Teresa Niccoli

I joined the Institute of Healthy Ageing at UCL as a Senior ARUK Fellow in 2019. I completed my PhD with Paul Nurse at Cancer Research UK, studying cell polarity and microtubule dynamics in the yeast S. pombe. I continued investigating cell polarity at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge with Daniel St. Johnston. I then took a 5-year career break to look after my two sons. In 2010 I resumed my scientific career by joining Linda Partridge's lab at UCL to work on Drosophila models of neurodegeneration and continued this work in Adrian Isaac's laboratory at the Dementia Research Institute UCL.

Academic Background


King's College London

Masters in Medical Ethics and Law


University College London

Doctor of Philosophy in Cell Biology


Cambridge University

BA in Natural Sciences

Lab Members

Katharina Wenz

PhD Student

I moved to the UK from Germany at the age of 14 to complete my school education. I then moved to London to study biological sciences in UCL. Throughout my undergraduate degree I was interested in a broad range of biology related topics and only specialised to focus on ageing research in my final MSci year. For my PhD, under the co-supervision of Dr Frances Wiseman (Institute of Neurology) and Dr Niccoli, I am investigating Aβ toxicity in Down Syndrome model using fruit fly and human clinical and genetic datasets.

Benjamin Aleyakpo

Research Technician

I graduated from University of Lagos in Nigeria in 2008. I completed my Master's of Science in University of East London in 2012. I obtained my PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from University of East London in 2017 using Drosophila as a model of ethanol-related behaviours. In my current role I contribute to exploring the exciting possibilities of Drosophila model of neurodegenerative diseases.

Mirjam Adams

Master's Student

During my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, I became very interested in neuroscience. Therefore, I continued my studies with a Master’s in Neuroscience & Cognition. What interests me in particular are molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. As final part of my Master’s I am currently working in dr. Niccoli’s lab. I am examining altered neuronal glucose metabolism in Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using a C9orf72 repeat expansion Drosophila model

Scott Wilson

Summer Student


Suifan Yang

Master's Student


Neina Motoki

Master's Student


Past Members

Marcus Yong Sin Kiat

Undergraduate Volunteer

from the Healthspan Research Assistance program at UCL

As a MSci Pharmacology student, I have developed a strong interest in neurodegenerative diseases. I volunteered in Dr. Niccoli’s Lab to understand the work that goes into studying Alzheimer’s and Frontotemporal Dementia using Drosphila as a model organism

Caitlin Barton-Sargeant

Undergraduate Volunteer

from the Healthspan Research Assistance program at UCL

I am currently a second-year undergraduate biochemistry student at UCL. My time in Dr Niccoli’s lab involved tipping and scoring lifespans to determine the effect of glycolytic enzyme mutations on the dementia phenotype. My experience has all but proved that a career in academia is for me and I am excited to pursue my interests further in a master’s and PhD position.

Margot Jacobs

Master's Student

Throughout my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London, I particularly enjoyed the neuroscience, genetics, and physiology modules. This prompted me to pursue the Neuroscience stream on the MRes Biosciences at UCL. Dr Niccoli’s research was the perfect fit for me as it combines my interests in neuroscience with genetics. I was also very keen in learning about Drosophila as a model organism! For my Master’s project I am investigating the effect of metabolic modifiers, lactate and ketone bodies, on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia using a C9orf72 repeat expansion Drosophila model. 

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Niccoli Lab 2019

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