Imperial College London

Dr Nadia Guerra

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 5663n.guerra




604Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Guerra is an Associate Professor and head of the "Inflammation and Cancer Immunity" lab in the Department of Life Sciences.  Her research aims to elucidate the physiologic relevance of Natural Killer cell Receptors (NK-R)  in the development of Immunopathologies and Cancer using preclinical models of disease (Blood 2013, Cell Reports. 2018).  The lab recently uncovered a novel and unexpected role for the activating receptor NKG2D in its capacity to promote rather than delay tumorigenesis in models of inflammation-driven Cancer (Nat Commu 2017, Frontiers Immunol 2018, Discovery Immunol. 2022, Cancers 2023). Through a proof-in-concept project support by AstraZeneca, the lab is currently exploring ways to target NKG2D in the liver cancer model. An additional focus in the lab relies on combining state-of-the-art multi-photon imaging with novel mouse models to investigate the behaviour of NK cells during chronic inflammation with the view of understanding the role they play in cancer progression. 

Nadia received her BS degree in Biochemistry from the University of Marseille Luminy and MRes degree in Transplant Immunology from the University of Besancon. In 2002, She received her Ph.D. degree in Immunology from the University Paris VI, Pierre et Marie Curie where she studied the role of inhibitory NK cell receptors in kidney cancer under the supervision of Dr. Anne Caignard and Salem Chouaib at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France.  Her studies evidenced the presence and regulatory function of inhibitory NK receptors KIR on CD8 T lymphocytes infiltrating Renal Cell Carcinoma (Blood 2000&2002, Cancer Res. 2000&2001). She then joined the group of Prof. David Raulet at the University of Berkeley, California to complete her postdoctoral training focusing on the role of NK group 2, member D (NKG2D) in vivo. She made a significant contribution to the NK cell field through the generation of NKG2D-deficient mice (Immunity 2008, Nat. Rev. Immunol 2009), instrumental to the understanding of NK cell function in disease models. In 2009, Nadia was awarded a prestigious Career Development Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust to establish her research group at Imperial College London.


 Follow our lab on Twitter @guerra_lab

* Helena Dodd graduated!! May 2023 Congratulations Helena and all the best i your new position as Senior Scientific Officer within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the Home office!

* Nadia gave a talk at the Annual meeting of the British Society for Immunology on Dec 2022

*Fort Myers, Florida May 2022 - Nadia gave a talk on NKG2D function in Cancer Immunity at the NK2022 conference. 

*London Oct 2021 - Nadia gave a talk discussing the potential of NKG2D ligands as biomarkers in liver cancer - Immune UK Oxford global conference.

* Sophie Curio graduated!!!  we wish her all the best in her next endeavour -a postdoc at the University of Queensland, Australia in Gabriel Belz lab.

*A 3year Ph.D studentship is available in the Guerra's Lab to work on a project entitled: "Regulation of the death-inducing ligand TRAIL and its impact on inflamm-ageing". 

Deadline: April 5th 2021

* A 4-year Ph.D fellowship is available in the Guerra Lab to work on a cross-disciplinary project entitled: "Development of a deep learning-based approach to characterise the immune landscape in liver cancer" in collaboration with Dr Yinyin Yuan (Institute of Cancer Research) and David Pinato (Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine). Deadline: Friday, November 22, 2019 apply here

*Sophie Curio, a final year PhD student in Nadia Guerra’s lab, successfully obtained a Stevenson fund to undertake a 3-month research project abroad. She has joined the lab of Rachel Purcell at the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand, to study the relationship between the microbiome and mucosal immunity and its impact on intestinal cancer.

Sophie Curio @ at the University of Otago Feb 2020

* Ph.D. student Helena Dodd gave a talk at the 9th Annual NK/UK workshop to discuss her progress on the use of nanomaterial to improve NK cell activation. UCL Jan 2020.

* Nadia has been chairing the session on "Emerging functions of non-classical lymphocytes" at the Annual Congress of the British Society for Immunology (BSI) on Dec 5th 2019.

* Nadia Guerra gave a plenary talk at the 2nd Annual Congress in Advances in Immuno-Oncology UK May 2019 to discuss the potential of targeting NK cells and NKG2D in cancer patients.

