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Accepting Doctoral Students

Personal profile

Research interests


Dr Maria Victoria Niklison Chirou obtained her PhD from Tucuman University in Argentina in 2009. She worked in the laboratory of Professor Roberto Morero studying the role of microcin J25 in inducing oxidative stress. Maria then joined the laboratory of Professor Gerry Melino at the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester, as a postdoctoral fellow to work on understanding the role of the p53-family in inducing metabolic changes in normal cells and reprograming in cancer.

In 2014, she won a prestigious fellowship from Children with Cancer UK to work in metabolic adaptation of medulloblastoma tumours. Therefore, she move to London and started as a research fellow in the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London. She recently published, a ground-breaking research in the high impact journal Genes & Development. She identified the p53-family member, p73, as a crucial factor causing “glutamine addiction” in aggressive medulloblastoma. In 2019 she won the BNOS Young Investigator Award.

Maria joined University of Bath in 2020 as a Lecturer in Cell and Molecular Biology. Since 2019, she is part of the Editorial Bord of the journal Cell Death and Discovery (Impact Factor: 4.11).

Research Summary:

Her current research focuses on the development of novel drugs for the treatment of childhood brain tumours. Dr Niklison currently works on medulloblastoma, a paediatric brain tumour and a major cause of mortality in children. She works to understand the chemical reactions that allow tumours to grow, trying to ascertain how the metabolism of medulloblastoma is regulated, and whether and how these tumours could be starved of essential components in order to strengthen the effect of chemotherapy given to patients. These tumours are malignant and patients have to undergo aggressive treatments leaving survivors with severe side effects. Hence, more targeted and less toxic therapies are vitally needed to improve the quality of life for patients.


Lab members:


Jasmin Kimya Farshchi (ERASMUS visiting student)                       2021

Maria Parikian (MSc student)                                                       2021

Philip Ragan    (PhD student)                                                       2021-2024


Willing to supervise doctoral students

I welcome motivated PhD students with a biological or science background who are interested in cancer metabolism, ongogene regulation and metastais. I am very interested to hear from international students who have identified competitive sources of funding for which we might apply together.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán

1 Jan 20051 May 2009

Award Date: 1 May 2009

Master of Biochemistry

1 Mar 19981 Dec 2004

Award Date: 1 Dec 2004

External positions

Research Fellow, Queen Mary University, London

1 Sept 201428 May 2020

Postdoctoral Research, Medical Research Council

1 Jul 200915 Aug 2014


  • p53-family
  • Metabolism
  • Oncogene
  • lipid metabolism
  • medulloblastoma
  • Cancer


Dive into the research topics where Maria Niklison Chirou is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Are lipid droplets the picnic basket of brain tumours?

    Bingi, T., Cotton, K., Comer, C. & Niklison-Chirou, M. V., 16 Jan 2024, In: Cell Death Discovery. 10, 1, 31.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • The Proteasome Inhibitor CEP-18770 Induces Cell Death in Medulloblastoma

    Varma, S. N., Ye, S., Ferlin, S., Comer, C., Cotton, K. & Niklison Chirou, M., 31 May 2024, In: Pharmaceutics. 16, 5, 672.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Apoptotic cell death in disease-Current understanding of the NCCD 2023

