Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Image of Mario Siervo

Mario Siervo

Associate Professor of Human Integrative Physiology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



I am clinical academic specialised in clinical nutrition and metabolic medicine at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy. I have obtained an MSc in Public Health Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and PhD in Human Physiology and Nutrition at the University of Cambridge. I have worked in several institutions including Cambridge University, MRC Human Nutrition Research Centre, National Institutes of Health and Newcastle University and from March 2019 I have joined Nottingham University as an Associate Professor in Human Integrative Physiology and Experimental Medicine. I have been awarded two prestigious prices for my contribution to nutrition research by the British Nutrition Foundation in 2013 and by the Nutrition Society in 2017. I have published more than 150 publications, contributed to three book chapters and co-edited one book. I am the recipient as PI and Co-PI of several grants from MRC, NIHR and Alzheimer's Research UK totalling more than 4 million pounds. I am on the editorial board of several journals such as Proceedings of Nutrition Society, Clinical Obesity, Nutrire and Journal of Nutrition Health and Ageing.

Expertise Summary

I have conducted clinical research for more than 20 years and over this period I have gained experience in a variety of research areas. Key skills include:

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: Experience in the development of protocols and conduction of systematic reviews. Advanced statistical skills for the condution of meta-analysis using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis and STATA.

Nutritional Epidemiology: Leading several projects exploring associations of nutritional exposures (i.e., sarcopenic obesity, Mediterrenean Diet, Nitrate Intake) with cardio-metabolic and cognitive outcomes. Advanced statistical skills for the conduction of cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses using SPSS, Statistica 10 and STATA.

Clinical Research: Have conducted successfully several clinical studies looking at effects of various interventions such as weight loss, Mediterrenean Diet, high-nitrate diets, vitamin C and folate supplementation, salt reduction. These interventions have been linked to various outcomes such as energy metabolism, boyd compositon, endothelial function or cerebral blood flow. I have advanced skils in project management and research governance for the conduction of clinical research including double-blind randomised clinical trials. I have expertise in the performance of invasive procedures including cannulations, muscle and adipose tissue biopsies. I have advanced expertise in the measurement of body composition and energy expenditure using advanced methods such as 4-compartment models and whole-body calorimetric chambers. I have advanced experience in the measurement of endothelial function using laser doppler, applanation tonometry and ultrasound flow mediated dilation. I have measured muscular performance using indirect calorimetry and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

Dietary Assessment and Biomarker Measurements: I have advanced understading of methods for the assessment of dietary intake and specialised in the assement of nitrate intake in humans. From a laboratory perspective I coordinate a lab specialised in the measurement of biomarkers of endothelial function and nitric oxide production. This includes measurment of nitrate, nitrite and nitroso-compounds using ozone-based chemiluminescence. In addition, my lab has developed protocols for the measurement of nitrate in dried blood spots. We have used immunoassays for the measurement of molecules such as cGMP, 3-NT, VEGF, Sialin, ADMA, CRP, IL-6, 4-HNE, isoprostanes, homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin C. Finally, I have developed non-invasive methods for the measurment of in vivo Nitric Oxide production using stable isotopes and developed GC-MS methods for the analysis of nitrate concentrations and enrichemnts in biological samples.

Teaching Summary

I currently teach on several modules on topics around nutrition, physiology and cardio-metabolic diseases. I supervise undergraduate and post-graduate projects.

I currently welcome applications from fully-funded prospective PhD students.

Research Summary

My current research interests are in defining the role of sarcopenic obesity as a diagnostic entity and improve disease risk prediction. I have developed and validated novel DXA-based models to… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My current research interests are in defining the role of sarcopenic obesity as a diagnostic entity and improve disease risk prediction. I have developed and validated novel DXA-based models to define body compositions phenotypes, and already established close collaborative links with several cohorts to further corroborate their validity.

My other line of research investigates the role of nutrition to modify nitric oxide production and impact on physiological outcomes. I am currently exploring the role of the inorganic nitrate reservoir in skeletal muscle and how this specific deposit contribute to local and systemic nitric oxide production and impact on muscle energetics and exercise performance. I have developed non-invasive, stable isotopic methods for the assessment of nitric oxide production in humans and lead a lab specialised in the determination of biomarkers of nitric oxide production using ozone-based chemiluminescence, GCMS, HPLC and immunoassays.

Future Research

We are a leading group in testing novel intervention for the prevention of cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases in developed and developing countries including Italy, UK, USA, Malaysia, Brazil and Tanzania. We are currently conducting large scale feasibility trials to test the effects of nutritional interventions on cognitive decline in older patients at high risk for dementia and cardiovascular diseases. This work has received large support from Alzheimer's Research UK, NIHR and MRC. We are continuing to develop new projects and our current aims for the near future are:

1) Demonstrate the role of inorganic nitrate muscle reservoir in human phyiology

2) Develop multi-centre, multi-dimensioanal nutritional clinical trials for the prevention of non-communicable diseases keeping a global perspective

3) Evaluate association of dietary nitrate intake with cognitive and metabolic outcomes in large prospective cohorts

4) Evaluate the association of sarcopenic obesity with cognitive and metabolic outcomes in large prospective cohorts

Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience

School of Life Sciences
University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH