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Professor Pietro Cicuta

Professor Pietro Cicuta

Professor of Biological Physics

Head of Biological and Soft Systems

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 337462


Pietro obtained a Laurea in Physics, in Milan (1999) before joining the Cavendish Laboratory for his PhD (2003). He initially worked on interface science, and then became interested in lipid membranes in his post-doc, at the Nanoscience Centre, before returning to the Cavendish with an Oppenheimer Research Fellowship (2004-2007).  He began working with biological cells and optical trapping. In 2006 he was appointed University Lecturer in Physics, and also joined the Fellowship at Corpus Christi College.  Research-wise, a group has grown based on imaging and microfluidic devices, addressing a range of questions in biological and soft matter physics. 

Departments and Institutes


Research Interests

Pietro Cicuta's group works across soft matter physics and biological physics, mostly using experimental techniques based on optics and imaging and theoretical concepts derived typical of statistical physics. These can be applied to address very different problems.  A core technique is the development of microfluidic devices and structures for cell control, heading towards high throughput single cell resolution imaging, and organ-on-chip devices for studying pathogens and infection. This goes hand in hand with automated microscopy and environmental control for well defined long-time microscopy video experiments. We have a track record of developing new useful techniques such as optical tweezers, microrheology methods, custom microscopes, advanced confocal microscopy and image analysis algorithms to quantify dynamics both in living cellular and colloidal systems.   We are strongly engaged in GCRF activity, aiming towards affordable and reliable diagnosis of malaria disease, and more generally (through UNESCO-ICTP programmes) to foster sustainable experimental science in developing countries.