skip to content



Lucia obtained a Biology (Hons) degree in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), followed by a Master’s degree in Neuroscience at the Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho (IBCCF-RJ, Brazil) and obtained her PhD in Developmental Neuroscience in 1997 from the University of St Andrews (Scotland). She continued her work on neurotrophic factors and their receptors as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof Alun Davies in Edinburgh funded by the Wellcome Trust. In 2002, Lucia moved to the MRC Toxicology Unit as a Research Fellow in Prof Nicotera’s laboratory to work on neuronal cell death, excitoxicity and mitochondrial Ca2+ signalling in the central nervous system. 
In 2011 Lucia became Head of the Flow Cytometry facility and more recently Head of the Advanced Light Imaging facility. Lucia is interested in all aspects of cell imaging and cell analysis using flow cytometers or high-end technology microscopes and facilitates the Unit’s research by providing advice in experimental planning, training and on-going support on all instruments and technologies available in the facility. 



Key publications: 

Phatak V, von Grabowiecki Y, Janus J, Officer L, Behan C, Aschauer L, Pinon L, Mackay H, Zanivan S, Norman JC, Kelly M, Le Quesne J and Muller PAJ. Mutant p53 promotes RCP-dependent chemoresistance coinciding with increased delivery of P-glycoprotein to the plasma membrane. Cell Death Disease;12(2):207. (2021)

Byford E, Carr M, Piñon L, Ahearne MJ, Wagner SD. Isolation of CD4+ T-cells and Analysis of Circulating T-follicular Helper (cTfh) Cell Subsets from Peripheral Blood Using 6-color Flow Cytometry. J Vis Exp;(143). doi: 10.3791/58431. (2019)

Mackay HL, Moore D, Hall C, Birkbak NJ, Jamal-Hanjani M, Karim SA, Phatak VM, Piñon L, Morton JP, Swanton C, Le Quesne J, Muller PAJ. Genomic instability in mutant p53 cancer cells upon entotic engulfment. Nat Commun;9(1):3070. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05368-1. (2018)

Ahearne MJ, Willimott S, Piñon L, Kennedy DB, Miall F, Dyer MJ, Wagner SD. Enhancement of CD154/IL4 proliferation by the T follicular helper (Tfh) cytokine, IL21 and increased numbers of circulating cells resembling Tfh cells in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Br J Haematol;162(3):360-70. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12401. (2013).

Young KW, Piñon LG, Bampton ET, Nicotera P. Mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal cell death in response to the Bcl-2/Bcl-x(L)/Bcl-w antagonist ABT-737. J Biochem Mol Toxicol;24(5):335-41. (2010)

Young KW, Piñon LG, Bampton ET, Nicotera P. Different pathways lead to mitochondrial fragmentation during apoptotic and excitotoxic cell death in primary neurons. J Biochem Mol Toxicol.;24(5):335-41. doi: 10.1002/jbt.20343. (2010)

Young KW, Piñón LG, Dhiraj D, Twiddy D, Macfarlane M, Hickman J, Nicotera P. Mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal cell death in response to the Bcl-2/Bcl-x(L)/Bcl-w antagonist ABT-737. Neuropharmacology; 58(8):1258-67. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2010.03.008. (2010)

Donnini S, Solito R, Monti M, Balduini W, Carloni S, Cimino M, Bampton ET, Pinon LG, Nicotera P, Thorpe PE, Ziche M. Prevention of ischemic brain injury by treatment with the membrane penetrating apoptosis inhibitor, TAT-BH4. Cell Cycle;8(8):1271-8. doi: 10.4161/cc.8.8.8301. (2009)

Young KW, Bampton ET, Piñon L, Bano D, Nicotera P. Mitochondrial Ca2+ signalling in hippocampal neurons. Cell Calcium;43(3):296-306. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2007.06.007. (2008)

Head of Advanced Light Imaging and Flow Cytometry Facilities

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road


Telephone and Email

Office 03-0134
+44 (0)1223 3 34792