Dr Silvia Atanasio

Senior Laboratory Technical Learning Instructor

School of Allied Health Sciences
Silvia Atanasio staff profile photo

Dr Silvia Atanasio is the Senior Laboratory Technician in the School of Allied Health Sciences. She is responsible for the running of Life Science laboratories and providing technical support to both staff and students. Moreover, she assists in the organisation, preparation and delivery of practical sessions and she is responsible for ensuring the department’s health and safety compliance.

Career Overview

Silvia graduated with First-Class Honours from one of the most prestigious Italian universities, the University of Verona, completing a BSc in Biotechnology, followed by a two-year MSc in Bioinformatics and Medical Biotechnology. She moved to the UK in 2016 and carried out work experience at the University of Suffolk where she contributed to various teaching activities such as lectures, laboratory lessons, and experimental dissertations. In addition to this, she also supported research activities that included the use of microtome for paraffin sectioning and micro-CT scans for tissue analysis. Subsequently, she won a position as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at the Histology Lab in the Department of Histopathology (Colchester General Hospital). Here her duties included the administration of laboratory information systems as well as preparing and embedding human tissues.

In 2017, Silvia won a fully-funded PhD position in Biological Sciences at the University of Essex, where she studied the G Protein-Coupled Receptors using advanced Molecular Dynamics Simulations. In addition to her research project, she worked as a Graduate Laboratory Assistant in the School of Life Science, where she supported BSc and MSc students during their laboratory lessons in Protein Bioinformatics, Determining Protein Concentration by Spectroscopy, and Rational Drug Design.

Upon completion of her PhD, she worked for the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist within the Molecular Biology Lab in the Department of Pathology at ESNEFT Ipswich Hospital. In this lab, she led manual, semi-automated, and fully automated laboratory investigations (on SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses) using state of the art technologies such as Hologic Panther, Cepheid GeneXpert, Abbott m2000, AusDiagnostics system, Roche Cobas 6800, SAMBA II, and LumiraDx. Soon after, she was promoted to Specialist Biomedical Scientist. In this role, she supervised and led a section of the Molecular Biology Main Lab and Molecular Biology Rapid Lab on both day and night shifts, during which time she was responsible for Biomedical Scientists, trainees, students, and non-registered support staff at Ipswich Hospital.

In 2023 she joined the UoS as a Senior Laboratory Technician. In addition to her clinical and academic experience, she has an established publication portfolio.


Deganutti G, Atanasio S, Rujan R-M, Sexton PM, Wootten D, Reynolds CA. (2021). Exploring Ligand Binding to Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptors. Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 8, p. 720561. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.720561.

Atanasio S, Deganutti G, Reynolds CA. (2020). Addressing free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1) activation using supervised molecular dynamics. Journal of computer-aided molecular design. Springer International Publishing, 1. doi: 10.1007/s10822-020-00338-6.

Pham V, Zhu Y, Dal Maso E, Reynolds CA, Deganutti G, Atanasio S, Hick CA, Yang D, Christopoulos A, Hay DL, Furness SGB, Wang M, Wootten D, Sexton PM. (2019). Deconvoluting the Molecular Control of Binding and Signaling at the Amylin 3 Receptor: RAMP3 Alters Signal Propagation through Extracellular Loops of the Calcitonin Receptor. ACS pharmacology & translational science. American Chemical Society, 2(3), pp. 183–197. doi: 10.1021/acsptsci.9b00010.

Dal Maso E, Glukhova A, Zhu Y, Garcia-Nafria J, Tate CG, Atanasio S, Reynolds CA, Ramírez-Aportela E, Carazo J-M, Hick CA, Furness SGB, Hay DL, Liang Y-L, Miller LJ, Christopoulos A, Wang M-W, Wootten D, Sexton PM. (2019). The Molecular Control of Calcitonin Receptor Signaling. ACS pharmacology & translational science, 2(1), pp. 31–51. doi: 10.1021/acsptsci.8b00056.


Oral [O] and poster [P] presentations during international conferences

[O] Atanasio S. Modelling studies: G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). Oral session presented at: 18th Annual Graduate Forum; 2019 Sep 25; Colchester, UK.

[P] Rujan R-M, Atanasio S, Deganutti G, Reynolds CA. G protein-coupled receptors as therapeutic targets for diabetes. Poster session presented at: 18th Annual Graduate Forum; 2019 Sep 25; Colchester, UK.

[P] Atanasio S, Rujan R-M, Deganutti G, Reynolds CA. Allosteric effects in the Free fatty receptor 1 (FFAR1, formerly GPR40). Poster session presented at: CCP5 Summer School; 2019 Jul 10; Durham, UK.

[P] Rujan R-M, Atanasio S, Deganutti G, Reynolds CA. Identifying allosteric binding sites at the CGRP receptor. Poster session presented at: CCP5 Summer School; 2019 Jul 10; Durham, UK.

[O] Atanasio S. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs): one family of proteins for regulating essential actions in the body. Oral session presented at: Three Minute Thesis (3MT); 2019 Apr 24; Colchester, UK.

Awarded the University of Essex Audience’s Choice 2019

[P] Altinay C, Atanasio S, Reynolds CA. Sequenced-based Approach to Allosteric Sites in G protein-coupled Receptors. Poster session presented at: Networking event for Entrepreneurs in Residence and Industry Fellows; 2018 Nov 23; London, UK.

[P] Atanasio S, Deganutti G, Reeder BJ, Reynolds CA. Molecular Dynamics Simulation applied to Androglobin: a novel heme protein. Poster session presented at: 17th Annual Graduate Forum; 2018 Sep 26; Colchester, UK.

Awarded the Prize for the Best Forum Poster 2018

[P] Pitsiani M, Wilson LJ, Atanasio S, Rajic AH, Bell D, Fernandes C, Wingate RJT. Transient early gestational antithyroid treatment in mice results in behavioural deficits in adult offspring. Poster session presented at: British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB) Annual Spring Meeting; 2018 Apr15-18; Warwick, UK.

[P] Rajic AH, Bell D, Corps N, Mortimore D, Atanasio S, Cobb C, Pitsiani M, Wilson LJ, Fernandes C, Wingate RJT. Excellent definition can be obtained between the gray and white matter of the mouse brain using a modified staining technique and X-ray micro-CT. Poster session presented at: Micro-CT User Meeting; 2017 Jun 12-15; Brussels, Belgium.

PhD in Biological Sciences (3-year programme, 2021)
University of Essex, Colchester (United Kingdom)

MSc in Bioinformatics and Medical Biotechnology (2-year programme, 2016)
Evaluation 110/110 summa cum laude (1st Class)
University of Verona, Verona (Italy)

BSc in Biotechnology (3-year programme, 2014)
Evaluation 104/110 (1st Class)
University of Verona, Verona (Italy)

Complete CV available on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/silvia-atanasio-1267b168/

Biomedical Scientist registered with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) since 2018 – Registration number: BS71086.