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 Website




CubicleSir 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 (Spain) 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 Dr. Bagatolli. For a short period as a visiting scientist, while employed at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), he was trained in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy at Prof. S. Hell’s (Nobel Laureate, 2014) laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen (Germany). In the MRC-Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford (United Kingdom) he did his second postdoc with Prof. Eggeling. Thereafter, he took a Staff Scientist role at the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) working in the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory before he joined the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London (United Kingdom) as Senior Lecturer.

 ORCID | Research Gate| Loop | Google Scholar


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 Remodeling at the Respiratory Airways
  • Molecular Interactions between Host Cell and Toxic Pollutants, Nanoparticles or 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
    Plasma membrane
    Lorizate, et al. Small Methods 2021

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.



We are keen to hear from enthusiastic and bright students with a strong interest our research programme. If you are interested to join us send me an email with your CV and a Cover Letter.


We are keen to hear from outstanding researchers keen to apply for externally funded fellowships. If you would like to apply for postdoctoral fellowships and you are looking for a group to support you, please do get in touch with me sending a short Cover Letter and your CV. 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Bernabe-Rubio M, Bosch-Fortea M, Garcia E, et al., 2021, Adaptive lipid immiscibility and Membrane remodeling are active functional Determinants of primary ciliogenesis, Small Methods, Vol:5, ISSN:2366-9608

More Publications