UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Paola Vergani

Dr Paola Vergani

Associate Professor

Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2005

Research summary

Cystic fibrosis is the most common life-threatening inherited disease in the UK. We study the protein whose dysfunction causes cystic fibrosis, CFTR. This same protein is responsible for the excessive salt/water loss occurring during secretory diarrhoeas (e.g. cholera). CFTR belongs to the superfamily of ABC proteins, which couple hydrolytic cycles at conserved nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) to diverse cellular functions. CFTR is unique among ABC proteins in that its transmembrane domains comprise an ion channel. With our experiments we aim at deepening our understanding of  how CFTR works, setting foundations for pharmacological alteration of its activity.

Teaching summary

I contribute to undergraduate teaching for Science students, and preclinical teaching for Medical students on several physiology and pharmacology modules. Since 2015 I am stream lead for Biomedical Sciences on the Natural Sciences programme. I am a module organiser for BIOS0019 Life Scienes Foundation, and BIOS0017 MSci Research Project in Life Sciences.


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ07 - Holder of a PGCE in higher education, secondary edu, further edu, life long lear | 2008
Universita degli Studi di Milano
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1995
Universita degli Studi di Pavia
Other higher degree, Master of Science (by research) | 1991


I graduated from the University of Pavia, and obtained my PhD from the University of Milan, studying membrane transport mechanisms in yeast. After a first postdoctoral research period at Wye College, University of London, I moved to the Rockefeller University in New York where I started working on the structure/function of CFTR. In 2006 I joined the then Pharmacology Department at UCL as a lecturer.