UTMB Health Department of Surgery Homepage Banner

Surgical Sciences

Murton Lab

Andrew Murton PhD

Dr. Murton is a member of the research faculty in the Department of Surgery at UTMB. He received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom in 2007 and completed his post-doctoral training at the same institution under the guidance of Professors Paul Greenhaff and the late Mike Rennie, both internationally recognized experts in the field of human muscle physiology. Under their guidance, he received training in the use of state-of-the-art techniques associated with the study of human whole-body and muscle metabolism, including the use of stable-isotopes, arterial-venous balance approaches, and the application of the insulin-clamp technique. In early 2017 he joined the Department of Surgery at UTMB and since 2019, has been responsible for the management of the department’s metabolism research facilities.

Dr. Murton’s lab is primarily concerned with understanding the cellular and metabolic events that underpin the loss of skeletal muscle mass in response to trauma or advancing age, and devising effective nutritional, pharmacological, and/or exercise-based countermeasures. Following his post-doctoral research where he identified that the muscle of older adults becomes insensitive to amino acid feeding with obesity, compromising the synthesis of proteins essential for muscle contractile function, he has been focused on establishing the causative features that underpin this response.

 To address this unresolved question, his work has been focused on understanding the interplay between lipid availability and muscle protein synthetic capacity. Utilizing a model of lipid oversupply to induce ectopic lipid accumulation, he has shown that lipids have the capacity to blunt muscle’s protein synthetic response to amino acids. Given that intramuscular lipid accumulation is observed in several conditions characterized by the failure of nutrition to stimulate muscle protein anabolism, current work is focused on what role the accumulation of intramuscular lipids play in this process, and whether certain lipid species exert more potent effects.

Andrew Murton, PhD
Associate Professor
Division Co-Chief of Surgical Sciences