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Dr Francesca Panin

Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Francesca Panin is a pharmacist with a PhD in Neuroscience. Her interests include pharmacology, neuroscience, sleep, drug addiction, genetics and regulatory/ethics for pre-clinical and clinical research. With a Fellowship of Higher Education Academy, Francesca supervises doctorate and research programmes.

[email protected]

Connect with Francesca on LinkedIn

View Francesca's ResearchGate profile


Francesca is a pharmacist registered with the local GPhC and a neuropharmacologist.

After graduating in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology (MPharm equivalent), she obtained a PhD in neuroscience in Italy with a thesis on the neuropharmacology of antidepressants. Subsequently, she worked on the neuropharmacology of drug addiction as postdoctoral researcher at the centre for health and medical research INSERM in Bordeaux (France). After successful qualification to work as Clinical Research Associate, she led a study on metabolic and sleep disturbances in people with Huntington’s Disease, at the Cambridge University Hospital.

She then became a Lecturer at ARU in 2015, and Senior Lecturer in 2016. She has won two VC PhD studentships while at ARU.

Spoken Languages

  • Italian
  • French
  • English

Research interests

Francesca areas of expertise are in Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Drug Addiction, Cognitive Neuroscience, Sleep, Electrophysiology. She is more specifically interested in:

  • The neural mechanisms underlying the switch from depression to mania in bipolar patients
  • The neural mechanisms underlying the development of drug addiction
  • The development of new therapies to treat cardiac failures: pharmacology and medical devices
  • The use of polysomnography to diagnose and treat sleep disturbances
  • The use of EEG to study the neural mechanisms regulating the gait activity

Areas of research supervision

  • Supervision of a professional doctorate student in Health and Social Care, with a project on the role of healthcare professionals' behaviours in the quality of patients' sleep
  • Supervision of Pharmacy postgraduate students (neural mechanisms of depression)
  • Second supervisor for 1 PhD student on the neural mechanisms of drug addiction


BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science:

  • The Physiology of Organ Systems
  • Pharmacology and Translational Medicine


  • Pharmaceutical chemistry and technology (postgraduate degree), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sassari (Italy)
  • Pharmacist qualification, Pharmacy, Ministry of Health, Sassari (Italy)
  • PhD Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sassari (Italy)
  • Certificate of aptitude to work as Clinical Research Assistant, ISVM Bordeaux (France)
  • PGcert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ARU)
  • Fellowship of Higher Education Academy
  • JBI training in systematic review

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • 2022 - Grant for a project titled “Genetic polymorphisms in sleep disorders” (£9,414 – ARU / QR Next Steps part 2 – Funding Programme). Role: PI
  • 2022 - Grant for a project titled “Training the ageing brain: who benefits?” (£9,414 – ARU / QR Next Steps part 2 – Funding Programme). Role: Co-I
  • 2020 - Grant for a project titled “Adolescent nicotine exposure: genetic vulnerability to alcohol use disorder” (€ 20,000 – University of Sassari / Bank of Sardinia). Role: Co-I
  • 2009 - Qualified for fellowship “Giovani Ricercatori” (€ 75,000 University of Cagliari) - PI

Selected recent publications

Aparício C., Panin F., 2021. The Intervention of Digital Noise Display Reduces Noise Levels and Raises Staff’s Awareness in Hospital Ward. A Qualitative Literature Review. J. Healthc. Manag. In press.

Aparício C., Panin F. Interventions to improve inpatients' sleep quality in intensive care units and acute wards: a literature review. Br J Nurs. 2020 Jul 9;29(13):770-776. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2020.29.13.770.

Panin, F., Peana, A. T., 2019. Sleep and the pharmacotherapy of alcohol use disorder: unfortunate bedfellows. A systematic review with meta-analysis. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 17(10), p. 1164. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01164

Collins, L. M., Begeti, F., Panin, F., Lazar, A. S., Cruickshank, T., Ziman, M., Mason, S. L., Barker, R. A., 2015. Novel Nut and Bolt Task Quantifies Motor Deficits in Premanifest and Manifest Huntington's Disease. PLoS Current, 7. PMCID: PMC4570842.

Panin F.*, Lazar A. S.*, Goodman A. O., Lazic S. E., Lazar Z. I., Mason S. L., Rogers L., Murgatroyd P. R., Watson L. P., Singh P., Borowsky B., Shneerson J. M., Barker R. A., 2015. Sleep deficits but no metabolic deficits in premanifest Huntington's disease. Annals of Neurology, 78(4), pp. 630-48. 
*=equal contribution

Panin, F., Lintas, A., Diana, M., 2014. Nicotine-induced increase of dopaminergic mesoaccumbal neuron activity is prevented by acute restraint stress. In vivo electrophysiology in rats. Eur Neuropsychopharmacology, 24, pp.1175-1180.

Vallée, M., Vitiello, S., Bellocchio, L., Hébert-Chatelain, E., Monlezun, S., Martin-Garcia, E., Kasanetz, F., Baillie, G. L., Panin, F., Cathala, A., Roullot-Lacarrière, V., Fabre, S., Hurst, D. P., Lynch, D. L., Shore, D. M., Deroche-Gamonet, V., Spampinato, U., Revest, J. M., Maldonado, R., Reggio, P. H., Ross, R. A., Marsicano, G., Piazza, P. V., 2014. Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication. Science, 343, pp.94-98.

Panin, F., Cathala, A., Piazza, P. V., Spampinato, U., 2012. Coupled intracerebral microdialysis and electrophysiology for the assessment of dopamine neuron function in vivo. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, 65, pp.83-92.