Imperial College London

DrJorgeBernardino de la Serna

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Senior Lecturer in Inhalation Toxicology and Pharmacology



+44 (0)20 7594 3277j.bernardino-de-la-serna




102Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Bernardino de la Serna holds a Bachelor degree in Chemistry, and two Master Degrees, one in Chemistry and another in Biochemistry. He was awarded his PhD at the University Complutense of Madrid working in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology under the supervision of Prof. Perez-Gil. He did his first postdoc in the Center for BioMembrane Physics (MEMPHYS) at the University of Southern Denmark with Prof. Mouritsen and Prof. Bagatolli. For a short period as a visiting scientist, while employed at the University of Oxford, he was trained in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy at Prof. S. Hell’s (Nobel Laureate, 2014) laboratory at the Max-Plank Institute. In the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford, he did his second postdoc with Prof. Eggeling. Thereafter, he took a Staff Scientist role at the United Kingdom Research and Innovation working in the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory before he joined the National Heart and Lung Institute as Senior Lecturer.

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Dr Bernardino de la Serna has a markedly multidisciplinary research track record: Synthetic Biology, Biophysics, Molecular Cell Biology, Molecular Immunology, Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery, Photonics and Quantitative 4D Fluorescence Bioimaging. 

Journal Covers and Image contests awarded micrographies

He is interested in learning, at the molecular level, how cells in the alveolocapillary barrier sense and remodel when challenged by their micro/nano-environment. This includes inhaled foreign biofunctional nanomaterials, toxic nanoparticles, and micro/nano-pathogens. He aims to better understand the manner cell membranes harbour supramolecular assemblies, favouring particular lipid-protein spatiotemporal arrangements during molecular uptake, as well as during the response against toxic material or host-pathogen interactions. He is focused on resolving these molecular interactions, distributions and dynamical functional architectures in real-time at the micro- and nano-scale. He aims to integrate lung-on-a-chip models into a high-advanced fluorescence microscopy platform and reveal molecular functional events occurring during toxic and pathogen inhalation. For this purpose, he is generating novel-advanced in vitro models mimicking the alveolocapillary barrier, including lung surfactant and respiratory mechanics. Simultaneously, he is developing innovative fluorescence micro- and nanoscopic methods for live-cell imaging to quantify spatiotemporally the distribution, interaction and dynamics of functional lipids and proteins at the molecular level. Dr Bernardino de la Serna envisages that gaining a better understanding of the toxicological and pathological molecular mechanisms will, eventually, pave the way towards better designed and more efficient pharmacological drugs.

  • Cell Molecular Sensing and remodelling at the Respiratory Airways
  • Molecular Interactions between Host Cell and Toxic Pollutants, Host Cell and Nanoparticles, and Host Cell and Pathogens
  • Real-Time Quantitative Diffraction-limited and Super-resolution (STED) Fluorescence microscopy
  • Engineered Nanoparticles as Drug delivery carriers for personalised Nanomedicine
  • Organ-on-a-chip models

Keywords: Inhalation Toxicology, Inhalation Pharmacology, Engineered Nanoparticles, Nanomedicine, Toxic Particle and Pathogen-Host interactions, Lung Molecular and Cell Biology, 4D quantitative Super-resolution Microscopy, Lung-on-a-chip, Immunophysics and Immunoengineering.



Pickford P, Lucey M, Fang Z, et al., 2020, Signalling, trafficking and glucoregulatory properties of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists exendin-4 and lixisenatide., British Journal of Pharmacology, ISSN:0007-1188

de la Serna JB, Mellado M, Dustin ML, et al., 2020, Editorial: ImmunoPhysics and ImmunoEngineering, Frontiers of Physics, Vol:8, ISSN:2095-0462, Pages:1-4

Saeed HK, Sreedharan S, Jarman PJ, et al., 2020, Making the Right Link to Theranostics: The Photophysical and Biological Properties of Dinuclear Ru-II-Re-I dppz Complexes Depend on Their Tether, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol:142, ISSN:0002-7863, Pages:1101-1111

Bello-Gamboa A, Velasco M, Moreno S, et al., 2020, Actin reorganization at the centrosomal area and the immune synapse regulates polarized secretory traffic of multivesicular bodies in T lymphocytes, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, Vol:9, Pages:1759926-1759926

Smitten KL, Fairbanks SD, Robertson CC, et al., 2019, Ruthenium based antimicrobial theranostics – using nanoscopy to identify therapeutic targets and resistance mechanisms in Staphylococcus aureus, Chemical Science, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-6520, Pages:70-79

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