Dr. Giorgia Cioccoloni


Dr Giorgia Cioccoloni is a Post Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) in nutrition and oncology at the School of Food science and Nutrition. She obtaneid her BSc in DIetetics at Catholic University of Sacred Heart "A. Gemelli" and then her MSc in Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. After her PhD in Medical and Surgical sciences at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, with particular focus on clinical nutrition, nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic, Dr Giorgia Cioccoloni joined Thorne’s lab as PDRA working on the impact of nutrition on breast cancer. During her research career she participated in design and conduction of several national and international nutritional driven clinical trials related to obesity, body composition, inflammation and cancer. She also has extensive experience in molecular biology, with particular focus on the molecular mechanisms which link
nutrition, obesity, cancer, immune resistance, and the relative translation and personalised medicine applications. Dr Giorgia Cioccoloni is currently involved in the Breast Cancer Action Group funded project “Ex vivo co-culture using LDL-C high derived adipocytes, macrophages and fibroblasts to reprogram triple negative breast cancer epithelial cells”. 


Research interests

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive breast cancer subtype with high incidence of relapse events. These characteristics are related to the peculiar chemotherapy resistance showed in this disease. Nutrients can directily control genes involved in chemotherapy resistance through the activation of nutrient dependent transcription factors. For example, cholesterol and it’s metabolites named oxysterols are involved in TNBC progression, metastatic process and chemotherapy resistance. Through their ability to activate the nuclear receptors Liver-X-Receptors (LXR), oxysterols control numerous gene involved in drug efflux reducing the effects of chemotherapy. One of my research goal is to understand how oxysterols produced by several cells which belongs to the tumour microenvironment, like adipocytes, fibroblasts and macrophages, affect chemoterapy resistance in TNBC. However, my research topics are not limited to oxysterols and/or chemoresistance, in fact, I’m also interested on the effect of nutrients and their control of nutrient dependent trascription factors which are involved in the modulation of drug resistance in cancer. 


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc in Dietetics
  • MSc in Human Nutritional Sciences
  • PhD in Clinical Nutrition and Nutrigenomics

Student education

I presently contribute in teaching for the modules Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease (FOOD2160, FOOD2165) and Nutrition and Cancer (FOOD5340M, FOOD3340).

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>