Dr Nolan Hoffman

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Exercise and Nutrition Research Program, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

ACU Researcher

Areas of expertise: metabolism; skeletal muscle physiology; molecular transducers of exercise; cell signalling; cellular energy sensing; AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) biology; glycogen; insulin; glucose transport; obesity; insulin resistance; type 2 diabetes; human and rodent integrative physiology; cell biology; molecular biology; phosphoproteomics; proteomics; metabolomics

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5168-7082

Phone: +61 03 9230 8277

Email: nolan.hoffman@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Dr Nolan Hoffman is an integrative physiologist based in the Exercise and Nutrition Research Program at ACU’s Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research. Nolan earned his BSc with Honours in Biology from Butler University in 2007 and PhD in Cellular and Integrative Physiology from Indiana University in 2012 in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana USA. Prior to commencing at ACU in 2016, Nolan completed his postdoctoral research from 2012 to 2016 in Sydney at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the University of Sydney. Nolan’s research utilises cellular, animal and human model systems to investigate molecular networks underlying exercise and metabolic control. Within this scope, his research is aimed at mapping exercise-regulated signalling networks and interrogating cellular energy-sensing and metabolic regulatory mechanisms. His multidisciplinary research projects involve ‘omics-based technologies (primarily phosphoproteomics and metabolomics) and a range of molecular, cellular, biochemical and physiological approaches. Using this integrative approach, the overall goal of Nolan’s research program is to uncover mechanisms involved in maintaining skeletal muscle and whole-body metabolic homeostasis and eliciting the health benefits of exercise. In addition to supervising several domestic and international PhD students at ACU, Nolan has served as Chair of the MMIHR Postdoctoral Development Committee since 2017 and ACU representative on the Eastern Hill Research Infrastructure and Technology Committee since 2018. Nolan is regularly invited to present his research at local, national, and international conferences and seminar series, as well as chair and organise national and international conferences.

Select Publications

(* co-first author; # corresponding author)

  • Belhaj MR, Lawler NG, Hawley JA, Broadhurst DI, Hoffman NJ# and Reinke SN# (2022) Metabolomics reveals mouse plasma metabolite responses to acute exercise and effects of disrupting AMPK-glycogen interactions. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences 9: 957549. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2022.957549
  • Janzen NR, Whitfield J, Murray-Segal L, Kemp BE, Hawley JA, Hoffman NJ# (2022) Disrupting AMPK-Glycogen Binding in Mice Increases Carbohydrate Utilization and Reduces Exercise Capacity. Frontiers in Physiology 13: 859246. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2022.859246
  • Belhaj MR, Lawler NG and Hoffman NJ# (2021) Metabolomics and Lipidomics: Expanding the Molecular Landscape of Exercise Biology. Metabolites 11(3): 151. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030151
  • Kim HJ, Kim T, Hoffman NJ, Xiao D, James DE, Humphrey SJ, Yang P (2021) PhosR enables processing and functional analysis of phosphoproteomic data. Cell Reports 34(8): 108771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108771
  • Hoffman NJ#, Whitfield J, Janzen NR, Belhaj MR, Galic S, Murray-Segal L, Smiles WJ, Ling NXY, Dite TA, Scott JW, Oakhill JS, Brink R, Kemp BE, Hawley JA (2020) Genetic loss of AMPK-glycogen binding destabilises AMPK and disrupts metabolism. Molecular Metabolism 41: 101048. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2020.101048
  • Nelson ME*, Parker BL*, Burchfield J*, Hoffman NJ*, Needham EJ, Cooke KC, Naim T, Sylow L, Ling NXY, Francis D, Norris DM, Chaudhuri R, Oakhill JS, Richter EA, Lynch GS, Stöckli J, James DE (2019) Phosphoproteomics reveals conserved nodes and regulation of store-operated calcium entry by AMPK. EMBO Journal 38(24): e102578. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2019102578
  • Janzen NR, Whitfield J and Hoffman NJ# (2018) Interactive roles for AMPK and glycogen from cellular energy sensing to exercise metabolism. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(11): 3344. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113344
  • Leckey JJ, Hoffman NJ, Parr EB, Devlin BL, Trewin AJ, Stepto NK, Morton JP, Burke LM, Hawley JA (2018) High dietary fat intake increases fat oxidation and reduces skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration in trained humans. FASEB Journal 32(6): 2979-2991. https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.201700993R
  • Hoffman NJ# (2017) Omics and exercise: global approaches for mapping exercise biological networks. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 7(10): 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a029884
  • Lee-Young RS, Hoffman NJ, Murphy KT, Henstridge DC, Samocha-Bonet D, Siebel AL, Iliades P, Zivanovic B, Hong YH, Colgan TD, Kraakman MJ, Bruce CR, Gregorevic P, McConell GK, Lynch GS, Drummond GR, Kingwell BA, Greenfield JR, Febbraio MA (2016) Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase contributes to the regulation of glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Molecular Metabolism 5(11): 1083-1091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2016.09.002
  • Hoffman NJ*, Parker BL*, Chaudhuri R, Fisher-Wellman KH, Kleinert M, Humphrey SJ, Yang P, Holliday M, Trefely S, Fazakerley DJ, Stöckli J, Burchfield JG, Jensen TE, Jothi R, Kiens B, Wojtaszewski JF, Richter EA, James DE (2015) Global phosphoproteomic analysis of human skeletal muscle reveals a network of exercise-regulated kinases and AMPK substrates. Cell Metabolism 22(5): 922-935. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.09.001
  • Stöckli J, Meoli CC, Hoffman NJ, Fazakerley DJ, Pant H, Cleasby ME, Ma X, Kleinert M, Brandon AE, Lopez JA, Cooney GJ, James DE (2015) The RabGAP TBC1D1 plays a central role in exercise-regulated glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. Diabetes 64(6): 1914-1922. https://doi.org/10.2337/db13-1489
  • Hoffman NJ, Penque BA, Habegger KM, Sealls W, Tackett L, Elmendorf JS (2014) Chromium enhances insulin responsiveness via AMPK. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 25(5): 565-572. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.01.007
  • Habegger KM*, Hoffman NJ*, Ridenour CM, Brozinick JT, Elmendorf JS (2012) AMPK enhances insulin-stimulated GLUT4 regulation via lowering membrane cholesterol. Endocrinology 153(5): 2130-2141. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-2099
  • Hoffman NJ and Elmendorf JS (2011) Signaling, cytoskeletal and membrane mechanisms regulating GLUT4 exocytosis. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 22(3): 110-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2010.12.001


