Dr Toan Huu Pham


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Research Fellow


I obtained a PhD in Physiology at the University of Auckland (UoA). My field of expertise is in the mechanics and energetics of the heart at multiscale levels. I have 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 my PhD, I joined the Discipline of Nutrition (UoA) to work on clinical trial studies: (1) the effect of mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants on muscle mitochondrial function in healthy aged men, (2) the role of NZ red meats in nutrition and health wellbeing.

In 2021, I returned back the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (UoA) to begin my Heart Foundation Research Fellowship project, which investigates a novel treatment targetting the energy-supply pathways in Type 2 diabetic hearts.

Research | Current

  • A novel treatment on the Type 2 diabetic heart failure: targeting on mitochondrial bioenergetics
    • At tissue level: to characterise mechanics and energetics of isolated cardiac trabeculae using our unique ABI device (work-loop calorimeter)
    • At subcellular level: to characterise mitochondrial bioenergetics (respiration rate, ATP production, mitochondrial membrane potential, ROS production)
    • At cellular level: to quantify expression of various proteins involved in excitation-contraction pathways and mitochondrial biogenesis.

We currently have a number of available MSc and PhD projects, feel free to contact me to discuss more options if you're interested in pursuing any postgraduate study.


Postgraduate supervision

  • Julie Brown - MSc (Co-supervisor)


Current funding:

  • HRC Emerging Researcher First Grant (2021-2024)
  • Heart Foundation NZ Research Fellowship (2021-2024)
  • Faculty Research Development Fund - University of Auckland (2020-2022)

Previous funding:

  • Heart Foundation NZ Postgraduate Scholarship (2014-2017)

Areas of expertise

  • Cardiac muscle physiology
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • Biochemical analyses
  • Clinical research skills

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, Jarrah Dowrick


Contact details

Primary office location

Level G, Room G12
New Zealand

Secondary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 2, Room 234
New Zealand

Web links