PhD position: Role of Epigenetics in rare genetic diseases

  • 06 Jun 2019

A three year PhD position is now opening at the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology CIBIO, University of Trento and the project will be carried out at the laboratory of Chromatin Biology & Epigenetics, headed by Dr. Alessio Zippo.

The project
Mutations in chromatin regulators can lead to multiple congenital anomaly and intellectual disability syndromes which are commonly referred to as rare chromatinopathies (CPs). The project for the PhD activity is centered on determining the mechanisms and functional implications of mutations in chromatin regulators observed in CPs.
Chromatin is organized in biomolecular condensates that compartmentalized the genome function and control gene expression. The herein program aims to solve chromatin domains by super-resolution imaging and 3C approaches, to determine the contribution of 3D chromatin organization and nuclear architecture to the onset and progression of Mendelian disorders. The PhD student will gain skills in quantitative biology and epigenetics by using cutting edge technologies in chromatin biology and super-resolution imaging. By using a pre-clinical model of rare genetic diseases, the PhD student will develop new approaches to define and solve chromatin domains to investigate their function in promoting cell plasticity. His/her project will benefit from working within an interdisciplinary framework, favoring cross-contamination of ideas and research discussions.

The candidate
We are seeking highly motivated and enthusiastic candidates, willing to challenge an innovative project by adopting a pro-active attitude and an analytical approach. The candidate is requested to have experience on methods of cell biology and molecular biology to address chromatin changes at single cell level. The PhD student will experience both wet-lab and computational work, supporting candidates in establishing a unique skill set that it would be required for future quantitative biology studies. Given the international framework, the candidate should also have good communication skills in English, and a team-oriented working attitude.
For additional information please contact Dr. Alessio Zippo (

• A high level of motivation and interest. • Master degree in Biology, Biotechnology, Physics, Computational Biology or in a related field
• Prior research experience in cell and molecular biology or in quantitative & computational biology
• Experience in quantitative advanced imaging and/or NGS data analysis will be a plus
• Excellent communication skills and good team spirit with the ability to solve problems independently
• High level of English speaking and writing skills.
• International mobility will be considered a major plus.

The environment
The lab of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics is interested in determining the contribution of epigenetic changes to stem cell function, both in physiological and pathological settings. In particular, we are investigating the contribution and the consequence of epigenetic perturbations to the maintenance of cell identity and tissue homeostasis. Within the international and vibrant context of the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology (CIBIO) in Trento, Italy. PhD students joining the lab gain access to the Institute's advanced research training as part of the PhD program in Biomolecular Sciences ( CIBIO offers the possibility to work in a young, highly dynamic and stimulating research environment thanks to a streamlined organization, which can support researchers to readily adapt to new scientific challenges through cutting-edge research infrastructures. At CIBIO, research goals are pursued in the frame of an integrative view of basic biological processes and of their derangement in disease, whereby basic science co-exists with biomedical oriented translational approaches.

Qualified and interested candidates should submit their application including CV, a motivation letter describing how her/his background would best fit this position, and the contact information of at least two referees. Please send all documents to Dr. Alessio Zippo ( This position is available starting from November 2019.

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