Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Lisa Lione is an in vivo behavioural neuropharmacologist with 10 years drug discovery expertise in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, including co-founding a private held biotechnological company (Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd, CBT). In industry, Lisa directed in vivo research in pain, obesity and cognition providing decision making projects to deliver novel patented candidate drugs into clinical development, including the gold standard treatment Pregbalin (Lyrica®) for diabetic neuropathic pain.

Lisa is an Associate Director of the Doctoral College and an Associate Professor at the University of Hertfordshire (UH) where she leads a translational pharmacology research programme in the School of Life and Medical Sciences, centred on understanding novel pharmacological mechanisms that drive complications of diabetes as a Home Office project licence holder (P6523417E, Diabetes mechanisms and treatment, 2009-2024). At UH Lisa has supervised 6 PhD  studentship and 2 MRes awards and currently supervises 6 PhD students. 

Research Activities:

1. Investigating novel mechanisms, biomarkers for treatment-resistant complications of diabetes using models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes (collaboration/funding: PhD studentships, QR, MOU, IPHAMETRA Institute, Gabon, Transpharmation, HKEP)

2. Academic consultant for Transpharmation Intervivo Solutions  (discovery and development of novel analgesics for diabetic neuropathic pain) 

3.  Improve the predictive and face validity of models of diabetes investigating ethological and objective markers (burrowing, EEG) (2019-2023, Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership PhD programme with one year in industry ; Transpharmation Ltd).

4.   Investigate pharmacological mechanisms of ketamine and novel psychoactive substances induced bladder dysfunction 

6. Pharmacoepidemiological research to determine Ketamine and Novel Psychoactive Substance use and risk awareness to inform education and policy (collaboration with Professor Schifano, UH and Prof Papazisis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Current funded research projects

  • Defining the off-target vascular effects of NSAIDs using computational chemistry (Part time QR PhD studentship 2016-2024, completing thesis, in collaboration with Dr MacKenzie, University of Brighton, Dr Pritchard and Prof Zloh at UH)
  • Novel pharmacodynamic markers as predictors of neuropathic pain and pain relief. PhD studentship with one year in Industry (2019-2023, in collaboration with Dr Sandor Kartor, Transpharmation Ltd, Dr Sara Pritchard at UH)
  • MicroRNA mimic mediated cancer immunotherapy againsts Siglec-15; clinical implications in colorectal cancer progression PhD studentship 2021-2024, collaobration with Dr Shoib Siddiqui and Dr Maria Broaudaki, UH)
  • Safety and long-term ketamine/novel psychoactive use informing education and policy. Dual Award PhD studentship 2021-2024, with Prof Schifano, UH, Prof Papzasis Arostotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • Exploring the therapeutic potential of TRPV1 antagonism in diabetes (Part time QR PhD studentship 2021-2025, UH ethics, LMS/SF/UH/05024)
  • To decipher the role of siglec receptors expressed on microglia in neuropathic pain (FT QR-funded PhD studentship, 2023-2026, collaboration with Dr Shoib Siddiqui, UH, Dr Christopher Tsantoulas, Transpharmation)

PhD Doctorate & MSc by Research awards at UH

  • Effects of Ketamine and Related New Psychoactive Substances in Rat Urinary Bladder (PhD awarded 2024, Part time QR-funded PhD studentship 2014-2024, with Dr Benham, Dr Fergus, UH)
  • Characterisation of peripheral neuropathy and markers of neuropathic pain: A comparative study across preclinical models of neuropathic pain (MSc awarded 2022)
  • Regulation of microglial receptor Siglec-11 by microRNAs and overall effect on glioblastoma, Ms Deema Saifaldeen (MSc awarded 2022)
  • PPARβ/δ receptor mediated control of vascular tone Dr Noelia Perez-Diaz (PhD awarded 2019, Part time QR PhD studentship 2014-2019, £29,400, with Dr MacKenzie, University of Brighton, Dr Hutter at UH)
  • Phytochemical charactersation and effects of the native plant Tabernanthe Iboga in models of diabetes Dr Bayissi Bading (PhD studentship awarded in 2019, funded by IPHAMETRA Institute, Gabon 2014-2018 and internship with Oregon State University, £48,450 funded PhD studentship)
  • The Effects of Therapeutic Interventions or Influenza  Virus Challenge in a Model of House Dust Mite-Induced Type-2 Allergic Pulmonary Inflammation Dr Sorif Uddin (2013-2018, GSK funded, PhD awarded 2018)

  • Endothelial cell dysfunction in diabetes Dr Yousif Shamsaldeen (2013-2016, PhD awarded 2016)
  • Modulation of TRPV1 function in sensory neuropathy Dr Sara Pritchard (2012-2015, PhD awarded 2015)

Projects seeking external funding

  • Molecular docking simulation screening of alkaloids from Tabernanthe iboga and antidiabetic activity. MOU Collaboration 'Traditional Plant Based Medicines in diabetes' 2023-2027, IPHAMETRA institute, Gabon, Dr Bading).

  • Role of SSAO in diabetes (collaboration with Dr Skaramauskas, UH)

  • Understanding the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy and investigating possible pharmacological therapies (VEGF, mTOR, NLRP3 inflammasome) (collaboration with Dr Yousif Shamsaldeen, University of Brighton)

Public engagement




Lisa is an Associate Director of the Doctoral College and Associate Professor in Translational Pharmacology research at the University of Hertfordshire. Lisa’s research-informed teaching is collaborative combining her specialised in vivo skills with industry experience in drug discovery and translational science. Lisa has supervised 6 PhD studentship awards, 2 MSc research awards and currently supervises 6 PhD students at UH funded by QR, industry and internationally. Lisa is particularly interested in the promotion and sharing of best practice in animal welfare, ethics and the 3Rs (she is the UH representative for concordat on openness of animal research, Springboard Academy Medical Sciences Institutional Champion) as well as raising awareness of pharmacology and drugs education in schools and universities (she is a Fellow of Royal Society Biology, external examiner on intercalated BSc Pharmacology School of Medicine at Imperial College London and a secondary school /careers-link governor).

External positions

External Examiner, Imperial College London

1 Oct 20241 Oct 2028

Guest Editor, International Journal of Molecular Sciences

1 Sept 20231 Sept 2024

Fellow, Royal Society of Biology (RSB)

1 Nov 2022 → …

Springboard Academy Medical Sciences Institutional Champion, Academy of Medical Sciences

20 Jan 2022 → …

Guest Editor, Frontiers in Pharmacology

1 Aug 20211 Apr 2024

Member of PhD studentship assessment panel, UKRI - The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs)

11 Nov 201811 Nov 2021

External Examiner , The University of Central Lancashire

1 Oct 201830 Sept 2022

Institutional Representative, Understanding Animal Research

1 Aug 2018 → …

Expert Advisory Panel Member, Mentor UK

1 Aug 20161 Aug 2020

External Examiner, The University of Portsmouth

30 Jun 201630 Jun 2020

School Governor, The Bishops Stortford High School

1 Jan 20161 Jan 2024

Member of the In vivo pharmacology Animal Welfare subcommittee , British Pharmacological Society

2 Feb 20152 Feb 2019


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