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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 5 PhD  studentship awards and currently supervises 5 PhD students and 2 MRes students working under her government licence. 

Research Activities:

1.  Investigating the involvement of TRP ion channels, glucose metabolites (MGO, SSAO) and natural plant products (Tabernanthe iboga) in glucose sensing, vascular dysfunction and diabetic neuropathic pain (in collaboration with the IPHAMETRA Institute, Gabon, Dr Bayissi Bading, Prof Alain Souza, seeking external funding) 

2.  Academic consultant for Transpharmation Ltd (TP Ltd) providing consultation studies for the discovery and development of novel analgesics for diabetic neuropathic pain (Research concierge service Hertfordshire Science partnership ERDF funded)

3.  Improving the predictive and face validity of models of diabetes investigating  'non-evoked' naturalistic behaviours (cognitive, burrowing, EEG) (2019-2023, Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership PhD programme with one year in industry ; Transpharmation Ltd).  https://www.transpharmation.co.uk/news/advancing-preclinical-neuropathic-pain-research)

4.  Identifying biomarkers of neuropathic pain to improve responder rates to analgesia in diabetes correlating behaviour with Thermic Effects in Humans, VPlex, immunofluorescence and transcriptomic markers (UH ethics LMS/SF/UH/05024, collaboration with Transpharmation Ltd, Dr Shoib Siddiqui, UH)

5.  Understanding pharmacological mechanisms of ketamine and novel psychoactive substances induced bladder dysfunction (P/T QR funded PhD studentship 2013-2022 in collaboration with Dr Benham, Dr Fergus,UH) using functional organ bath, organ culture and histological techniques 

6. Pharmacoepidemiological web-based surveys to determine Ketamine and Novel Psychoactive Substance use and risk awareness to inform education and policy (dual award PhD candidature agreement with with Professor Papazisis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2022-2024)

Current funded research projects

  • Mechanism of action of ketamine and NPSs induced bladder hypersensitivity (Part time QR PhD studentship 2014-2022, £23,625 with Dr Fergus and Dr Benham at UH)

  • Defining the off-target vascular effects of NSAIDs using computational chemistry, myography and in vivo target validation (Part time QR PhD studentship 2016-2022, £60K 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, £166K, Transpharmation Ltd, Dr Sara Pritchard at UH) Characterisation of naturalistic pain endpoints as translational predictive measures of diabetic neuropathic pain in vivo. Determine social housing welfare benefits to impact on guidance to how researchers house their animals to maximise welfare. https://www.transpharmation.co.uk/news
  • Exploring the therapeutic potential of TRPV1 antagonism in diabetes (Part time QR PhD studentship 2021-2025, UH ethics, LMS/SF/UH/05024)
  • Microglial activation and inflammatory biomarkers (ex vivo) in type 1 diabetes and  neuropathic pain complications (MSc 2021-2022, collaboration with Dr Shoib Siddiqui, UH).

  • Characterisation of peripheral neuropathy and markers of neuropathic pain: A comparative study across preclinical models of type 1 and type 2 diabetic neuropathic pain. (MSc 2021-2022, collaboration with Dr Shoib Siddiqui, UH, Dr Richard Hulse, Nottingham Trent University)

PhD Doctorate Projects awarded at UH

  • 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 for the screening of alkaloids from aqueous extract of Tabernanthe iboga to unveil its antidiabetic action. Collaboration with IPHAMETRA institute, Gabon, Dr Bading, seeking postdoctoral fellowship from Wellcome Institute Early career award from developing world institutes with a UK institute, 2022).

  • Role of SSAO in diabetes (collaboration with Dr Skaramauskas, UH)
  • Role of Siglec receptors expressed on microglia in diabetic neuropathic pain using humanized mouse models (collaboration with Dr Shoib Siddiqui, UH)
  • Understanding the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy and investigating possible pharmacological therapies (VEGF, mTOR, NLRP3 inflammasome) (collaboration with Dr Yousif Shamsaldeen, St George's, University of London)

  • Feasibility trial on the effects of long-term Montmorency tart cherry juice supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, £89,355, Non-clinical research fellowship Dr Terun Desai, £89,355 to start Dec 2022. (supervisor and mentor)

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 5 PhD studentship awards and currently supervises 5 PhD students and 2 MRes student 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 and is a member of the National NC3Rs PhD studentship assessment panel) as well as raising awareness of pharmacology and drugs education in schools and universities (she is an expert advisory panel member for Mentor UK and a school governor).

External positions

Springboard American Medical Sciences Institutional Champion, https://acmedsci.ac.uk/grants-and-schemes/grant-schemes/springboard

20 Jan 2022 → …

Guest Editor, Frontiers in Pharmacology

1 Aug 202111 Nov 2022

Member of PhD studentship assessment panel, 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 Sep 2022

Expert Advisory Panel Member, Mentor UK

1 Aug 2016 → …

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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