* Master student Gustav Jonsson gave a talk at the 8th Annual NK/UK workshop to discuss his exciting results on imaging NK cell/tumor cell interaction at the single-cell level. Cambridge Jan 2019

* Ph.D. student Sophie Curio successfully obtained the prestigious Stevenson fund to visit the lab of Dr. Rachel Purcellat the University of Otago, New Zealand where she will study the impact of NKG2D on the gut microbiome. May 2019

*Guerra lab wins the xmas quiz 2018!! Success attributed to an international team composed of German, French, Austrian, Greek, Swedish  and British lab members.

* In collaboration with the Dunlop lab (Department of Materials), the Guerra lab is offering a Ph.D. fellowship from the Institute of Chemical Biology to investigate the use of nanoparticles to improve the anti-tumor function of Natural Killer cells. Apply here.

*May 2018- Gustav Jonsson, post-graduate researcher in the Guerra Lab was awarded a prestigious award from The Society of Swedish Engineers in Great Britain" (SIS) to pursue his work on imaging NK cell/Tumour cell interaction using a novel microwell chip technology developed by our collaborator Professor Björn Önfelt from KTH, Stockholm.

Gustav was handed the award by the Swedish ambassador H E MR. Torbjörn Sohlström and delegate Mr. Per-Olof Emanuelsson whom he met at the Swedish embassy after giving a seminar to the SIS delegation at Imperial College


* The Guerra Lab  will partner with AstraZeneca to explore the feasibility of manipulating the NKG2D axis in particular model of liver cancer.

* On June 26th 2017, Nadia gave a talk at the European Association for Cancer Research / American Association for Cancer Research/ Italian Cancer Society (EACR-AACR-SIC) special conference on The Challenges of Optimising Immuno and Targeted Therapies: From cancer Biology to the Clinic"  that gathered over 850 scientists in Firenze, Italy.

* Nov 2017, Nadia engaged in a group discussion on key priorities in cancer research with high school students during the Creative Quarter Exhibition organised by the Cancer Research UK.

creative quarter

* May 7th 2017 - Imperial Festival celebration at South Kensington campus. Nadia Guerra joins forces with the CRUK team to discuss novel therapeutic strategies against Cancer.

Joana's thesis

* On April 11th 2017, Joana Guedes successfully defended her Ph.D viva entitled "Role of NKG2D in models of liver inflammation and tumorigenesis" in front of examiners Dr. Keith Gould (ICL) and Prof. Mala Maini (UCL)

* Joana presented orally her work at the 7th annual NK-UK meeting held at UCL on January 2017.


* PhD student Sam Sheppard has now joined the lab of Dr. Joseph Sun at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY for his post-doctoral training. Oct 2016

* Dr. Guerra was invited to present recent findings of the lab on the novel role of NKG2D in Hepatocellular Carcinoma at the 16th annual meeting of the Society for Natural Immunity in Taormina, Sicily - Oct 2016.


Students (Ph.D or Post-doc level) interested in joining the lab should email their resume and cover letter to Dr Guerra (



Curio S, Edwards SC, Suzuki T, et al., 2022, NKG2D signaling regulates IL-17A-producing γδT cells in mice to promote cancer progression, Discovery Immunology, Vol:1, ISSN:2754-2483

Tomaz D, Pereira PM, Guerra N, et al., 2022, Nanoscale Colocalization of NK Cell Activating and Inhibitory Receptors Controls Signal Integration, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:13, ISSN:1664-3224

Cadoux M, Caruso S, Pham S, et al., 2021, Expression of NKG2D ligands is downregulated by β-catenin signalling and associates with HCC aggressiveness, Journal of Hepatology, Vol:74, ISSN:0168-8278, Pages:1386-1397

Bonavita E, Bromley CP, Jonsson G, et al., 2020, Antagonistic Inflammatory Phenotypes Dictate Tumor Fate and Response to Immune Checkpoint Blockade, Immunity, Vol:53, ISSN:1074-7613, Pages:1215-+


Glymenaki M, Curio S, Cabrera PM, et al., 2021, TYRAMINE IS A POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTOR TO INCREASED COLON CANCER RISK FOLLOWING BARIATRIC SURGERY, Society-for-Surgery-of-the-Alimentary-Tract Annual Meeting at Digestive Disease Week (DDW), W B SAUNDERS CO-ELSEVIER INC, Pages:S738-S738, ISSN:0016-5085

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