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Naila Rabbani

Naila Rabbani
Reader of Experimental Systems Biology & Deputy Director of RTP - Proteomics
AGE-Omics and Systems Biology Research Group
Warwick Medical School/The Zeeman Institute, University of Warwick,
Clinical Sciences Research Laboratories,
University Hospital, Coventry CV2 2DX, U.K.
Tel: 024 7696 8593 Fax: 024 7696 8653
CSRL Secretary: Rosemary Cragg Tel: 024 76968592
E-mail: Fax: 024 7696 8653

Research Interests

I lead multi-disciplinary team, working in the field of disease mechanisms - particularly in the study of damage to the proteome by glycation, oxidation and nitration i.e. AGE-Omics. Major theme of my research are (i)Proteomics of protein damage - innovative analytical techniques to study protein glycation, oxidation and nitration in ageing and disease. (ii) Dysfunctional lipoprotein metabolism - studying damage to lipoproteins in obesity, diabetes and ageing and risk of atherosclerosis. (iii) Protein damage in disease - biomarker discovery for early-stage diagnosis of disease (iv) Thiamine metabolism and therapy in diabetes - a novel factor predisposing to vascular complications of diabetes and route to therapy.

Research Theme

Diabetes, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease and Autism

  • Development of glyoxalase 1 inducer drugs and functional foods for the treatment of diabetic complications and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and to sustain healthy ageing (developing patented technology).
  • Dysfunctional metabolism of thiamine in experimental and clinical diabetes. Physiological-based pharmacokinetic modelling of thiamine metabolism in diabetes. Thiamine supplements for prevention and reversal of early-stage diabetic complications.
  • Dysfunctional lipoprotein metabolism – studying damage to lipoproteins in obesity and ageing and risk of atherosclerosis.


Improved glycemic control and vascular function in overweight and obese subjects by glyoxalase 1 inducer formulation

High-dose thiamine therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria: a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study

Glycation of LDL by Methylglyoxal Increases Arterial Atherogenicity


red grapes and oranges TREAT heart disease, diabetes and OBESITY

Diabetes problems 'vitamin link'd

Ultrabad’ cholesterol identified by British team

Metabolomics, Proteomics, Genomics, and Molecular imaging.

  • Innovative analytical techniques - to study protein Biomarkers in ageing and disease. ( analytical service available through Warwick Scientific Services)
  • Metabolomics and proteomics of protein damage – Proteome hotspots of glycation, oxidation and nitration damage, amino acid and damaged amino acid metabolome.
  • Biomarkers based on AGE-Omics for risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Arthritis (patent published) - Blood based diagonastic algorithm for early detection of osteoarthritis and typing of arthritis has been developed and validation of the test is in progress

New diagnostic test for early detection of arthritis based on AGE-Omics has been developed


I entered academic life as a mature student in 1995. After graduating in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry, I pursued pre-doctoral research improving analytical methods to identify and quantify markers of protein damage by glycation, oxidation and nitration. Damage to proteins of these types is important in mechanisms of chronic and degenerative disease mediating impairment of structural, catalytic and regulatory proteins. I gained skills and experience in mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS stable isotopic dilution analysis of amino acids and related glycated, oxidised and nitrated derivatives, and proteomics) mammalian cell culture, pre-clinical animal pharmacology and clinical studies; working with colleagues within the host research team and with several national and international collaborating research groups. In my post-doctoral research, I continued studies developing LC-MS/MS techniques for comprehensively and quantitatively screening for protein damage in models of disease mechanisms and clinical studies and became world leaders in this field - supported by Welcome Trust. With advanced proteomics techniques, I identified proteins and sites within proteins susceptible to damage by glycation; particularly glycation by the reactive dicarbonyl methylglyoxal (MG): albumin, haemoglobin, lens crystallins, lipoproteins and type IV collagen. Markers of damage to albumin and haemoglobin are of diagnostic relevance as markers of glycaemic control and risk of vascular disease development in diabetes. I studied markers of protein damage in clinical and experimental diabetes and diabetic complications, endstage renal disease and dialysis, cirrhosis, Alzheimers disease, ageing, arthritis and thermally processed foodstuffs. Damage to lens crystallins, lipoproteins and type IV collagen is important mechanistically in the development of cataract, cardeovascular and vascular disease, respectively. I specialise in preclinical and clinical studies of protein damage and the anti-stress gene response in disease mechanisms, diagnostics and therapeutics; with spin-off therapeutics development (high dose thiamine therapy for diabetic vascular complications).

My current research focus is investigations of disease mechanism in osteoarthritis, damage to cartilage and influence of dietary bioactive compounds on inflammation, damage and metabolism - supported by the legacy gift and BBSRC. My core research project is development of blood based test using protein damage markers for early detection of osteoarthritis. This includes use of mathematical models and machine learning. I am also a co-investigator on a multiple projects on nutrition and functional food to improve vascular health with Unilever and Nestle.

I have supervised 8 PhD students, published 102 peer-reviewed articles 8book chapters, 140 conference papers and abstracts and 6 patents. Recent major publications have been in Nature Medicine, Nature Protocol, Blood and Diabetes. My research papers have ca. 4564 citations and my h-index is 40. I collaborate widely with leading international research teams and have been a member of research grant review committees in UK. I am founding editor of the glycation section of Amino Acids journal and associate editor of the BMC journal Endocrine Disorders.

National/International Committiee/Society Appointments & Awards
  • 2007 Editor of “IMARS highlight”, Newsletter of the International Maillard Reaction Society.
  • 2009 – date, Council member, International Maillard Reaction Society.
  • 2009 Speaker and tutor, FEBS Advanced lecture course on protein damage, Turkey.
  • 2010 Founding co-editor on Amino-Acids Glycation peer–review journal (Springer).
  • 2012 - date Associate editor, BMC Endocrine Disorders (Biomed Central)
  • 2014 - date Editorial Board, Scientific Reports (Nature)
  • 2014 - date Membership of a Biochemical Society, (chair) Theme Panel Research Area III - Energy and Metabolism
  • 2015 - date International Life Sciences Institute ILSI (Europe). Membership of Expert Group on ‘Characterization and criteria for
    glycaemic exposure markers in the non-diabetic population’
  • 2014-date General secretory of European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Study Group on Reactive Metabolites in Diabetes, Dusseldorf, Germany,

Research Projects

View Current Projects View All Projects


View Naila Rabbani Publications on the University of Warwick Publication service.

Post Graduate Supervision

Mechanism of increased renal clearance of thiamine in hyperglycaemia associated with diabetes. Date of Completion: 2012

Protein damage markers in diagnosis, progression and treatment of arthritis Date of Completion: 2013

Dicarbonyl glycation and protein damage in vascular endothelial cells in hyperglycaemia associated with diabetes. Date of Completion: 2013

Effect of glyoxalase 1 silencing and gene deletion on development of diabetic nephropathy Date of Completion: 2014

Glycation in periodontal disease Date of Completion: April 2015

Biomarkers in diabetes 2015 - 2018

MDR in Cancer 2016 -2019

Prevention of diabetic nephropathy by Glyoxalase 1 inducers in model hyperglycaemia 2016 - 2020