Manuela Gariboldi

An expert in molecular genetics and genetic alterations associated with cancer development, Manuela Gariboldi directs the “Molecular Genetics of Cancer” unit at IFOM.

Born in Monza, she studied Biological Sciences at the University of Milan, where she graduated with honors in 1990. After graduation, she joined the Department of Experimental Oncology of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, where she started working on molecular models of genetic predisposition to cancer. She contributed to the identification of candidate genes for predisposition/resistance to lung, liver and skin cancer in mice models of polygenic inheritance of cancer as a basis for the identification of the corresponding human homologues for those genes.

In 1999, after specializing in Medical Genetics at the University of Milan, she moved to Japan, to join the laboratories at the Genome Sciences Center (GSC) of the Institute for Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) in Tsukuba. At Riken, she learned the microarray technology for gene expression profiling that she used for the identification of cancer predisposing genes.

During her stay at RIKEN, she became member of the FANTOM (Functional Annotation of Mouse) Consortium, an international research Consortium that, founded in 2000 to identify the transcripts expressed by the different mammalian tissues, has given a substantial and innovative contribution to our current knowledge about mammalian transcriptome.

Back to Italy, she took a position as researcher at the Department of Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, where she coordinated the project “Cancer Genomics” of the “Molecular Genetics of Cancer” unit, conducted in collaboration between the Scientific Directorate of the Istituto Tumori and IFOM.

In IFOM, she has been directly involved in the design and set up of a cDNA microarray technology platform, one of the first in Europe. Since then, she has been active in numerous research projects on the functional classification of solid cancers using a wide variety of different technological platforms for measuring the expression of coding and non-coding transcripts, contributing to a better understanding of the human trasncriptome (genes and microRNA).

Her work is currently focused on the functional analysis of genes and microRNAs mainly in Colorectal Cancer; where she is performing genomic and transcriptomic analyses, including miRNA profiling of tissue and plasma. She has more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed international scientific journals.