Dr Antonios Matsakas

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Dr Antonios Matsakas is a lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the Centre for Atherothrombotic and Metabolic Disease. He was awarded his PhD from the German Sport University Cologne in Tissue Morphology and Sports Medicine in 2004. He received extensive post-doctoral training on skeletal muscle physiology at the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, The University of Padua (2005-2006) with Dr. C. Reggiani, at the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Reading (2007-2010) with Dr. K. Patel and at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston (2010-2013) with Dr. V. Narkar. He joined the University of Hull in 2013 as a lecturer in Physiology and he moved to the Hull York Medical School (HYMS) in 2015. Antonios became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in 2015 and senior fellow (SFHEA) in 2017.  

Office: Room 101, Allam Building, University of Hull.


  • German Sport University Cologne, Germany: PhD in Tissue Morphology and Sports Medicine (2001 - 2004)

  • University of Padua, Italy: Research fellow at the Dept. of Anatomy & Physiology (2005 - 2006)

  • University of Reading, UK: Postdoctoral fellow at the School of Biological Sciences (2007 - 2010)

  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA: Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (2010 - 2013)

  • University of Hull, UK: Lecturer in Physiology at the Dept. of Sport Health & Exercise (2013-2014); Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the Hull York Medical School (2015 - )

  • Research interests

    His research interest focuses on the study of skeletal muscle plasticity in response to differing patho/physiological stimuli (e.g. nutritional interventions, damage/injury and exercise). Skeletal muscle is a highly plastic tissue that adapts to a variety of environmental challenges by changing its metabolic, functional and contractile properties. Discovery of key molecules and novel pathways that regulate the maintenance and repair of muscle tissue has important therapeutic implications in several metabolic and muscle degenerative diseases.

    A major focus is placed on studying how nuclear hormone receptors regulate all aspects of mitochondrial metabolism and skeletal muscle fibre growth, maintenance and regeneration in the context of metabolic and degenerative disorders associated with skeletal myopathies. Targeting nuclear receptors in the skeletal muscle can be exploited in order to assimilate their role in muscle physiology, using (epi)genetic mouse models, in vivo, in vitro and ex vivo approaches.

    PhD opportunities

    Highly motivated students holding a good honours degree in any biomedical discipline who wish to pursue their PhD studies in molecular physiology and metabolic medicine are encouraged to contact me.

    Research funding

  • The Royal Society (2015)

  • The European Union (FP7 calls; 2014 - 2018)



    Project update October 2016

    Recent Publications

    1. Omairi S, Matsakas A, Degens H, Kretz O, Hansson KA, Solbrå AV, Bruusgaard JC, Joch B, Sartori R, Giallourou N, Mitchell R, Collins-Hooper H, Foster K, Pasternack A, Ritvos O, Sandri M, Narkar V, Swann JR, Huber TB, Patel K. (2016). Enhanced exercise and regenerative capacity in a mouse model that violates size constraints of oxidative muscle fibres. Elife. 5. pii: e16940. doi: 10.7554/eLife.16940. PMID: 27494364

    2. Matsakas A, Prosdocimo DA, Mitchell R, Collins-Hooper H, Giallourou N, Swann JR, Potter P, Epting T, Jain MK, Patel K. (2015). Investigating mechanisms underpinning the detrimental impact of a high fat diet in the developing and adult hypermuscular myostatin null mouse. Skelet Muscle. 5:38. eCollection, PMID:26644908

    3. Collins-Hooper H, Sartori R, Giallourou N, Matsakas A, Mitchell R, Makarenkova H, Flasskamp H, Macharia R, Ray S, Swann JR, Sandri M, Patel K. (2015). Symmorphosis through Dietary Regulation: A Combinatorial Role for Proteolysis, Autophagy and Protein Synthesis in Normalising Muscle Metabolism and Function of Hypertrophic Mice after Acute Starvation. PLoS One. 10(3):e0120524, PMID: 25807490

    4. Yadav V, Matsakas A, Lorca S, Narkar V. (2014). PGC1β activates anti-angiogenic program to repress neo-angiogenesis in muscle ischemia. Cell Rep. (Jul 23. pii: S2211-1247(14)00524-5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.040. [Epub ahead of print]), PMID: 25066120

    5. Collins-Hooper H, Sartori R, Macharia R, Visanuvimol K, Foster K, Matsakas A, Flasskamp H, Ray S, Dash PR, Sandri M, Patel K. (2014). Propeptide-Mediated Inhibition of Myostatin Increases Muscle Mass Through Inhibiting Proteolytic Pathways in Aged Mice. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 69:1049-59. PMID: 24414825

    6. For the full publications list, please click here.


    Dr Matsakas provides SSCs in Skeletal Myogenesis, Metabolic Homeostasis, Molecular Physiology and Skeletal Muscle Regeneration.

    Recent external activities

  • Antonios acts as an editor for the International Journal of Sports Medicine since 2017

  • External PhD examiner

  • Member of the British Atherosclerosis Society
  • Professors Ketan Patel and Keith Foster, University of Reading, UK

    Professor Vihang Narkar, University of Texas, USA

    Dr Nadira Yuldasheva, University of Leeds, UK

    Dr Hans Degens, Metropolitan University of Manchester, UK

    Professor Marco Patruno, University of Padova, Italy

    Contact details
    01482 465008

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