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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Michelangelo Campanella


Professor of Pharmacology

Centre: Clinical Pharmacology and Precision Medicine



Professor Michelangelo Campanella is an Italian born, British naturalised scientist and academic.

He completed a Pharm D (USA intercalated) in 2001 and earned a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Ferrara Italy in 2005 (advisor: Professor Rosario Rizzuto). He then moved to the United Kingdom as EMBO/MarieCurie Postdoctoral Fellow to continue his training in mitochondrial molecular cell biology and physiopathology at the University College London under the supervision of Prof. Michael R Duchen and Prof. Andy Tinker.

In 2008 he secured a tenured appointment as Lecturer at the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences of the Royal Veterinary College University of London where he became Reader and Professor. Here he established the Mitochondrial Cell Biology and Pharmacology Research Group.

In early 2023, he moved to the William Harvey Research Institute Queen Mary University of London to take up a Professorial Chair in Pharmacology within the Centre for Clinical Pharmacology and Precision Medicine.

Recognition and Awards

Prof. Campanella seats in several editorial boards of scientific journal (e.g. the British Journal of Pharmacology and the Cell Death & Disease) and award panels for research funds.

His abnegation for biomedical research, academic education and service towards talented scholars yielded him the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation in 2014. He received the Talented Young Italian Award in 2015 and in 2023 the University of Padua conferred him the title of Professor for high and recognised scientific merit. He is fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Royal Society of Biology and member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.



Professor Campanella is internationally acknowledged as an expert in the field of mitochondrial research. Hitherto his scientific breakthroughs regard the characterisation of pathways governing homeostasis of mitochondria and their quality control regulation via targeted autophagy (mitophagy).

His research group is conversant with the state-of-the-art approaches to read and interpret mitochondrial signalling, morphology, biochemistry, and redox state.

Prof. Campanella and his team have generated the first evidence for the existence of contact sites between mitochondria and nucleus via which communication between the two organelles is regulated.

The ongoing research efforts are devoted on the study of pharmacologically exploitable target mechanisms governing mitochondrial function in physiology and pathology.

The Mitochondrial Cell Biology and Pharmacology Lab

Dr. Danilo Faccenda; Dr. Eva Eva Sidlauskaite; Dr. Pedro Robles Naharro; Prof. Vitali Nedosekov (BA Fellow); Mr. Manuel Rigon; Mr. Richard Boulton-Mc Donald; Mrs. Brindha Kannan; Dr. Daniela Strobbe; Dr. Zohra Le-Grand; Ms. Sharmitha Rajendrakumar; Mr. Asif Rasheed.

Key Publications

  1. Singh A, Faccenda D, Campanella M. Pharmacological advances in mitochondrial therapy. eBioMedicine. 2021 Mar;65:103244. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103244.
  2. Frison M, Strobbe D, Faccenda D, Rigon M, Abeti R, Cash D, England-Rendon BS, Barnes K, Sadeghian M, Sajic  M, Wells  LA, Giunti  P, Xia  D, Smith  K, Mortiboys H, Turkheimer F and Campanella M. The Translocator Protein (TSPO) is prodromal to mitophagy loss in Neurotoxicity. Psychiatry (2021).
  3. Desai R, East DA, Hardy L, Crosby J, Rigon M, Faccenda D, Alvarez MS, Singh A, Mainenti M, Kuhlman-Hussey L, Bentham R, Szabadkai G, Zappulli V, Dhoot G, Romano L, Xia D, Hamechar-Brady A, Chapple P, Fleck R, Vizcay-Barrena G, Smith K and Campanella M. Mitochondria form contact sites with the nucleus to couple prosurvival retrograde response. Sci Adv 2020 Dec 18;6(51):eabc9955. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abc9955. 
  4. Georgakopoulos ND, Wells G and Campanella M. The Pharmacological Regulation of Cellular Mitophagy. Nat Chem Biol. 2017 Jan 19;13(2):136-146
  5. Gatliff, East D, Crosby J, Abeti R Harvey R, Craigen W, Parker P and Campanella M. TSPO interacts with VDAC1 and triggers a ROS-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial quality control. Autophagy 2014 Dec 2;10(12):2279-96. doi:10.4161/15548627.2014.991665.
  6. East D, Fagiani F, Crosby J, Bertrand H, Schaap M, Fowkes A, Wells G, and Campanella M. PMI: a novel, ΔΨm independent, Mitophagy Inducer”. Cell Chemical Biology. 2014 Nov 20;21(11):1585-96. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.09.019.
  7. Faccenda D, Tan CH, Seraphim A, Duchen MR & Campanella M. The F1Fo-ATPase endogenous inhibitor IF1 regulates Mitochondrial Commitment to Apoptosis. Cell Death Differ. 2013;20(5):686-97. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2012.163.
  8. Campanella M, Farah Z, Casswell E, Chong S, Wieckowski MR, Abramov AY, Tinker A and Duchen MR. Regulation of Mitochondrial Structure and Function by the F(1)F(o)-ATPase Inhibitor Protein, IF(1). Cell Metabolism 2008 Jul;8(1):13-25.
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