Dr John Menzies

Food choices are influenced by many psychological and physiological factors. These include complex interactions between hormones and the brain. We study these interactions, with a focus on oxytocin and insulin, including the changes that occur in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Dr John Menzies

Reader and Director of Undergraduate Programmes, University of Edinburgh-Zhejiang University Joint Institute


Hugh Robson Building

15 George Square

Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

 Email: john.menzies@ed.ac.uk


Research Theme


Neural and endocrine systems regulate eating behaviours, often via the unconscious processes that monitor our body’s energy status and influence our behaviours and choices. I study these influences on appetite control, particularly the interactions between insulin and oxytocin in the control of glucose homeostasis.

I use translational models in my work, and I’m also interested in finding new ways to explore people’s values, perceptions and choices around lab animal use. I’m also interested in developing practical improvements to lab animal welfare, particularly the processes and perceptions of lab rodent rehoming.


Team Members

  • Dr Chris Coyle


Selected Publications

Brossy de Dios T, Fitzpatrick R, Menzies J. Developing a digital game to explore compassion towards laboratory animals. www.teaching-matters-blog.ed.ac.uk/developing-a-digital-game-to-explore-compassion-towards-laboratory-animals/

Shereen Hassan, Hala El Baradey, Mohamed Madi, Mohamed Shebl, Gareth Leng, Maja Lozic, Mike Ludwig, John Menzies, Duncan MacGregor. Measuring oxytocin release in response to gavage: Computational modelling and assay validation. J Neuroendocrinol 202 35(6):e13303.

Fabrice Plaisier, Catherine Hume, John Menzies. Neural connectivity between the hypothalamic supramammillary nucleus and appetite- and motivation-related regions of the rat brain. J Neuroendocrinol 2020. 32(2), e12829

Le May MV, Hume C, Sabatier N, Schéle E Bake T, Bergström U, Menzies J, Dickson SL. Activation of the rat hypothalamic supramammillary nucleus by food anticipation, food restriction or ghrelin administration. J Neuroendocrinol. 2018 e12676. doi: 10.1111/jne.12676.

Hume C, Sabatier N, Menzies J. High-sugar but not high-fat food activates supraoptic neurones in the male rat. Endocrinology. 2017 158: 2200-2211.


Information for students:

Willingness to discuss research projects with undergraduate and postgraduate students: YES - please click here