Dr Daniel Tennant

Dan Tennant.School of Cancer Studies Birmingham University.

Dr Daniel Tennant is a Reader in Metabolic Biochemistry studying hypoxia and cancer metabolism.


Reader in Metabolic Biochemistry, Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, 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 Reader in Metabolic Biochemistry in the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research. His research group studies hypoxia and cancer metabolism, an area that is increasingly linked 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.   Current research in the Tennant laboratory examines the manner by which the process of oncogenic transformation alters metabolism, and specifically how tumoural hypoxia leads to alterations in cellular metabolism.  His laboratory contains cutting edge equipment necessary to carry out this work, including a Don Whitley Hypoxystation. In addition, he directs the Metabolic Tracer Analysis Core (MTAC), which performs cutting-edge analysis of metabolic pathway use through stable isotope tracing. Dr. Tennant’s research investigates both the transformed cells and stromal component of tumours, including how they act as a collective unit. His studies are aimed at providing 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 and multiple myeloma. Dan has attracted funding from funders including Cancer Research UK to support his work. He has published research and reviews in high impact journals, such as Cell Reports, Leukemia and Nature Reviews Cancer, and has been invited to speak at multiple international conferences. Alongside his research Dan is heavily involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students. In particular he delivers lectures and tutorials on MSc and BMedSc courses.



Hollinshead KER, Munford H, Eales KL, Bardella C, Li C, Escribano-Gonzalez C,  Thakker A, Nonnenmacher Y, Kluckova K, Jeeves M, Murren R, Cuozzo F, Ye D, Laurenti G, Zhu W, Hiller K, Hodson DJ, Hua W, Tomlinson IP, Ludwig C, Mao Y, Tennant DA. Oncogenic IDH1 Mutations Promote Enhanced Proline Synthesis through PYCR1 to Support the Maintenance of Mitochondrial Redox Homeostasis. Cell Rep.2018 Mar 20;22(12):3107-3114. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.02.084.


McNee G, Williams DS, Wei W, Barkhuisen A, Bartlett DB, Essex S, Anandram S, Filer A, Moss PAHM,  Pratt G, Basu S, Davies CC and Tennant DA. Citrullination of histone H3 drives IL-6 production by bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in MGUS and multiple myeloma. Leukemia. 2016, doi:10.1038/leu.2016.187. Commentary in Lancet Oncology news section (doi:10.1038/leu.2016.187).


Hollinshead KE and Tennant DA. Mitochondrial metabolic remodelling in response to genetic and environmental perturbations. WIREs Syst Biol Med. 2016, doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1334


Eales KL, Hollinshead KE, Tennant DA. Hypoxia and metabolic adaptation of cancer cells. Oncogenesis. 2016 Jan 25;5:e190. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2015.50


Lussey-Lepoutre C, Hollinshead KE, Ludwig C, Menara M, Morin A, Castro-Vega LJ, Parker SJ, Janin M, Martinelli C, Ottolenghi C, Metallo C, Gimenez-Roqueplo AP, Favier J, Tennant DA. Loss of succinate dehydrogenase activity results in dependency on pyruvate carboxylation for cellular anabolism. Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 2;6:8784. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9784.


Ludwig C, Williams DS, Bartlett DB, Essex SJ, McNee G, Allwood JW, Jewell E, Barkhuisen A, Parry H, Anandram S, Nicolson P, Gardener C, Seymour F, Basu S, Dunn WB, Moss PA, Pratt G, Tennant DA. Alterations in bone marrow metabolism are an early and consistent feature during the development of MGUS and multiple myeloma. Blood Cancer J. 2015 Oct 16;5:e359. doi: 10.1038/bcj.2015.85


Buescher JM, Antoniewicz MR, Boros LG, Burgess SC, Brunengraber H, Clish CB, DeBerardinis RJ, Feron O, Frezza C, Ghesquiere B, Gottlieb E, Hiller K, Jones RG, Kamphorst JJ, Kibbey RG, Kimmelman AC, Locasale JW, Lunt SY, Maddocks OD, Malloy C, Metallo CM, Meuillet EJ, Munger J, Nöh K, Rabinowitz JD, Ralser M, Sauer U, Stephanopoulos G, St-Pierre J, Tennant DA, Wittmann C, Vander Heiden MG, Vazquez A, Vousden K, Young JD, Zamboni N, Fendt SM. A roadmap for interpreting (13)C metabolite labeling patterns from cells.    Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2015 Aug;34:189-201. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2015.02.003.


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. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086693.


Tennant DA. PK-M2 makes cells sweeter on HIF1. Cell 2011 145:647-9.


Tennant DA, Duran RV, Gottlieb E. Targeting metabolic transformation for cancer therapy. Nature Reviews Cancer 2010, 10:267-77.