Building and promoting Excellence in Life Sciences in Europe
Building and promoting Excellence in Life Sciences in Europe

Bioinformatician position in Epigenetic Mechanisms in Stem Cell Differentiation and Oncogenesis

Bioinformatician position in the Research Group of Prof. Diego Pasini

Scientific Focus

The control of cellular identity is regulated by a complex network of autonomous and non-cell autonomous signals that converge to the nucleus and instruct each individual cell to acquire specific transcription programs to exert specific functions. The coordinated activity of DNA binding transcription factors together with a plethora of chromatin modifying and remodelling enzymes is instructed to establish specific transcription programs. These mechanisms are tightly regulated and kept under control to allow proper development and or to maintain adult tissue homeostasis. Loss of cellular identity constrains is a common feature of human tumours which frequently involves direct genetic and indirect epigenetic alterations of chromatin remodelling activities more generally defined as epigenetic factors.

The main aim of our group is to uncover the mechanistic aspects that allows to establish and maintain cell type specific transcription programs and their contributions to cancer. This involves the use of advanced genetic mouse models, 2D and 3D cellular systems as well as patient-derived models coupled to cutting edge genomic approaches, single cell analyses and genetic engineering.

Project description

The scientific activity will be focused at decrypting the molecular insights of chromatin remodelling activities in tissue homeostasis and cancer development and to uncover the transcriptional and epigenetic networks induced by defined oncogenic events. The research activity will involve the analysis of next generation sequencing (NGS) data produced with cutting edge technologies including ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, RNA-seq and Single Cell transcriptomic from stem cell as well as in vivo, ex vivo and patients derived organoids cultures, integrating these data with public available datasets. The candidate will work in close collaboration with bioinformaticians and researchers at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO, Milan). The candidate will have access to all needed computational infrastructures. We will provide a dynamic and stimulating scientific environment in which the candidate will have the opportunity to improve his/her research knowledge and computational skills and contribute to relevant research publications.

Desired qualifications

We are seeking highly motivated scientists with a background in bioinformatics/computational biology/informatics. The candidate must have knowledge of numerical analysis environments (in particular R) and programming skills in at least one language. Candidates with experience with the analysis of high throughput data including next generation sequencing and or previous experience in the analysis of big data and biological interpretation of complex high throughput datasets will be preferred, but not necessarily required. The candidate should have excellent communication and collaboration skills and good knowledge of English. A competitive salary will be offered depending on experience.

The European Institute of Oncology (IEO:

The host institution is one of the leading research institutes in Italy. IEO operates as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, linking fundamental and applied research to clinical activities, patient care and clinical trials. The Department of Experimental Oncology (DEO) is currently composed of ~250 scientists working in 20 independent research groups and units. DEO is located within a scientific campus together with two other partner institutions: the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) and the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). The IEO is one of the 13 members of the EU-LIFE alliance to promote excellence in life sciences in Europe (

IEO is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity.

Application details

The position in immediately available and will be filled as soon as we have identified the ideal candidate. This is an open call for applicants at any level.

Please send a full CV, a brief motivation letter as well as contact details for two referees to

Interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place immediately until the positions are filled.

Recent selected publications

  • Scelfo et al. Functional Landscape of PCGF Proteins Reveals Both RING1A/B Dependent and Independent Specific Activities. Mol Cell. 2019 [in press]
  • Pivetti et al. Loss of PRC1 activity in different stem cell compartments activates a common transcriptional program with cell-type dependent outcome. Sci Adv. 2019 [in press]
  • Lavarone et al. Dissecting the role of H3K27 acetylation and methylation in PRC2 mediated control of cellular identity. Nat Commun. 2019
  • Chiacchiera et al. PRC2 preserves intestinal progenitors and restricts secretory lineage commitment. EMBO J. 2016
  • Chiacchiera et al. Polycomb Complex PRC1 Preserves Intestinal Stem Cell Identity by Sustaining Wnt/ß Catenin Transcriptional Activity. Cell Stem Cell. 2016
  • Ferrari et al. Polycomb-dependent H3K27me1 and H3K27me2 regulate active transcription and enhancer fidelity. Mol Cell. 2014
  • Piunti et al. Polycomb proteins control proliferation and transformation independently of cell cycle checkpoints by regulating DNA replication. Nat Commun. 2014
  • Vella et al. Tet proteins connect the O-linked Nacetylglucosamine transferase Ogt to chromatin in embryonic stem cells. Mol Cell. 2013

For more info


Research Gate:

Full publication list (PubMed):

Host Institute