Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

Staff Profile

Professor Robert Lightowlers

Director, ICaMB and Professor of Molecular Neuroscience



  • B.Sc. Biological Sciences University of East Anglia (1983)
  • Ph.D in Microbial Genetics, Australian National University (1988)

Previous Positions

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Molecular Biology
  • University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon USA (1988-1990)

Prizes and Awards

  • Lister Institute Research Fellowship (1991-1996)
  • Henry Wellcome Commemorative Award for Innovative Science (1997) 
  • Erskine Fellowship (New Zealand, 1998)
  • Cenci-Bolognetti Visiting Professorship (Rome, 2011) 



Research Interests

My main research interest is mitochondriology in health and disease. This broad interest encompasses the spectrum of research covered by our Mitochondrial Research Group. Currently, I have projects that focus on the molecular aetiology of mitochondrial disease, treatment regimes for these disorders, mitochondrial genetics and a large concern in mitochondrial gene expression in man. These interests have substantial overlaps and by detailing a process of mitochondrial transfection, we hope to be able to manipulate the mitochondrial genome and to establish the fundamentals of mitochondrial gene expression.

Further details 


 We are currently advertising for Ph.D students, postdoctoral students and scientific officers in the area of mitochondrial gene expression and its role in disease. If anyone has an interest in this area, please contact me by email ( or by 'phone for informal discussions (01912228028) 


  •  Programme Leader, MRes in Neuroscience

                Module leader, Scientific Basis of Neurological Disease 

  • Supervisor/co-supervisor currently for 9 Ph.D students