Professor Michael Lean

Michael Lean holds the Chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow and is Consultant Physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital specialising in general medicine, diabetes and endocrinology.  He is a leading authority and researcher on diabetes, obesity and human nutrition, and frequently appears on radio, TV and newspapers.

He returned to Cambridge to join the Medical Research Council and University of Cambridge Dunn Nutrition Unit, to develop a research career in nutrition, specialising in diabetes, and in obesity and energy balance, which included writing a thesis on brown adipose tissue in humans. In 1990, he was appointed to lead and develop a new university department of Human Nutrition, in Glasgow, teaching and directing research into human nutrition and its impact on many different aspects of health and medical practice.  His research has had high impact, with H-score 55, averaging over 72 citations for 291 published papers.

Professor Lean has increasingly become involved in public health and health promotion measures to prevent disease, and to promote good health through healthy eating.  From 1995 to 2003, he was a non-executive director of the Health Education Board for Scotland.  As a co-author of many clinical guidelines, he was central to the Scottish Diet Working Group and a co-author/advisor of the Diet Action Plan and SIGN guidelines on Obesity published in 1996 and 2010. From 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Research of the Food Standards Agency (London) and he was on the expert advisory panel of the Joint Health Claims Initiative, which evaluated the Health Claims made by the food industry.

He was a founder of Counterweight, the national primary care weight management programme and has a major role in its research outputs, and completed a 6-month Leverhulme fellowship in Denver, Colorado, to develop approaches for preventing obesity and its clinical consequences, and engaging both government and industry partners. Professor Lean holds visiting professorships at the University of Otago and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.