Andrea Loreto

University position

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair


Home page

Research Theme

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Axon degeneration is an early feature of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.

I have recently been awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome postdoctoral fellowship to work in Professor Michael Coleman's lab. My primary area of research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to axon degeneration after injury and mitochondrial dysfunction. We aim to identify regulators of axon death and eventually study their involvement in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, with a focus on Parkinson's disease.

Research Focus


Axon degeneration

Wallerian degeneration


Axonal transport

Mitochondrial dysfunction

Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis



Huntington's disease

Multiple sclerosis

Parkinson's disease

Traumatic brain injury


Calcium imaging

Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy


Live imaging


Molecular biology

Recombinant protein expression



Alex Whitworth

United Kingdom

Oliver Bandmann Web:

Federico Dajas-Bailador Web:

Jemeen Sreedharan Web:

Richard Wade-Martins Web:


Giuseppe Orsomando Web:

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Loreto A, Hill CS, Hewitt VL, Orsomando G, Angeletti C, Gilley J, Lucci C, Sanchez-Martinez A, Whitworth AJ, Conforti L, Dajas-Bailador F, Coleman MP (2019), “Mitochondrial impairment activates the Wallerian pathway through depletion of NMNAT2 leading to SARM1-dependent axon degeneration” Neurobiol Dis

    Di Stefano M, Loreto A, Orsomando G, Mori V, Zamporlini F, Hulse RP, Webster J, Donaldson LF, Gering M, Raffaelli N, Coleman MP, Gilley J, Conforti L (2017), “NMN Deamidase Delays Wallerian Degeneration and Rescues Axonal Defects Caused by NMNAT2 Deficiency In Vivo” Curr Biol 27(6):784-794

    Loreto A, Di Stefano M, Gering M, Conforti L (2015), “Wallerian Degeneration Is Executed by an NMN-SARM1-Dependent Late Ca(2+) Influx but Only Modestly Influenced by Mitochondria” Cell Rep 13(11):2539-52



    Gilley J, Loreto A. (2020), “Microinjection of superior cervical ganglion neurons for studying axon degeneration” Methods Mol Biol

    Hill CS, Loreto A, Sreedharan J, Menon D, Coleman MP. (2020), “Loss of highwire protects against the deleterious effects of traumatic brain injury in Drosophila Melanogaster” Front Neurol

    Loreto A, Gilley J. (2020), “Axon degeneration assays in Superior Cervical Ganglion explant cultures” Methods Mol Biol

    Mabbitt PD, Loreto A, Déry MA, Fletcher AJ, StanleyM, Pao KC, Wood NT, Coleman MP, Virdee S. (2020), “Structural basis for RING-Cys-Relay E3 ligase activity and its role in axon integrity” Nat Chem Biol


    Adalbert R, Kaieda A, Antoniou C, Loreto A, Yang X, Gilley J, Hoshino T, Uga K, Makhija MT, Coleman MP. (2019), “Novel HDAC6 inhibitors increase tubulin acetylation and rescue axonal transport of mitochondria in a model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2F.” ACS Chem Neurosci

    White MA, Lin Z, Kim E, Henstridge CM, Pena Altamira E, Hunt CK, Burchill E, Callaghan I, Loreto A, Brown-Wright H, Mead R, Simmons C, Cash D, Coleman MP and Sreedharan J (2019), “Sarm1 deletion suppresses TDP-43-linked motor neuron degeneration and cortical spine loss” Acta Neuropathol Commun


    Rossi F, Geiszler PC, Meng W, Barron MR, Prior M, Herd-Smith A, Loreto A, Lopez MY, Faas H, Pardon MC, Conforti L. (2018), “NAD-biosynthetic enzyme NMNAT1 reduces early behavioral impairment in the htau mouse model of tauopathy.” Behav Brain Res. 26;339:140-152.


    Di Stefano M, Nascimento-Ferreira I, Orsomando G, Mori V, Gilley J, Brown R, Janeckova L, Vargas ME, Worrell LA, Loreto A, Tickle J, Patrick J, Webster JR, Marangoni M, Carpi FM, Pucciarelli S, Rossi F, Meng W, Sagasti A, Ribchester RR, Magni G, Coleman MP, Conforti L (2015), “A rise in NAD precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) after injury promotes axon degeneration” Cell Death Differ 22(5):731-42


    Di Pasquale G, Dicembrini I, Raimondi L, Pagano C, Egan JM, Cozzi A, Cinci L, Loreto A, Manni ME, Berretti S, Morelli A, Zheng C, Michael DG, Maggi M, Vettor R, Chiorini JA, Mannucci E, Rotella CM (2012), “Sustained exendin-4 secretion through gene therapy targeting salivary glands in two different rodent models of obesity/type 2 diabetes” PLoS One 7(7):e40074