Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Nicola Romano

Academic Track Lecturer (Zhejiang)

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Education / Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Otago, New Zealand
Rapid effects of estrogen on intracellular calcium levels in adult GnRH neurons
Master of Science, Università degli Studi di Milano
Involvement of Smad proteins in the interaction between astrocytes and GnRH secreting neurones

Research Interests

Generation and significance of rhytmicity in neuro-endocrine systems.

My research in a nutshell

I am interested in how hormonal systems adapt to changes in environment, and how that relates to hormonal rhythms. In particular, my research investigates the rhythms of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland, their generation at the cellular and molecular level, and how they affect body physiology. I have particular interest in the stress and the reproductive axes, and their physiological interactions.


Nicola Romanò is a tenure-track lecturer on the Edinburgh-Zhejiang Biomedical Sciences programme; his main interest is the generation and role of pulsatility in neuroendocrine systems.

He graduated in 2005 from the Università degli Studi in Milan, Italy. with a thesis on the interaction between astrocytes and GnRH neurons, a key component for the control of fertility.

He then moved to University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ, where he continued working on GnRH neurons for his PhD project, in the laboratory of Prof. Allan Herbison. He studied the rapid actions of estrogen on this neurons, using calcium imaging and electrophysiology.

From 2008 to 2014 he worked as a postdoc at IGF in Montpellier, France, with Dr. Patrice Mollard. His main interest here was the lactotroph axis, which controls PRL secretion, which he analysed with imaging and electrophysiology techniques first in vitro, then in vivo, setting up and optimizing optogenetics approaches to study endocrine cell function in the lab.

He then moved to Edinburgh, as a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. Mike Shipston, working on the dynamics of the stress (HPA) axis, and its control through negative feedback mechanisms.

His current research analyses the complex dynamics of the HPA axes using a mix of imaging techniques as well as mathematical modelling, in collaboration with Dr. Jamie Walker at the University of Exeter.

He also collaborates with Dr. Paul Le Tissier, working on the physiology of the pituitary gland, with special attention to the systems controlling prolactin and growth hormone production.


PhD in Physiology - 2008, University of Otago, NZ

MSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology - 2005, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy

Research Groups

Centre for Integrative Physiology (CIP)


I am a lecturer on the Biomedical Sciences Programme at the Edinburgh-Zhejiang Institute in Haining, China.

I also participate in teaching of various Biomedical Sciences courses in Edinburgh.

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