Professor John Hawley

Institute Director
Exercise and Nutrition Research Program Leader

portrait of John Hawley with people walking in the background

Areas of expertise: interaction of exercise and diet on the regulation of fat and carbohydrate metabolism, particularly within skeletal muscle; the molecular basis of exercise training adaption; and the cellular bases underlying exercise-induced improvements in insulin action

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0886-9881

Phone: (03) 9953 3552


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Professor Hawley is currently Head of the Exercise & Nutrition Research Program, and Director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. The primary focus of his laboratories research program is the interaction of exercise training and diet on human health outcomes, with a specific emphasis on lifestyle interventions to combat obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cancer. In particular, his lab has been at the forefront of unravelling the molecular bases of exercise training and how contraction-induced adaptations in skeletal muscle impact on whole-body health outcomes. He is internationally recognised in his field of expertise having published 300 articles in prestigious journal such as Cell, Science and Cell Metabolism. He is a member of nine national and international societies, sits on the Editorial Boards of several major journals, while also being an active reviewer for many journals and national funding agencies. He has ongoing collaborations with several major national and international institutions including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He has mentored 23 PhD students to completion, and many post-doctoral scientists trained in his lab have gone on to have successful independent careers. He is frequently invited to talk at national and international conferences about the results of his work, testifying to community engagement, participation, and leadership in his research field.

Select publications

  • Callahan MJ, Parr EB, Hawley JA, Camera DM. Can High-Intensity Interval Training Promote Skeletal Muscle Anabolism? Sports Med. 2021 (in press).
  • Hawley JA, Joyner MJ, Green DJ. Mimicking exercise: what matters most and where to next? J Physiol. 2021;599(3):791-802.
  • Zbinden-Foncea H, Francaux M, Deldicque L, Hawley JA. Does high cardiorespiratory fitness confer some protection against pro-inflammatory responses after infection by SARS-CoV-2? Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020;28(8):1378-81.
  • Parr EB, Heilbronn LK, Hawley JA. A Time to Eat and a Time to Exercise. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2020;48(1):4-10.
  • Parr EB, Devlin BL, Radford BE, Hawley JA. A Delayed Morning and Earlier Evening Time-Restricted Feeding Protocol for Improving Glycemic Control and Dietary Adherence in Men with Overweight/Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2020;12(2).
  • Parr EB, Devlin BL, Lim KHC, Moresi LNZ, Geils C, Brennan L, Hawley JA. Time-Restricted Eating as a Nutrition Strategy for Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: A Feasibility Study. Nutrients. 2020;12(11):3228.
  • Lundell LS, Parr EB, Devlin BL, Ingerslev LR, Altıntaş A, Sato S, Sassone-Corsi P, Barrès R, Zierath JR, Hawley JA. Time-restricted feeding alters lipid and amino acid metabolite rhythmicity without perturbing clock gene expression. Nature Communications. 2020;11(1):4643.
  • Lacham-Kaplan O, Camera DM, Hawley JA. Divergent Regulation of Myotube Formation and Gene Expression by E2 and EPA during In-Vitro Differentiation of C2C12 Myoblasts. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(3).
  • King AJ, Burke LM, Halson SL, Hawley JA. The Challenge of Maintaining Metabolic Health During a Global Pandemic. Sports Med. 2020;50(7):1233-41.
  • 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. Genetic loss of AMPK-glycogen binding destabilizes AMPK and
  • disrupts metabolism. Mol Metab. 2020;41:101048.
  • Hawley JA, Sassone-Corsi P, Zierath JR. Chrono-nutrition for the prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes: from mice to men. Diabetologia. 2020;63(11):2253-9.
  • Hawley JA. Microbiota and muscle highway - two way traffic. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2020;16(2):71-2.
  • Rao RR, Long JZ, White JP, Svensson KJ, Lou J, Lokurkar I, Jedrychowski MP, Ruas JL, Wrann CD, Lo JC, Camera DM, Lachey J, Gygi S, Seehra J, Hawley JA, Spiegelman BM. Meteorin-like is a hormone that regulates immune-adipose interactions to increase beige fat thermogenesis. Cell. 2014;157(6):1279-91.
  • Hawley JA, Hargreaves M, Joyner MJ, Zierath JR. Integrative biology of exercise. Cell. 2014;159(4):738-49.
  • Gibala MJ, Little JP, Macdonald MJ, Hawley JA. Physiological adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity
  • interval training in health and disease. J Physiol. 2012;590(5):1077-84.
  • Burke LM, Hawley JA, Wong SH, Jeukendrup AE. Carbohydrates for training and competition. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S17-27.
  • Saunders PU, Pyne DB, Telford RD, Hawley JA. Factors affecting running economy in trained distance runners. Sports Med. 2004;34(7):465-85.
  • Bruce CR, Carey AL, Hawley JA, Febbraio MA. Intramuscular heat shock protein 72 and heme oxygenase-1 mRNA are reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes: evidence that insulin resistance is associated with a disturbed antioxidant defense mechanism. Diabetes. 2003;52(9):2338-45. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.govpubmed/12941774.
  • Hopkins WG, Schabort EJ, Hawley JA. Reliability of power in physical performance tests. Sports Med. 2001;31(3):211-34.
  • Hopkins WG, Hawley JA, Burke LM. Design and analysis of research on sport performance enhancement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999;31(3):472-85.


