Dr Toan Huu Pham


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Research Fellow


Toan completed PhD in Physiology at the University of Auckland in 2018. His field of expertise is in the mechanics and energetics of the heart at multiscale levels. He has vast experience investigating the efficiency of cardiac energy utilisation in performing mechanical work at the tissue level and the efficiency of energy production by mitochondria at the subcellular level in both health (fundamental physiology) and in diseases (diabetes, systemic and pulmonary hypertension) from animal models and human subjects.

After his PhD, he joined the Discipline of Nutrition to work on a clinical trial investigating the effect of mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants on muscle mitochondrial function in healthy aged men. In 2020, he continued to take part in another trial to look at the role of NZ red meat in nutrition and health wellbeing.

In 2021, he started a Heart Foundation Research Fellowship at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. This Fellowship focuses on the investigation of a novel treatment targetting the energy supply chain of Type 2 diabetic heart.

Research | Current

  • A novel treatment on the Type 2 diabetic heart: targeting on energy supply-demand pathway
    • To use the work-loop calorimeter to measure force and heat production from cardiac trabeculae
    • To use the Oroboros fluo-respirometer to study mitochondrial function
  • Clinical trial: understanding the role of NZ red meat in the diet: nutrition and health wellbeings



  • 2021-2024     HRC Emerging Researcher First Grant
  • 2021-2024     Heart Foundation NZ Research Fellowship
  • 2020-2022     UoA Faculty Research Development Fund
  • 2014-2017     Heart Foundation NZ Postgraduate Scholarship

Areas of expertise

  • Cardiac muscle physiology: mechanics and energetics
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics: O2 consumption, ATP, ROS, mt membrane potential
  • Biochemical analyses
  • Clinical trials

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Member, The Physiological Society of New Zealand
  • Member, The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Choi, D. H., Pham, T., Loiselle, D. S., Taberner, A. J., Han, J.-C., & Tran, K. (2020). The Inverse Relationship between Cardiac Muscle Stress and Cross-Sectional Area Is Preserved in Ba(2+)Contracture and in Chemically-Permeabilised Ca(2+)Contracture. EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS10.1007/s11340-020-00652-y
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Denis Loiselle, Andrew Taberner, June-Chiew Han, Kenneth Tran
  • Mellor, N. G., Pham, T., Tran, K., Loiselle, D. S., Ward, M.-L., Taberner, A. J., ... Han, J.-C. (2020). Disruption of transverse-tubular network reduces energy efficiency in cardiac muscle contraction. Acta physiologica (Oxford, England)10.1111/apha.13545
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kenneth Tran, Denis Loiselle, Marie-Louise Ward, Andrew Taberner, David Crossman, June-Chiew Han
  • Pham, T., MacRae, C. L., Broome, S. C., D'souza RF, Narang, R., Wang, H. W., ... Merry, T. L. (2020). MitoQ and CoQ10 supplementation mildly suppresses skeletal muscle mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide levels without impacting mitochondrial function in middle-aged men. European journal of applied physiology, 120 (7), 1657-1669. 10.1007/s00421-020-04396-4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Troy Merry, Caitlin Macrae
  • Merry, T. L., MacRae, C., Pham, T., Hedges, C. P., & Ristow, M. (2019). Deficiency in the ROS-sensing Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-like 2 (Nrf2) causes altered glucose and lipid homeostasis following exercise training. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology10.1152/ajpcell.00426.2019
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Troy Merry, Caitlin Macrae, Chris Hedges
  • Garrett, A. S., Pham, T., Loiselle, D., Han, J.-C., & Taberner, A. (2019). Mechanical loading of isolated cardiac muscle with a real-time computed Windkessel model of the vasculature impedance. Physiological reports, 7 (17)10.14814/phy2.14184
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Taberner, Denis Loiselle, June-Chiew Han
  • Pham, T., Zgierski-Johnston, C. M., Tran, K., Taberner, A. J., Loiselle, D. S., & Han, J.-C. (2019). Energy expenditure for isometric contractions of right and left ventricular trabeculae over a wide range of frequencies at body temperature. Scientific reports, 9 (1)10.1038/s41598-019-45273-1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: June-Chiew Han, Kenneth Tran, Denis Loiselle, Andrew Taberner
  • Tomalka, A., Röhrle O, Han, J.-C., Pham, T., Taberner, A. J., & Siebert, T. (2019). Extensive eccentric contractions in intact cardiac trabeculae: revealing compelling differences in contractile behaviour compared to skeletal muscles. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286 (1903)10.1098/rspb.2019.0719
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: June-Chiew Han, Andrew Taberner
  • Taberner, A., Nielsen, P., Johnston, C., Anderson, A., Cheuk, M., Garrett, A., ... Ruddy, B. (2019). A Dynamometer for Nature's Engines. IEEE INSTRUMENTATION & MEASUREMENT MAGAZINE, 22 (2), 10-16. 10.1109/MIM.2019.8674628
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Denis Loiselle, Andrew Taberner, Poul Nielsen, Kenneth Tran, Bryan Ruddy, June-Chiew Han


Contact details

Primary office location

Level G, Room G12
New Zealand

Web links