Professor Flaviano Giorgini

Dr Flaviano Giorgini

Professor of Neurogenetics

Contact details

 Tel: 0116 252 3485
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3378


Personal details

  • BSc (West Lafayette)
  • MA (St. Louis)
  • PhD (Seattle)

I grew up amidst the corn fields of Indiana and pursued a BSc degree in Biological Sciences (with an emphasis in Genetics) at Purdue University. I obtained a MA degree in Molecular Genetics at Washington University in Saint Louis and a PhD in Genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

My interest in neurodegeneration research began as a Senior Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology (University of Washington). Mywork during this time, combined with my background in genetics and model organisms, formed the basis for my current research in neurogenetics at the University of Leicester. Starting as a Lecturer in the Department of Genetics in 2006, I became Reader in Neurogenetics in 2012, as has been Professor of Neurogenetics since 2015.


To view my publications please click HERE


Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. This disease is caused by an expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the protein huntington and is characterised by atrophy in the striatum and cortex of the brain. The most common symptomatic manifestations of the disease are chorea (involuntary jerking of muscles), cognitive deficits and psychiatric disturbances. Although the initiating trigger in HD is known, the critical molecular mechanisms underlying this devastating illness remain unresolved. Our work focuses on elucidating these molecular mechanisms with the hope of aiding in the development of therapeutic strategies for HD.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the Western world after Alzheimer’s disease and is characterised by dopaminergic cellParkinsons Disease loss in the substantia nigra and the presence of cytoplasmic proteinaceous inclusions called Lewy bodies. Depletion of dopamine in the striatum causes deregulation of the motor circuits that project throughout the basal ganglia, resulting in the clinical manifestations of PD (resting tremor, slowness of movement, muscular rigidity, and postural instability). The vast majority of PD cases are thought to be idiopathic but 5-10 per cent are due to a genetic component, showing both dominant and recessive modes of inheritance. Linkage data has identified ten loci, named PARK, and mutations in several genes have already been mapped.

Our work, in collaboration with Dr Tiago Outeiro (IMM, Lisbon), is focused on DJ-1 (PARK7). We are using mammalian cell, Drosophila and yeast models of HD and PD to characterise conserved mechanisms and genes involved in pathology of these diseases, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets.

A good deal of our research is focused on the role of the kynurenine pathway in HD pathology, and we have a particular interest in the enzyme kynurenine 3-monoxygenase (KMO) as a candidate therapeutic target for this disease.

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Contact Details

Department of Genetics
University of Leicester

Adrian Building
University Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3374
E Mail:

Head of Department
Professor Jacqui Shaw

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