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Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Tania Maffucci


Senior Lecturer in Cell Signalling

Telephone: 020 7882 8423



Education: Born in Calitri, a beautiful little town in South Italy, Dr Maffucci graduated in Chemistry at the University of Naples (summa cum laude) and then worked for three years at the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in the lovely region of Abruzzo, Italy, where she attended a two-years post-graduate course on Biotechnologies. Her education also includes a Dottorato di Ricerca in Oncology at the University of Chieti, Italy.

Work experience: In 2001 Dr Maffucci moved to London and joined Dr Marco Falasca's laboratory at University College London working on cell signalling, specifically involving the family of enzymes: phosphoinositide 3-kinases. She worked as a research fellow under Dr Falasca’s supervision for four years, the last three of which were supported by a Diabetes UK Project Grant to Dr Falasca (Apr 2002-March 2005). She was then awarded with a Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship (personal fellowship, started on Apr 2005). In 2007 she was appointed as a Lecturer in Cell Signalling at the Centre for Diabetes within the Blizard Institute, and in October 2011 was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Cell Signalling.


Acting as reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, charities and associations (grant proposals)


Dr Tania Maffucci and her colleagues undertake research intended to understand how specific human diseases develop and progress by investigating the cellular mechanisms underlying them. Her research investigates some of the complex events generally indicated as “signal transduction”, the cellular signals that regulate the normal functions of a cell and whose deregulation is responsible for altered cellular functions, ultimately leading to disease.

Eight isoforms of PI3Ks exist and they are grouped into three classes, according to their structure and intracellular functions. Most of the research in the PI3K field has been so far focussed on members of the class I subfamily.

Dr Maffucci’s work is currently mainly focussed on unveiling the intracellular functions and potential involvement in human diseases of one specific isoform belonging to the class II subfamily of PI3Ks.


Problem based learning (PBL) tutor
MBBS Degree: Metabolism System Stage 1, Metabolism System Stage 2, Human Development System Stage 1, Human Development System Stage 2, Cardiorespiratory System Stage 2

SSC 2a Student supervision

Examiner (OSCEs examiner; PhD upgrading, PhD viva)

Topics for PhD supervision:

Cellular signalling, Pancreatic beta cells dysfunction, insulin resistance, cancer


Research Interests:

Dr Maffucci’s research is focussed on understanding the intracellular signals that control the normal functions of the cell and how and why they become deregulated in specific human diseases, including diabetes and cancer. Her main projects are focussed on investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for development of insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction, the two main features of Type 2 Diabetes. Other projects investigate the deregulation of cellular signalling in some types of cancer. She is currently developing an increasing interest in investigating the link between obesity, diabetes and cancer.


Dominguez V, Raimondi C, Somanath S, Bugliani M, Loder MK, Edling CE, Divecha N, da Silva-Xavier G, Marselli L, Persaud SJ, Turner MD, Rutter GA, Marchetti P, Falasca M, Maffucci T. (2011) Class II phosphoinositide 3-kinase regulates exocytosis of insulin granules in pancreatic beta cells. J Biol Chem. 286:4216-4225.

Falasca M, Chiozzotto D, Godage HY, Mazzoletti M, Riley AM, Previdi S, Potter BVL, Broggini M, Maffucci T. (2010) A novel inhibitor of the PI3K/Akt pathway based on the structure of inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate Br J Cancer  102:104-114.

Falasca M., Hughes W.E., Dominguez V., Sala G, Fostira F, Fang MQ, Cazzolli R, Shepherd PR, James DE, Maffucci T. (2007) The role of phosphoinositide 3-kinase C2 alpha in insulin signaling. J Biol Chem., 282: 28226-28236.

Maffucci T, Piccolo E, Cumashi A, Iezzi M, Riley AM, Saiardi A Godage HY, Rossi C, Broggini M, Iacobelli S, Potter BVL, Innocenti P, Falasca M. (2005) Inhibition of the PI 3-K/Akt pathway by Inositol pentakisphosphate results in ant-angiogenic and anti-tumour effects. Cancer Res., 65: 8339-8349.

Maffucci T, Cooke FT, Foster FM, Traer CJ, Fry MJ, Falasca M. (2005) Class II phosphoinositide 3-kinase defines a novel signaling pathway in cell migration. J Cell Biol., 169: 789-799.

Maffucci T, Brancaccio A, Piccolo E, Stein RC, Falasca M. (2003) Insulin induces phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate formation through TC10 activation. EMBO J., 22: 4178-4189.

Marra P, Maffucci T, Daniele T, Di Tullio G, Ikehara Y, Chan EKL, Luini A, Beznoussenko G, Mironov A, De Matteis MA. (2001) The GM130 and GRASP65 Golgi proteins cycle through and define a subdomain of the intermediate compartment. Nat. Cell Biol., 3: 1101–1113.

View all Tania Maffucci's Research Publications at: