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Giovanni Ciriello



Computational Biology & Cancer Genomics group

Research in our group focuses on computational and system biology approaches to study functional interrelationships between molecular alterations selected in cancer. Computational biology studies focus on the design and development of systematic approaches to nominate candidate functional alterations from molecular profiles of human tumors, how these events are mutually dependent and what are the therapeutic implications of these dependencies. Along these lines current projects investigate recurrent epigenetic modifications in cancer, mutually exclusive and concurrent alterations between and within tumors, and associations between oncogenic signatures and therapeutic response in cancer cell lines. Cancer genomics studies focus instead on the molecular profiling and analyses of tumor cohorts to characterize their genetic bases and discover potential therapeutic vulnerabilities. Ongoing projects are conducted in collaboration with the TCGA consortium, of which our group is a member, and internal collaborations with groups within the Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne (SCCL). Here, areas of interest include, but are not limited to, skin cutaneous melanoma and breast cancer.



Giovanni Ciriello obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineer in 2009 from the University of Padova, Italy, and was a visiting scholar during this period at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GeorgiaTech) in Atlanta, US. Here, Giovanni worked in the bioinformatics group headed by Concettina Guerra on algorithmic approaches to characterize RNA 3D structural elements and biological networks.In 2010, he joined the computational biology group of Chris Sander at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York.

During his post-doctoral studies, Giovanni investigated complex dependencies between genetic alterations in cancer and how these could be used to define tissue-independent tumor classes. His work revealed that functionally related alterations rarely co-occur in the same tumor and that these mutually exclusive patterns could be used to discover functional redundancies and synthetic lethal interactions. On the other hand, signatures of concurring alterations highlighted unexpected anti-correlation between the accumulation of mutations and copy number changes within genomically unstable tumors. Importantly, oncogenic signatures inform the design of targeted therapeutic strategies. Giovanni is a member of the TCGA research network where he contributed to numerous large-scale cancer genomics projects, with a particular focus on Breast Cancer.

Since April 2015, Giovanni has been appointed as Tenure-track Assistant Professor within the Department of Computational Biology (DCB) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL) where he heads the Computational Biology and Cancer Genomics group.

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