes metabolism and cardiovascular complications), studied in some incredible places, learned amazing things, and have never looked back. I could talk more about what I've done, where I've been, and what I've learned, but my CV is already posted. Instead, I'll just touch upon why I do what I do.

Why did I go into a field that doesn't earn much money (for the time spent in training), has no job stability, and requires you to constantly 'stretch'​ yourself (in the words of former mentor, Michael Quon)? I love the challenge of the physiology puzzle. I can't imagine a life where I DON'T push myself to the limit, physically and mentally. I live for the thrill that new finding or twist with which my data presents me. I (with the strong support of co-investigators) submitted millions of $$ in grant applications. I was spending long hours in front of the computer crunching preliminary data, reading articles, formulating various hypotheses, etc, and a colleague said something about the tremendous stress. I said something right away without even thinking about it. That's when I learned something about myself that I had ignored for years. I said:

'If it were easy, it wouldn't be so fun.'​ 

That's really why I started in this path, why I've continued, and why I hope to have a long, prosperous career. Its the combination of the struggle, and the puzzle that excites and motivates me. I love collaborations, because bringing different fields together makes the puzzle both more complex and more clear.

Now I am poised to work on projects linking: Clinical diabetes/CV work with: exercise physiology, cancer prevention, psychological/behavior modification, as well as community outreach/public health.

Career summary


  • PhD, Louisiana State University, USA, 2011. An Examination of Metabolism in Diabetic Offspring
  • BSc (Biomedical Science), Marquette University, USA

Languages (other than English)

  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (moderate)
  • French (limited)
  • Dutch (limited)


Professional practice

  • ACSM
  • AHA
  • ADA


Presented guest lectures on cardiovascular function, VO2, metabolic function and cardiometabolic syndrome. Incorporated the STAR (Science Teacher And Researcher) teaching techniques, with heavy emphasis on student interactions and responses in labs and lectures.

Teaching expertise

  • Exercise Physiology Lab (2004 – 2006)
  • Anatomy Lab (2006 – 2008, 2010)
  • Circuit Training (2009 – 2010)
  • Guest Lecturer: Exercise Physiology
  • Tutor for the LSU Center for Student-Athletes (2006-2008)
  • Guest Lecturer: Exercise in Health and Disease lectures

Research Appointments

Dr Russell has had NIH-funded research appointments at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, and at the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he is working as a Junior Research Fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

View more on Dr Ryan Russell in WARP


Dr Russell is currently working on two international research project with colleagues at UCLA, and has pending grant applications to extend these collaborations with researchers on the mainland, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in the US. Locally, his current projects are in collaboration with several researchers from Menzies, SOM, and RHH.


  • American College of Sports Medicine Visiting Scholar Award
  • NIH T-32 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Fields of Research

  • Endocrinology (320208)
  • Systems physiology (320803)
  • Exercise physiology (420702)
  • Zoology (310999)
  • Medical biochemistry - carbohydrates (320502)
  • Preventative health care (420605)
  • Geriatrics and gerontology (320210)
  • Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases) (320101)
  • Medical physiology (320899)
  • Sports medicine (320225)
  • Health services and systems (420399)

Research Objectives

  • Clinical health (200199)
  • Preventive medicine (200412)
  • Other health (209999)
  • Evaluation of health and support services (200299)
  • Behaviour and health (200401)
  • Health education and promotion (200203)
  • Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions (200101)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health system performance (210303)
  • Public health (excl. specific population health) (200499)


Dr Russell has published several manuscripts in the field of exercise physiology, diabetes metabolism, and genetics related to type 2 diabetes.

Total publications


Journal Article

(14 outputs)
2018Hu D, Remash D, Russell RD, Greenaway T, Rattigan S, et al., 'Impairments in adipose tissue microcirculation in Type 2 diabetes mellitus assessed by real-time contrast-enhanced ultrasound', Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, 11, (4) Article e007074. ISSN 1942-0080 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.117.007074 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 9

Co-authors: Remash D; Greenaway T; Rattigan S; Squibb KA; Jones G; Premilovac D; Richards SM; Keske MA


2018Hu D, Russell RD, Remash D, Greenaway T, Rattigan S, et al., 'Are the metabolic benefits of resistance training in type 2 diabetes linked to improvements in adipose tissue microvascular blood flow?', American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 315, (6) pp. E1242-E1250. ISSN 0193-1849 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00234.2018 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Remash D; Greenaway T; Rattigan S; Squibb KA; Jones G; Ross RM; Premilovac D; Richards SM; Keske MA


2018Russell RD, Hu D, Greenaway T, Sharman JE, Rattigan S, et al., 'Oral glucose challenge impairs skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow in healthy people', American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 315, (2) pp. E307-E315. ISSN 0193-1849 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00448.2017 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 13Web of Science - 15

Co-authors: Greenaway T; Sharman JE; Rattigan S; Richards SM; Keske MA


2017Keske MA, Dwyer RM, Russell RD, Blackwood SJ, Brown AA, et al., 'Regulation of microvascular flow and metabolism: An overview', Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 44, (1) pp. 143-149. ISSN 0305-1870 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1440-1681.12688 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 16

