Professor Paolo Garagnani

Institution: University of Bologna


During a long and independent research career Paolo has acquired technical, methodological, theoretical skills on genomics and epigenomics eventually applied to the study bio-pathology of aging.

In particular he has:

  1. developed and standardized methodologies for analyzing epigenetic (DNA methylation) at whole genome (Illumina HumanMethylation27 and HumanMethylation450 BeadChip) and at candidate gene level (Sequenom MassARRAY platform);
  2. developed an original method for the statistical analysis of DNA methylation data obtained with the above mentioned methodologies;
  3. identified the strongest markers of chronological age in humans i.e. the age related hypermethylation of the ELOVL2 and FHL2 genes;
  4. identified an "epigenetic signature" of Down syndrome, and demonstrated the accelerated epigenetic aging of many tissues (brain, blood, saliva and circulating leukocytes) in this syndrome.
  5. developed and standardized techniques for next generation sequencing platforms: Illumina MiSeq, HiSeq1000 and 2000 Genome Analyzer IIx; Life technologies Ion Torrent;
  6. proposed for the first time and validated the model of centenarians as a "super-control" for the study of the genetic basis of age-associated diseases;
  7. used the most advanced technology of DNA sequencing ("ultra-deep sequencing") to quantify the accumulation of heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations and to study its inheritance path.
  8. studied ribosomal DNA methylation to deepen the knowledge of the role of ribosome biogenesis in neoplastic growth;
  9. conceptualized the complex role of the colon micro-environment in the growth and progression of colon cancer, offering an integrated view of multiple components pathogenic often treated in a piecemeal fashion as aging, inflammation, diet/intestinal microbiota and epigenetic alterations.


Supervisor to: Noemie Gensous