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

Post-Doctoral position in Epigenetic Mechanisms in Stem Cell Differentiation and Oncogenesis

Post-Doctoral 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 coordinate the activity of transcription factors together with chromatin modifying and remodelling enzymes 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 work of our laboratory is focused at characterizing the molecular mechanisms underlying distinct chromatin activities under homeostatic and cancer-relevant pathological conditions.

Project description

The project will be focused at decrypting the molecular mechanisms underlying the chromatin remodelling activities in stem cells and adult tissue homeostasis under physiological and oncogenic conditions. The research activity will take advantage of genetic, biochemical, transcriptomic and epigenomic approaches applied to stem cell, in vivo genetic mouse models as well as 3D organoids models derived from compound mice or patient samples. The research activity will be based at the Department of Experimental Oncology within the IRCCS European Institute of Oncology, one of Europe’s most influential cancer research institutes. As part of the IEO we benefit from a highly competitive, international and scientifically stimulating environment and offer excellent working conditions, state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructures (Next-Generation Sequencing, Cell Sorting and Imaging, Animal Facilities).

Desired qualifications

Ambitious and hard-working candidates with a Ph.D. in life sciences with skills in molecular and cellular biology are invited to apply. Proficient English, independent working capacity, excellent organizational and collaborative skills are key requirements. Candidates are expected to be self-motivated research scientists driven by scientific curiosity and proactive in developing personal lines of research on the topic of the group. 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 is immediately available and will be filled as soon as we have identified the ideal candidate.

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