Ilaria Panzeri, Ph.D.

Ilaria Panzeri, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Laird Laboratory


Dr. Ilaria Panzeri has a B.S. in biotechnology, an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in translational and molecular medicine from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan. Dr. Panzeri’s graduate work focused on the study of noncoding RNAs as modulators of cell identity and differentiation in the human immune system. Her postdoctoral work was first conducted at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Germany, focusing on the epigenetic origins of phenotypic variation and heterogeneity in complex metabolic diseases. She was awarded numerous prizes and honors, including a Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship. In 2019, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Pospisilik at Van Andel Institute.

Current research focus

Phenotypic plasticity describes how a single genotype can generate a range of alternative phenotypes, as exemplified by complex trait divergence between monozygotic co-twin pairs. Epigenetic mechanisms have been hypothesized to underpin plasticity, because of their ability to stabilize diverse transcriptional programs from the same DNA blueprint. Recently, the Pospisilik Lab identified the first mouse model for exploring the impact of mammalian polyphenism on complex trait biology and disease. Isogenic heterozygous animals for Trim28 exhibit bi-modal body mass distribution, emerging into adulthood as either lean or obese, with few intermediates. Intriguingly, Trim28 expression predicts body mass discordance in human monozygotic twin cohorts. Dr. Panzeri’s preliminary data demonstrate that that this role is not unique to Trim28. Indeed, she is identifying other epigenetic modulators that belong to a genetic circuit fundamental for the regulation of phenotypic plasticity by buffering against the emergence of alternate epigenetic state.

Education & Training

Ph.D. in molecular and translational medicine, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan (Advisor: Professor Massimiliano Pagani)
Thesis: Deciphering the role of regulatory noncoding RNAs in human CD4+ T lymphocytes differentiation through functional and biochemical studies.

M.S. in biology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan (cum laude)

B.S. in Biotechnology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan

Awards & External Funding

Human Frontier Science Program (HFSRP Postdoctoral Fellowship (2018)

Presentation prize, CRC Taylor & Francis Publishing Group–1st Course on Computational Systems Biology of Cancer, Institut Curie, Paris (2018)

Travel grant (Epigen – KAUST Research Conference on Environmental Epigenetics) (2017)

Travel grant (Corporate Partnership Program (CPP) Fellowship EMBO|EMBL Travel grant – EMBO|EMBL Transcription and Chromatin Conference) (2016)

Corporate Partnership Program (CPP) Fellowship EMBO|EMBL travel grant (EMBO|EMBL The Non-Coding Genome Symposium) (2015)       

Poster prize, SIBBM travel award, SIBBM 2015 Seminar: “Frontiers in Molecular Biology”, Molecular Biotechnology Center, Turin) (2015)

Travel grant (Fondazione Cariplo for the DIMET doctoral school – EMBO|EMBL Symposia: “The Non-coding Genome”, EMBL, Heidelberg) (2013)

Scholarship for doctoral studies (MIUR – declined) (2011)

Scholarship for internship (Fondazione Cariplo, University of Eastern Piedmont) (2011)

“Enrico Legler” award for deserving studies (2011)


To view a list of selected publications click below.

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Arrigoni L, Al-Hasani H, Ramirez F, Panzeri I, Ryan DP, Santacruz D, Kress N, Pospisilik AJ, Boenisch U, Manke T. 2018. RELACS nuclei barcoding enables high-throughput ChIP-seq. Comms Bio 1:214.

Panzeri I, Pospisilik JA. 2018. Epigenetic control of variation and stochasticity in metabolic disease.  Mol Metab 14:26–38.

De Simone M*, Arrigoni A*, Rossetti G*, Gruarin P*, Ranzani V, Politano C, Bonnal RJP, Provasi E, Sarnicola ML, Panzeri I, Moro M, Crosti M, Mazzara S, Vaira V, Bosari S, Palleschi A, Santambrogio L, Bovo G, Zucchini N, Totis M, Gianotti L, Cesana G, Perego RA, Maroni N, Pisani Ceretti A, Opocher E, De Francesco R, Geginat J, Stunnenberg H, Abrignani S, Pagani A. 2016. Transcriptional landscape of human tissue lymphocytes unveils uniqueness of tumor-infiltrating T regulatory cells. Immunity 45(5):1135–1147. *Equal contributions

Ranzani V, Arrigoni A, Rossetti G, Panzeri I, Abrignani S, Bonnal RJ, Pagani M. 2017. Next-generation sequencing analysis of long noncoding RNAs in CD4+ T cell differentiation. Methods Mol Biol 1514:173–185.

Panzeri I, Rossetti G, Pagani M. 2016.  Basic Principles of noncoding RNAs in epigenetics. Med Epigenet.

Arrigoni A, Ranzani V, Rossetti G, Panzeri I, Abrignani S, Bonnal RJ, Pagani M. 2016. Analysis RNA-seq and noncoding RNA. Methods Mol Biol 1480:125–135.

Bonnal RJP, Ranzani V, Arrigoni A, Curti S, Panzeri I, Gruarin P, Abrignani S, Rossetti G, Pagani M. 2015. De novo transcriptome profiling of highly purified human lymphocytes primary cells. Sci Data 2:150051.

Panzeri I, Rossetti G, Abrignani S, Pagani M. 2015. Long intergenic non-coding RNAs: novel drivers of human lymphocyte differentiation. Front Immunol 6:175.

Ranzani V*, Rossetti G*, Panzeri I*, Arrigoni A*, Bonnal RJ*, Curti S, Gruarin P, Provasi E, Sugliano E, Marconi M, De Francesco R, Geginat, B. Bodega J, Abrignani S, Pagani M. 2015. The long intergenic noncoding RNA landscape of human lymphocytes highlights the regulation of T cell differentiation by linc-MAF-4. Nat Immunol 16(3):318–325.
*Equal contribution

Pagani M, Rossetti G, Panzeri I, de Candia P, Bonnal RJ, Rossi RL, Geginat J, Abrignani S. 2013. Role of microRNA and long-non-coding RNAs in CD4(+) T-cell differentiation. Immunol Rev 253(1):82–96.

Poster/Oral Presentations

September 2018

Polyphenism, obesity and cancer: searching for alternate states of tumor susceptibility. Selected speaker. 1st Course on Computational System Biology of Cancer, Institut Curie, Paris.

July 2017

Phenotypic variation in health and disease. Invited speaker. ChroMe Network Meeting, Oxford.

February 2017

Long noncoding RNAs: new players in plasticity and new therapeutic opportunities in the human immune system. Selected poster. Research Conference on Environmental Epigenetics, KAUST, Thuwal.

August 2016

Long intergenic noncoding RNAs: new epigenetic players in human primary lymphocytes plasticity. Selected poster. EMBO|EMBL Transcription and Chromatin Conference, Heidelberg.

May 2016

Long noncoding RNAs: new players in plasticity and new therapeutic opportunities in the human immune system. Selected speaker. X National Congress of the Italian Society of Immunology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology, Abano Terme.

October 2015

Identification of long intergenic RNAs as modulators of plasticity in circulating and tumor-associated human lymphocytes. Selected poster. EMBO|EMBL The Non-Coding Genome Symposium, Heidelberg.

July 2015

Long intergenic non-coding RNAs: novel drivers of human lymphocyte differentiation. Selected poster. XI seminar of the Italian Society of Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Turin.