Dr. Natalia Riobo-Del Galdo

Dr. Natalia Riobo-Del Galdo


I work at the University of Leeds since 2015, when I joined as a University Academic Fellow. Before that I was an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Thomas Jefferson University in the United States, where I joined the faculty ranks in 2008. 

I was born and educated in Argentina. My first degree from the University of Buenos Aires is a MSc equivalent in Biology. I completed my PhD at the same institution working in free radicals and mitochondria metabolism in 2001. I moved to the University of Pennsylvania, United States, to train as a postdoc in developmental biology, signal transduction and molecular pharmacology of the Hedgehog pathway.


  • Director of Research and Innovation

Research interests

I am interested in discovering the molecular details of the very complex Hedgehog signalling pathway in vertebrates. Ever since the pathway was discovered in Drosophila melanogaster as a master controller of segment polarity, thousands of studies have shown the fundamental role of Hedgehog signalling in vertebrate embryonic patterning and in cancer initiation and progression. In the past decade, my group published a series of articles on newly discovered "non-canonical" signalling mechanisms and outputs of the Hedgehog pathway in normal cells and we are now interested in understanding this process in more detail and in assessing its relevance in Hedgehog-dependent cancers.

Our current projects range from structural biology, biochemistry and signal transduction to cancer cell and tumour biology in animal models and patients. We are investigating the structural/functional relationship of the receptor PTCH1, the role of primary cilia in non-canonical signalling and the role of the classical and novel pathways in basal cell carcinoma of the skin, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Our interest of Hedgehog signalling extend beyond cancer cells to the tumour stroma, endothelial cells and fibroblasts, and the crosstalk with other oncogenic and pro-fibrogenic factors.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Human Biochemistry
  • FHEA
  • MSc in Molecular Biology

Professional memberships

  • Biochemical Society
  • Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS)
  • British Association for Cancer Research (BARC)
  • European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

Student education

I teach in several FBS modules of Years 1, 2 and 3, manage the Advanced Skills in the Biosciences module and co-manage the Advance Topic Unit "Signal transduction in cancer and cardiovascular disease", both of Year 3. I regularly offer final year research projects for our BSc and MSc students.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>