Co-authors: Keske MA; Dwyer RM; Blackwood SJ; Brown AA; Premilovac D; Richards SM; Rattigan S


2017Russell RD, Hu D, Greenaway T, Blackwood SJ, Dwyer RM, et al., 'Skeletal muscle microvascular-linked improvements in glycemic control from resistance training in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes', Diabetes Care, 40, (9) pp. 1256-1263. ISSN 0149-5992 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.2337/dc16-2750 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 31Web of Science - 29

Co-authors: Greenaway T; Blackwood SJ; Dwyer RM; Sharman JE; Jones G; Squibb KA; Brown AA; Otahal P; Al-Aubaidy H; Premilovac D; Hitchins S; Richards SM; Rattigan S; Keske MA


2015Zhang D, Zhang L, Yue F, Zheng Y, Russell R, 'Serum zonulin is elevated in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and correlates with insulin resistance and severity of anovulation', European Journal of Endocrinology, 172, (1) pp. 29-36. ISSN 0804-4643 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1530/EJE-14-0589 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 34Web of Science - 31


2014Russell RD, Nelson AG, Kraemer RR, 'Short bouts of high-intensity resistance-style training produce similar reductions in fasting blood glucose of diabetic offspring and controls', Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: The Research Journal of The National Strength and Conditioning Association, 28, (10) pp. 2760-2767. ISSN 1064-8011 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000624 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8


2014Zhang D, Zhang L, Zheng Y, Yue F, Russell RD, et al., 'Circulating zonulin levels in newly diagnosed Chinese type 2 diabetes patients', Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 106, (2) pp. 312-318. ISSN 0168-8227 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2014.08.017 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 47Web of Science - 46


2013Russell RD, Kraemer RR, Nelson AG, 'Metabolic dysfunction in diabetic offspring: Deviations in metabolic flexibility', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 45, (1) pp. 8-15. ISSN 0195-9131 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31826909d3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 15


2013Zheng Y, Zhang D, Zhang L, Fu M, Zeng Y, et al., 'Variants of NLRP3 gene are associated with insulin resistance in Chinese Han population with type-2 diabetes', Gene: An International Journal Focusing on Gene Cloning and Gene Structure and Function, 530, (1) pp. 151-154. ISSN 0378-1119 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2013.07.082 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 30Web of Science - 28


2009Russell RD, Willis KS, Ravussin E, Larson-Meyer ED, 'Effects of endurance running and dietary fat on circulating ghrelin and peptide YY', Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 8, (4) pp. 574-583. ISSN 1303-2968 (2009) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 18


2008Larson-Meyer DE, Borkhsenious ON, Gullett JC, Russell R, Devries MC, et al., 'Effect of dietary fat on serum and intramyocellular lipids and running performance', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40, (5) pp. 892-902. ISSN 0195-9131 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318164cb33 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 11Web of Science - 10


2007Frisard MI, Fabre JM, Russell RD, King CM, DeLany JP, et al., 'Physical activity level and physical functionality in nonagenarians compared to individuals aged 60-74 years', Journals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 62A, (7) pp. 783-788. ISSN 1079-5006 (2007) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2004Russell RD, Redmann SM, Ravussin E, Hunter GR, Larson-Meyer DE, 'Reproducibility of Endurance Performance on a Treadmill Using a Preloaded Time Trial', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36, (4) pp. 717-724. ISSN 0195-9131 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000121954.95892.C8 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 29Web of Science - 31


Conference Publication

(1 outputs)
2016Hu Donghua, Russell RD, Sharman JE, Rattigan S, Jacobson GA, et al., 'Effect of blueberry tea on improving metabolic and vascular function in people with and without type 2 diabetes - A Pilot Study', Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, 24-26 August, 2016, Gold Coast, Australia (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Sharman JE; Rattigan S; Jacobson GA; Al-Aubaidy HAM; Richards SM; Keske MAV

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Mixed Meal Challenge A new diagnostic test for screening pre diabetes (2016)$24,225
The oral glucose tolerance test (GTT) is the gold standard for assessing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes (T2D), and is used world-wide. However, our researchgroup has made an important discovery demonstrating the GTT causes acute microvascular insulin resistance in healthy people. These findings have asignificant clinical impact as it implies that the GTT does not have the sensitivity to identify people with vascular-derived insulin resistance which is one of theearliest events in the development of pre-diabetes. Therefore, people with vascular‐derived insulin resistance are not being identified or diagnosed. We have developed an alternative test (the mixed meal challenge; MMC) and hypothesise it will have greater capacity to screen for pre-diabetes.Aim 1: Determine whether the MMC can identify pre-diabetes in a population of people that would otherwise be considered healthy in response to a GTT.Aim 2: Determine whether the benefits of the MMC as a new diagnostic test is linked to microvascular insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle.
Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation ($24,225)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Keske MAV; Greenaway TM; Rattigan S; Russell RD; Neilson S