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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
(023) 8120 5358

Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola DPhil, MSc, BSc

Associate Professor, Principal Investigator in Neuroimmunology

Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola's photo
Related links
Gomez-Nicola's Lab: Twitter

Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola in Associate Professor within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. As a neuroscientist, Dr Gomez-Nicola is interested in unveiling the roles of glial cells in the healthy and diseased brain, as a way to understand the fascinating complexity of our brain.

Understanding how our brain works and reacts to disease is the most exciting and challenging task of biomedical science

Career History

2018-present: Associate Professor. University of Southampton, UK.
2017-2018: Principal Research Fellow. University of Southampton, UK.
2016-2017: Lecturer in Neuroscience. Principal investigator in Neuroimmunology, University of Southampton, UK.
2013-2016: MRC NIRG Fellow. University of Southampton, UK.
2011-2013: Marie Curie Fellow (IEF FP7, European Union). CNS Inflammation Group, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2010-2011: Postdoctoral Fellow of the Spanish Ministry of Education. CNS Inflammation Group, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2008-2010: Postdoctoral Researcher. Neural Plasticity Group, National Hospital of Paraplegics, Toledo, Spain.
2003-2008: PhD student. Neural Plasticity Group, Cajal Institute (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

Academic qualifications

2008: PhD in Molecular biology (Neurosciences). Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain.
2005: MSci in Molecular biology (Neurosciences). Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain. 
2003: BSci in Biological Sciences (Neurobiology). Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.

Research interests

My research is focused in the understanding of the multicellular response of the CNS to injury or neurodegeneration, aiming at providing an integrative and detailed study of the functions and cross-regulation of the different cell components during neuropathology.
In the past I studied the role of proinflammatory cytokines in the regulation of the activation state of glial cells, in the context of brain inflammation, spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain or multiple sclerosis.
The goal of my current research is to study the regulation of microglial proliferation during chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as prion or Alzheimer's. The expansion of the microglial population is a hallmark of neurodegeneration and contributes to the development of the pathology. A detailed understanding of the molecules and mechanisms orchestrating microglial proliferation could open a window to elaborate therapeutic approaches to control the neuroinflammatory component of the disease.
Also, I am interested in the study of the dynamics and regulation of adult neurogenesis during neurodegeneration. Understanding of the basic mechanisms regulating the generation of new functional neurons could provide useful ways to improve functional recovery during chronic neurodegenerative diseases.

We thank the following funders for supporting our current projects:
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Alzheimer’s Research UK
Leverhulme Trust
Institute for Life Sciences
Gerald Kerkut Trust

Phd Supervision

Ahmed Salman (Medicine)
Project Title: A study of the first transgenic model of infantile nystagmus (knockout-first, reporter driven Frmd7tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi mouse)
Funding Provider: Wessex Medical Research & Fight for Sight

Katharine Askew (Biological Sciences)
Project Title: Understanding microglial dynamics in the healthy and diseased brain
Funding Provider: Vice-chancellor studentship

Liam Barry-Carroll (Biological Sciences)
Project title: Understanding microglial dynamics in the healthy and ageing brain.
Funding provider: The Leverhulme Trust

Monica Guerrero-Carrasco (Biological Sciences)

Project title: Understanding the role of early-life inflammation on the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease
Funding provider: The Gerald Kerkut Trust & Biological Sciences

Tim Muntslag (IfLS)

Grants Awarded

MRC Project Grant
Dementia Consortium Grant
Leverhulme Trust Research Grant

Gomez-Nicola Lab

Microglial cells (green) increase in number in the brain with chronic neurodegnerative diseases.
Overbooking in the Dentate Gyrus
Multicolour RGB marking of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus
Retroviral tracing-newborn neurons

Research group


Affiliate research group

Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG)

Research project(s)

Modulation of Alzheimer's disease protein networks: Minimising neuronal toxicity while preserving synaptic plasticity

Regulation of microglial proliferation during chronic neurodegeneration

An important aspect of chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and prion disease, is the generation of an innate inflammatory response within the central nervous system (CNS).

Understanding the role of early-life inflammation on the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease

This project aims to investigate the impact of early-life systemic inflammation on the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Book Chapters




Module Coordinator

BIOL6079 Glial Development and biology


BIOL2016 Pharmacology A
BIOL6079 Glial Development and biology
BIOL3048 Neurodegenerative diseases


BIOL3034 Laboratory research project
BIOL6013 Advanced research project

University of Southampton

Chair of Equality and Diversity Committee, Biological Sciences
Co-Chair of European Staff Support Network
Neuroscience Research Theme Lead, Biological Sciences
SGH Lab Representative at Research Strategy Group, Biological Sciences
SGH Lab Representative at Core Equipment and Service Contracts Group, Biological Sciences 

Professional Contributions

Coordinator of the South Coast Alzheimer’s Research UK Network (from 2017)
Reviewer for the Spanish National Agency for Evaluation of Projects (ANEP), the European Union, MS Society, Alzheimer’s Society and MRC
Spanish Glial Network: Member of the Board since 2011
STEM Ambassador
Member of the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports

Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola
Biological Sciences University of Southampton
Mail Point 840 LD80C
South Lab & Path Block
Southampton General Hospital
Tremona Road
Tel: +44(0)238120 5358

Room Number: SGH/LD80C/MP840

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