Dr Nicoleta Moisoi

Job: Associate Professor in Pharmacology and Director of Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: Leicester School of Pharmacy

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH

T: 0116 207 8985

E: nicoleta.moisoi@dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

Dr Nicoleta Moisoi is a committed scientist with more than 10 years research experience in leading UK and European research institutes, working on signalling mechanisms implicated in neurodegeneration, and genetic and pharmacologic disease intervention.

She took her PhD in Biophysics at the University of Bucharest, Romania. She went on to undertake post-doctoral research at NIMR-MRC, London, UK and the MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester, UK and University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. She joined De Montfort University, Leicester School of Pharmacy in 2016. Honours and awards throughout her career include Junior Associate of ICTP (Italy), Royal Society/NATO Fellowship (UK).

Her studies address mitochondrial homeostasis and its implication in aging and parkinsonism, and signaling mechanisms involved in cell death/cell survival. Her recent work has focused on mitochondria quality control signalling, identification and validation of novel druggable pathways in Parkinson’s disease.

Research group affiliations


Research interests/expertise

Current research focus:

  • Mitochondrial quality control, mitochondrial homeostasis and signaling in health and disease
  • Identification of novel druggable pathways and therapeutic strategies in models of Parkinson’s disease

  • Gene expression and signaling pathways in neurodegeneration and aging

  • DNA damage response in aging and neurodegeneration

My research concentrates on identification of novel therapeutic strategies to treat neurodegenerative type disorders focusing on Parkinson’s Disease (PD). To address this subject I am using a range of multidisciplinary approaches: in silico (bioinformatics analysis of gene expression data and other large scale data-sets), in vitro (molecular and cellular neurobiology and cell culture models including primary human fibroblasts and stem cell derived neurons) and in vivo (Drosophila and transgenic mouse models).

Parkinson’s Disease has a complex etiology its highest risk factors being environmental influences, genetic susceptibility and aging. Two main biochemical pathways have been found to be involved in PD, namely mitochondrial dysfunction and protein aggregation. Mutations of genes implicated in these pathways (e.g. PINK1, PARKIN, SNCA - red writing) have been found in familial PD while other proteins with incompletely characterized functions are mutated in idiopathic PD (e.g. LRKK2, blue writing). DNA damage and endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling have also been linked with PD pathogenesis. My current research concentrates on the study of compartmental stress signaling (e.g unfolded protein response and oxidative stress initiated in mitochondria, cytoplasm, and endoplasmic reticulum) and interactions between these pathways in genetic and toxin based models of PD, to decipher mechanisms of neurodegeneration and identify novel PD therapeutic strategies.



Areas of teaching






Courses taught

Modules in PHCO 2308, PHAR 1602, PHAR 2603

Honours and awards

2014 Travel fellowship awarded by Parkinson’s UK

2001-2006 Junior Associate of International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste Italy

2000-2001 Royal Society /NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship

Professional licences and certificates

2015 Higher Education Academy Teaching Fellow

Recent research outputs

M. Temelie, D. Stroe, I.Petcu, C. Mustaciosu, N. Moisoi*, D. Savu*, ‘Bystander effects and compartmental stress response to X-ray irradiation in L929 cells. Radiat Environ Biophysics March 2016 (* shared senior author)

D. Savu*, I. Petcu, C. Mustaciosu, M. Temelie, N. Moisoi*, ‘Compartmental stress responses correlate with cell survival in bystander effects induced by the DNA damage agent, bleomycin’ (* shared corresponding author)- Mutation Research (2015) 771: 13-20

N. Moisoi*, V. Fedele, J. Edwards, L.M. Martins* ‘Pink1 loss of function enhances neurodegeneration in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease triggered by mitochondrial stress.’ – (* shared corresponding author) Neuropharmacology (2014) 77:350-7

A. Jovicic, R. Roshan, N. Moisoi, S. Pradervand, R. Moser, B. Pillai, and R. Luthi-Carter "Comprehensive expression analyses of neural cell type-specific miRNAs identify new determinants of the specification and maintenance of neuronal phenotypes" J. Neuroscience (2013) 33: 5127-37

H. Plun-Favreau, V. Burchell, KM Holstrom, Z. Yao, E. Deas, K. Cain, V. Fedele, N. Moisoi, M. Campanella, L.M. Martins, N. Wood, A.V. Gourine, A. Abramov ‘HtrA2 deficiency causes mitochondrial uncoupling through F1F0-ATP synthase and consequent ATP depletion’ Cell Death and Disease (2012) Jun 28;3:e335. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2012.77.

I. de Castro, A. Costa, D. Lam, R. Tufi, V. Fedele, N. Moisoi, D. Dinsdale, E. Deas, S. Loh, L.M. Martins ‘Genetic analysis of mitochondrial protein misfolding in Drosophila Melanogaster’ Cell Death and Differentiation.(2012) Feb3. Doi10.1038/cdd.2012.5

E. Gerhardt, S. Greber, E.M. Szego, N. Moisoi, L.M. Martins, T.F. Outeiro, P. Kermer ‘Idebenone and resveratrol extend lifespan and improve motor function of HtrA2 ko mouse’ PLoS One. (2011); 6(12):e28855.

N. Moisoi, K. Klupsch, V. Fedele , P. East, S. Sharma, A. Renton, H. Plun-Favreau, R. E. Edwards, P. Teismann, M. degli Esposti, A. D. Morisson, N. W. Wood, J. Downward, L.M. Martins ‘Mitochondrial dysfunction triggered by loss of HtrA2 results in the activation of a brain specific transcriptional stress response’. Cell Death and Differentiation (2009)16:449-64

D. Lam, D. Dickens, E. Reid, S. Loh, N. Moisoi, L.M. Martins ‘MAP4K3 modulates cell death via the post-transcriptional regulation of BH3-only proteins’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2009) 106: 11978-83

L. S. Tain, R. B Chowdhry, H. Plun-Favreau, N Moisoi, L. M. Martins, J. Downward, A. J. Whithworth, N. Tapon ‘Drosophila HtrA2 is dispensable for apoptosis but acts downstream of PINK1 independently of Parkin’ Cell Death and Differentiation (2009) 16:1118-25

Consultancy work

COST – MITOEAGLE Network Proposal OC-2015-2-19984, "Mitochondrial mapping: Evolution - Age - Gender - Lifestyle - Environment", Member of Management Committee

2013 WT-ISSF (£4000) principal investigator -awarded from University of Leicester to support research project on ‘Validation of novel druggable pathways in Parkinson’s disease’

Externally funded research grants information

Michael J Fox Fundation – Principal Investigator, 2015-2017 – Enhancing Mitochondria Quality Control in Parkinson’s via activation of the caseinolytic peptidase (CLPP)collaboration with University of Leicester (Prof Ruth Luthi Carter, CoPI)

2013 WT-ISSF (£4000) principal investigator - awarded from University of Leicester to support research project on ‘Validation of novel druggable pathways in Parkinson’s disease’

Internally funded research project information

VC2020 Start-up funding 2016 ‘Mitochondria quality control, Signalling pathways and Neurodegeneration’ Principal Investigator