  • A time for food: The effects of time restricted feeding on glycaemic control and gut microbiome in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes; (2018 - 2020)
  • Epigenetic control and the circadian clock, turning back time on diabetes pathogenesis; (2015 - 2021)
  • Investigating AMPK energy sensing mechanisms underlying regulation of metabolism and exercise
  • Mapping and interrogating human exercise-regulated tissue and circulating biological networks
  • Interactive effect of manipulations of muscle creatine and glycogen stores on endurance performance and Dual energy Xray Absorptiometry (DXA) derived measurements of lean mass; (2015 - 2020)
  • The effect of intermittent fasting on integrated muscle synthesis rates in overweight, middle aged men; (2018 - 2020)

Accolades and awards

  • Medical Research Council of South Africa, RC Scholarship (Outstanding Foreign Researcher); 1990 - 1992
  • University of Cape Town (JW. Jagger Postgraduate Scholarship); 1991 - 1992
  • Ball State University Graduate School (Deans Special Award); 1986

Appointments and affiliations

  • International Advisory Board for Sports Oracle (United Kingdom), Member
  • American College of Sports Medicine (F.A.C.S.M); Fellow elected May 1994
  • American Physiological Society (A.P.S); Fellow elected April 1999
  • Gatorade Sports Science Institute Expert Advisory Panel; Fellow (2014 – present)

Editorial roles

  • Diabetologia (2015 - present)
  • American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism (2007 – present)
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2010 – present)
  • Sports Medicine (2007 – present)
  • Journal of Applied Physiology (2011 – present)
  • International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2005 – present)
  • Journal of Sports Science (2009 – present)
  • Malaysian Journal of Sport Science and Recreation (2005 – present)

International journal review panel

  • ACTA Physiologica Scandinavia (Sweden)
  • American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism (USA)
  • American Journal of Physiology Regulatory Physiology (USA)
  • Cell Metabolism (USA)
  • Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology (Australia)
  • Diabetes (USA)
  • Diabetologia (Austria)
  • International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (USA)
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (USA)
  • Metabolism (USA)
  • Plos Biology (USA)
  • The Journal of Applied Physiology (USA)
  • The Journal of Physiology (London)
  • The International Journal of Sports Medicine (USA)
  • Sports Medicine (New Zealand)

Grant agency review panel

  • Australian Research Council Grant applications (1999 - present)
  • Diabetes U.K (2007 - present)
  • Diabetes Australia Research Trust Grant applications (1999 - present)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Project Grant Applications (1999 – present)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Program Grant Applications; (2004 – present)
  • Welcome Trust UK; (2006 - present)

Public engagement

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