  • 2020-2023, Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project Grant; A$493,000; “Molecular networks underlying mitochondrial biogenesis in humans”; Chief Investigators [CI]: Bishop DJ (CIA), Hawley JA (CIB), Hoffman NJ (CIC); Partner Investigator: Barrès R
  • 2022-2023, Defence Science Institute (DSI) Collaborative Research Grant; A$49,574; “Does anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury impair the molecular pathways responsible for building muscle?” Chief Investigators: Hawley JA, Opar DA, Hoffman NJ, Timmins RG, Maniar N; Industry Partner: Margargee S (Springbok Analytics Inc., USA)
  • 2017-2018, Australian Catholic University Research Funding (ACURF) Early Career Researcher Grant; A$50,000; “How AMPK-glycogen interactions regulate metabolism and skeletal muscle physiology”; Chief Investigator: Hoffman NJ
  • 2015, Diabetes Australia Research Trust, General Grant; A$60,000; “Probing the exercise biochemistry landscape for new therapeutic options for treating diabetes”; Chief Investigator: James DE; Associate Investigators: Hoffman NJ and Chaudhuri R
  • 2014-2016, Industry Research Partnership, The University of Sydney and Eli Lilly and Company; A$67,500; Chief Investigator: James DE; Associate Investigator: Hoffman NJ
  • 2010-2011, National Institutes of Health (USA) T32 Diabetes and Obesity Research Training Grant, Indiana University Center for Diabetes Research; US$25,000; Chief Investigator: Hoffman NJ
  • 2008-2010, DeVault Diabetes Fellowship, Diabetes and Obesity Research Training Program, Indiana University Center for Diabetes Research; US$50,000; Chief Investigator: Hoffman NJ

Accolades and Awards

  • 2015, Australian Physiological Society Postdoctoral Research Publication Prize
  • 2013, 2nd Annual Garvan Institute Postdoctoral Symposium Best Poster Presentation
  • 2012, Chancellor’s Scholar for the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Graduate School Doctoral Program; recognising the top graduate student based on research and service contributions


  • 2023-present, Australian Catholic University, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Senior Research Fellow
  • 2016-2022, Australian Catholic University, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • 2016-present, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist
  • 2014-2016, University of Sydney, Charles Perkins Centre, Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • 2012-2014, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Diabetes and Metabolism Division, Research Officer
  • 2009-2011, Indiana University School of Business, Business of Life Sciences Graduate Certificate Program
  • 2008-2012, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology PhD Program
  • 2006, University of Tasmania, Department of Zoology International Exchange Student Program
  • 2003-2007, Butler University, Department of Biology Bachelors of Science and Honours Program


  • Australian Physiological Society 
  • Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society
  • Australian Diabetes Society
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science

Editorial roles

  • 2021-present, Frontiers in Endocrinology Editorial Board, Review Editor for Obesity Section
  • 2020-2021, Guest Editor for International Journal of Molecular Sciences Special Issue “Exercise Signaling Pathways and Metabolic Health”
  • 2018-2022, Asian Journal of Kinesiology Editorial Board Member

International journal review

Ad hoc peer reviewer for select journals including:

  • Cell Metabolism
  • Nature Metabolism
  • Cell Reports Medicine
  • Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Sports Medicine
  • Diabetologia
  • Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • iScience
  • FEBS Journal
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Scientific Reports
  • Nutrients
  • American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Grant agency review

Ad hoc grant and fellowship peer reviewer for Australian funding agencies including:

  • Australian Research Council (ARC): Discovery Project, Future Fellowship, and Linkage Project schemes
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); Ideas and Project Grant schemes
  • Diabetes Australia Research Program; General Grant scheme

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