    Vitale, I., Pietrocola, F., Guilbaud, E., Aaronson, S. A., Abrams, J. M., Adam, D., Agostini, M., Agostinis, P., Alnemri, E. S., Altucci, L., Amelio, I., Andrews, D. W., Aqeilan, R. I., Arama, E., Baehrecke, E. H., Balachandran, S., Bano, D., Barlev, N. A., Bartek, J., Bazan, N. G., & 208 othersBecker, C., Bernassola, F., Bertrand, M. J. M., Bianchi, M. E., Blagosklonny, M. V., Blander, J. M., Blandino, G., Blomgren, K., Borner, C., Bortner, C. D., Bove, P., Boya, P., Brenner, C., Broz, P., Brunner, T., Damgaard, R. B., Calin, G. A., Campanella, M., Candi, E., Carbone, M., Carmona-Gutierrez, D., Cecconi, F., Chan, F. K. M., Chen, G. Q., Chen, Q., Chen, Y. H., Cheng, E. H., Chipuk, J. E., Cidlowski, J. A., Ciechanover, A., Ciliberto, G., Conrad, M., Cubillos-Ruiz, J. R., Czabotar, P. E., D’Angiolella, V., Daugaard, M., Dawson, T. M., Dawson, V. L., De Maria, R., De Strooper, B., Debatin, K. M., Deberardinis, R. J., Degterev, A., Del Sal, G., Deshmukh, M., Di Virgilio, F., Diederich, M., Dixon, S. J., Dynlacht, B. D., El-Deiry, W. S., Elrod, J. W., Engeland, K., Fimia, G. M., Galassi, C., Ganini, C., Garcia-Saez, A. J., Garg, A. D., Garrido, C., Gavathiotis, E., Gerlic, M., Ghosh, S., Green, D. R., Greene, L. A., Gronemeyer, H., Häcker, G., Hajnóczky, G., Hardwick, J. M., Haupt, Y., He, S., Heery, D. M., Hengartner, M. O., Hetz, C., Hildeman, D. A., Ichijo, H., Inoue, S., Jäättelä, M., Janic, A., Joseph, B., Jost, P. J., Kanneganti, T. D., Karin, M., Kashkar, H., Kaufmann, T., Kelly, G. L., Kepp, O., Kimchi, A., Kitsis, R. N., Klionsky, D. J., Kluck, R., Krysko, D. V., Kulms, D., Kumar, S., Lavandero, S., Lavrik, I. N., Lemasters, J. J., Liccardi, G., Linkermann, A., Lipton, S. A., Lockshin, R. A., López-Otín, C., Luedde, T., MacFarlane, M., Madeo, F., Malorni, W., Manic, G., Mantovani, R., Marchi, S., Marine, J. C., Martin, S. J., Martinou, J. C., Mastroberardino, P. G., Medema, J. P., Mehlen, P., Meier, P., Melino, G., Melino, S., Miao, E. A., Moll, U. M., Muñoz-Pinedo, C., Murphy, D. J., Niklison-Chirou, M. V., Novelli, F., Núñez, G., Oberst, A., Ofengeim, D., Opferman, J. T., Oren, M., Pagano, M., Panaretakis, T., Pasparakis, M., Penninger, J. M., Pentimalli, F., Pereira, D. M., Pervaiz, S., Peter, M. E., Pinton, P., Porta, G., Prehn, J. H. M., Puthalakath, H., Rabinovich, G. A., Rajalingam, K., Ravichandran, K. S., Rehm, M., Ricci, J. E., Rizzuto, R., Robinson, N., Rodrigues, C. M. P., Rotblat, B., Rothlin, C. V., Rubinsztein, D. C., Rudel, T., Rufini, A., Ryan, K. M., Sarosiek, K. A., Sawa, A., Sayan, E., Schroder, K., Scorrano, L., Sesti, F., Shao, F., Shi, Y., Sica, G. S., Silke, J., Simon, H. U., Sistigu, A., Stephanou, A., Stockwell, B. R., Strapazzon, F., Strasser, A., Sun, L., Sun, E., Sun, Q., Szabadkai, G., Tait, S. W. G., Tang, D., Tavernarakis, N., Troy, C. M., Turk, B., Urbano, N., Vandenabeele, P., Vanden Berghe, T., Vander Heiden, M. G., Vanderluit, J. L., Verkhratsky, A., Villunger, A., von Karstedt, S., Voss, A. K., Vousden, K. H., Vucic, D., Vuri, D., Wagner, E. F., Walczak, H., Wallach, D., Wang, R., Wang, Y., Weber, A., Wood, W., Yamazaki, T., Yang, H. T., Zakeri, Z., Zawacka-Pankau, J. E., Zhang, L., Zhang, H., Zhivotovsky, B., Zhou, W., Piacentini, M., Kroemer, G. & Galluzzi, L., 30 May 2023, In: Cell Death and Differentiation. 30, 5, p. 1097-1154 58 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Open Access
    93 Citations (SciVal)
    6 Downloads (Pure)
  • The role of immunomodulators in treatment-resistant depression: case studies

    Beckett, C. W. & Niklison-Chirou, M. V., 31 Dec 2022, In: Cell Death Discovery. 8, 1, 367.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    17 Citations (SciVal)
  • Alcohol-abuse drug disulfiram targets pediatric glioma via MLL degradation

    Meier, S., Cantilena, S., Niklison Chirou, M. V., Anderson, J., Hargrave, D., Salomoni, P., de Boer, J. & Michod, D., 11 Aug 2021, In: Cell Death and Disease. 12, 8, 785.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    11 Citations (SciVal)