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Dr Dario Pacitti

Dr Dario Pacitti

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 01392 72 6024

 Medical School Building F.08C


Medical School Building, St Luke's Campus, Magdalen Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Dario is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Professor Matt Whiteman's group working in collaboration with Dr Chris Scotton, focusing on hydrogen sulfide metabolism and the contribution of mitochondrial dysfunctions to pathological processes specifically associated with inflammation. Dario’s current research interests are centred on modulating inflammatory responses associated with tobacco smoke in COPD and lie within the following:

  1. Developing and characterising in vitro models of cigarette and e-cigarette smoke exposure to investigate inflammatory signatures and mitochondrial dysfunctions in the context of COPD
  2. Generation of relevant 3-D lung cultures and immune cells co-culture models
  3. Investigation of novel mitochondria-targeting hydrogen sulfide donor compounds against inflammation and oxidative stress in lung disease


  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology with year in industry (2010-2014)
  • PhD in Cell biology and Genetics (2014-2018)


Dario graduated with a BSc in Pharmacology with industrial experience at GSK (2010-14) before obtaining his PhD in Cell biology and Genetics from St George’s, University of London (2014-18). After his PhD, he continued his work as postdoctoral research assistant at St George’s University of London, where he investigated the role of thymidine phosphorylase in CNS maintenance and collaborated on progressing a multicentre European clinical trial for a novel enzyme replacement therapy for Mitochondrial Neurogastrointestinal Encephalomyopathy (MNGIE). His research background is therefore in mitochondrial dysfunctions and neurological disorders. In 2019, Dario moved to the University of Exeter to work as a Research Fellow under the joint supervision of Professor Whiteman and Dr Scotton. Dario is currently working on an MRC funded project grant on the reversal and/or prevention of cigarette smoke induced inflammation in COPD using novel mitochondria targeting compounds. 


Research group links


Research interests

Dario's main interest is to investigate the association between mitochondrial dysfunctions and disease and how these contribute to pathomolecular mechanisms. He is deeply interested in inflammation in various pathological contexts, including respiratory and CNS disorders. More recently Dario has developed a substantial interest in immunometabolism, focusing on hydrogen sulfide and various mitochondrial metabolic pathways. Dario is particularly interested in the use of complex in vitro systems such as induced pluripotent stem cells, 3-D cultures and organoids to model diseases and investigate research questions, while integrating 'omics and big data approaches. 

Research projects

Current Projects:

  • Currently working on an MRC funded project grant investigating the efficacy of mitochondria-targeted H2S donors in lung disease.

Research networks

  • Member of the Association of Italian Scientists in the UK (AISUK)
  • Early career Member of the British Neuroscience Association (BNA)
  • Early career Member of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS)

External Engagement and Impact

Conferences and invited presentations

  • 2019- Poster presentation at the British Association for Lung Research (BALR) annual meeting held at the University of Cambridge

  • 2018- Poster and flash presentation at the Mitochondrial Medicine 2018 conference held at the Wellcome Genome campus

  • 2017- Poster presentation at UK Neuromuscular Translational Research Conference

  • 2017- Invited guest lecturer at London Metropolitan University

  • 2017- Oral presentation at the Purine and Pyrimidine 2017 symposium in Gdansk

  • 2014- Speaker at the Society of Biology Life Sciences Careers Conference held at the Royal Veterinary College




Supervision / Group

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