Member Listing


Sam Virtue


Department of Clinical Biochemistry




Post Doctoral

Research Summary

Overall area of interest
I focus on white and brown adipose tissue function and how defects in these organs impact on whole organism metabolic disease.

Specific interests
How defects in white adipose tissue cause metabolic inflexibility, leading to apparently paradoxical phenotypes such as improved fasted glucose, even in the face of severely impaired adipose tissue function.

How fatty acid remodeling impacts on brown and white adipose tissue function and regulates inflammation in macrophages.

In order to study metabolism I use a variety of in vivo metabolic phenotyping techniques including calorimetry, euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamps, thermogenic capacity assessment and a variety of radioactive and non radioactive tracers with analysis by GC-MS.

I am the Director for Technological Development of the MRC Disease Model Core

I am funded by the BHF


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Endocrinology, Systems Biology

Selected Publications

Virtue, S., Petkevicius, K., Moreno-Navarrete, J.M., Jenkins, B., Hart, D., Dale, M., Koulman, A., Fernandez-Real, J.M., and Vidal-Puig, A. (2018). Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma2 Controls the Rate of Adipose Tissue Lipid Storage and Determines Metabolic Flexibility. Cell Rep 24, 2005-2012 e2007.

Senyilmaz-Tiebe, D., Pfaff, D.H., Virtue, S., Schwarz, K.V., Fleming, T., Altamura, S., Muckenthaler, M.U., Okun, J.G., Vidal-Puig, A., Nawroth, P., et al. (2018). Dietary stearic acid regulates mitochondria in vivo in humans. Nat Commun 9, 3129.

Tan CY*, Virtue S*, Bidault G, Dale M, Hagen R, Griffin JL, Vidal-Puig A (2015) Brown adipose tissue thermogenic capacity is regulated by Elovl6. Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 15;13(10):2039-47 * Joint First author

Senyilmaz D, Virtue S, Xu X, Tan CY, Griffin JL, Miller A, Vidal-Puig A, Teleman1 AA, (2015) Mitochondrial morphology and function are regulated by stearic acid. Nature. 525(7567):124-8

Virtue S, Masood M, de Weijer BAM., van Eijk M, Mok CYL, Eiden M, Dale M, Pirraco A, Serlie MJ, Griffin JL, Vidal-Puig A (2015) Prostaglandin profiling reveals a role for haematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase in adipose tissue macrophage polarisation in mice and humans. Int J Obes (Lond). 39(7):1151-60.

Virtue S, Even P, Vidal-Puig A (2012) Below thermoneutrality, changes in activity do not drive changes in total daily energy expenditure between groups of mice. Cell Metab 16: 665-671

Virtue S, Feldmann H, Christian M, Tan CY, Masoodi M, Dale M, Lelliott C, Burling K, Campbell M, Eguchi N, Voshol P, Sethi JK, Parker M, Urade Y, Griffin JL, Cannon B, Vidal-Puig A (2012) A new role for lipocalin prostaglandin d synthase in the regulation of brown adipose tissue substrate utilization. Diabetes 61: 3139-3147

Virtue S, Vidal-Puig A (2010) Adipose tissue expandability, lipotoxicity and the Metabolic Syndrome–an allostatic perspective. Biochim Biophys Acta 1801: 338-349