Dr Daniel Tennant

Dan Tennant.School of Cancer Studies Birmingham University.

Dr Daniel Tennant is a Lecturer in Cancer Biochemistry studying hypoxia and cancer metabolism.

Lecturer in Cancer Biochemistry, School of Cancer Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham. 

Email: d.tennant@bham.ac.uk

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Background and Research focus

Dr Tennant is a Lecturer in Cancer Biochemistry in the School of Cancer Sciences. His research group studies hypoxia and cancer metabolism, an area that is increasingly linking with immune regulation. The altered metabolism of cancer cells is considered to be essential to the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells and thought to be conserved in majority, if not all cancers.   This hallmark metabolic transformation utilizes considerably less oxygen and fundamentally alters energy production mechanisms. Current research in the Tennant laboratory examines the manner by which hypoxia leads to alterations in cellular metabolism, both via changes in the transcriptome and direct energetic and redox-based alterations.  His laboratory contains cutting edge equipment necessary to carry out this work, including a Don Whitley Hypoxystation. In addition, his close links with Professor Ulrich Günther at the UK’s largest NMR facility (Henry Wellcome Building) and Professor Mark Viant at the Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility, allows him to perform state-of-the-art metabolic flux analysis research to study cellular metabolism. Collectively, these studies will provide an in-depth understanding of cancer-specific metabolic processes with the ultimate aim of developing novel, potentially selective and broadly applicable drugs to treat multiple malignancies.


Cancer Biochemistry; hypoxia; Cancer metabolism; glioma; tumour microenvironment.

Other activities

Dan has recently expanded his research interest by focusing on understanding and therapeutically targeting the tumour microenvironment, particularly under-researched cancers such as glioma. Dan has already attracted funding from the Royal Society to support his work. He has published reviews in high impact journals, such as Cell and Nature Reviews Cancer, and has been invited to speak at International Conferences. Alongside his research Dan is heavily involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students. In particular he serves as module lead in the Genomics module of the new MSc in Translation Medicine as well as delivering lectures and tutorials on MSc and BMedSc courses. Finally, he is the lead coordinator for the School of Cancer Sciences external seminar programme.


Liu Y, Tennant DA, Zhu Z, Heath JK, Yao X, He S. DiME: A Scalable Disease Module Identification Algorithm with Application to Glioma Progression. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 11;9(2):e86693.

Frezza C., Zheng L., Tennant D.A., Gottlieb E., (2011), Metabolic profiling of hypoxic cells revealed a catabolic profile required for cell survival, PLoS ONE, 6(9):e24411.

Tennant D.A., (2011), PK-M2 makes cells sweeter on HIF1, Cell, 145:647-9.

Tennant D.A. and Gottlieb E., (2010), HIF Prolyl Hydroxylase-3 mediates alpha-ketoglutarate-induced apoptosis and tumor suppression, Journal of Molecular Medicine, 88:839-49.

Tennant D.A. and Gottlieb E., (2010), Targeting metabolic transformation for cancer therapy, Nature Reviews Cancer, 10:267-77.

Frezza C., Tennant D.A., Gottlieb E., (2010), IDH1 mutations in gliomas: when an enzyme loses its grip, Cancer Cell, 17:7-9.

Tennant DA, Durán RV, Gottlieb E. Targeting metabolic transformation for cancer therapy. Nat Rev Cancer. 2010 Apr;10(4):267-77.

Tennant DA, Durán RV, Boulahbel H, Gottlieb E. Metabolic transformation in cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2009 Aug;30(8):1269-80.

Tennant DA, Frezza C, MacKenzie ED, Nguyen QD, Zheng L, Selak MA, Roberts DL, Dive C, Watson DG, Aboagye EO, Gottlieb E. Reactivating HIF prolyl hydroxylases under hypoxia results in metabolic catastrophe and cell death. Oncogene. 2009 Nov 12;28(45):4009-21.

Tennant D.A., Frezza C., MacKenzie E.D., Nguyen Q.D., Zheng L., Selak M.A., Roberts D.L., Dive C., Watson D.G., Aboagye E.O., Gottlieb E., (2009), Reactivating HIF prolyl hydroxylases under hypoxia results in metabolic catastrophe and cell death, Oncogene, 28:4009-21.

Tennant D.A., Durán R.V., Boulahbel H., Gottlieb, E., (2009), Metabolic transformation in cancer, Carcinogenesis, 30:1269-80.