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Gian Gaetano Tartaglia

Researcher - Principal Investigator
Group Leader

Research Line

RNA Systems Biology


IIT Central Research Labs Genova

+39 010 2897 604
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I graduated at the University La Sapienza in the academic year 1999-2000 with a thesis on mathematical modeling of neurons  supervised by Brunello Tirozzi (Physics department). Between 2001 and 2005, I carried out my doctoral studies at the University of Zurich CH with Amedeo Caflisch (Biochemistry department) focusing on the folding and misfolding of proteins associated with neurodegenerative disorders. As an associate researcher, I worked at the University of Cambridge UK (Chemistry and Genetics departments) under the supervision of Chris Dobson and Michele Vendruscolo. In the period 2005-2010, I participated in several computational and experimental studies on amyloidosis. I am life member of the Clare Hall College in Cambridge UK since 2011. 

From 2010 and until 2020 I have been PI at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona directed by Miguel Beato (until 2012) and  Luis Serrano (since 2012),  in the research program of Roderic Guigo'. I was awarded an ERC grant in 2013 for my studies on the role of coding and non-coding transcripts in regulation of amyloid genes. In 2014 I was tenured in Catalonia as ICREA professor of Life and Medical Sciences. In December 2018 I became full professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Biology at University La Sapienza.  In 2019 I started to work at IIT. In 2020 I was awarded an ERC grant for the study on the composition of phase-separated assemblies. This ERC is a Synergy grant and involves collaboration with Giancarlo Ruocco and Irene Bozzoni.

In march 2020 I became PI at IIT where I lead the RNA System Biology lab. Together with the colleagues listed at the bottom of this page, there are also  Dr. Claudia Giambartolomei and Dr. Elsa Zacco from the Non-coding RNAs and RNA-based therapeutics lab. Elsa and Claudia are the pioneers of our RNA System Biology lab and joined IIT in early 2019. Jakob Rupert, PhD student from Sapienza university, is also member of Tartaglia's lab. Edoardo Milanetti, Lorenzo Di Rienzo and Mattia Miotto, previously in Anna Tramontano's group and now working at IIT CNLS with Giancarlo Ruocco are honorary members of the lab. 

Since September 2020 I am MAE (Member of Academia Europaea).

Additional details here.


RNA biology; Non-coding transcripts; RNA viruses; Computational Biophysics; Protein-RNA Networks; Amyloids


Characterizing protein-RNA associations is key to unravel the complexity and functionality of mammalian genomes and could open up therapeutic avenues for the treatment of a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders.  My laboratory works on associations of non-coding RNAs, such as Xist, with proteins involved in transcriptional and translational regulation as well as neurodegenerative diseases (examples include Parkinson’s SNCA, FXTAS’ FMRP, ALS-related TDP-43 and FUS).  We aim to discover the involvement of RNA (coding, non-coding, viral) molecules in regulatory networks. More specifically, we are interested in understanding mechanisms whose alteration lead to aberrant accumulation of proteins.   One part of our research is dedicated to ribonucleoprotein granules and their implication for cell function.

Recent review about which approaches we use to address our questions. Additional details about us here.

Selected Publications

I received >6000 citations (>3500 in the last 5 years; 100 papers). With respect to the productivity and impact factor of my published work, my h-index is 42 (my i10-index is 75). Since I became PI in 2010, my group published > 70 articles and I am the corresponding author in 80% of all my publications. Only last year, my group published 5 papers with IF>10.

Most relevant publications (as of August 2020). See details here.


  • Vandelli A, Monti M, Milanetti E, Armaos A, Rupert J, Zacco E, Bechara E, Delli Ponti R#, Tartaglia GG#  (#corresponding authors) Structural analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and prediction of the human interactome (Nucleic Acids Research in press).
  • Lorenzo Gotor N, Armaos A, Calloni G., Vabulas M.R., Sanchez de Groot N.#, Tartaglia G.G# (#corresponding authors) RNA-Binding and Prion Domains: The Yin and Yang of Phase Separation  (Nucleic Acids Research in press).
  • Alriquet M., Calloni G., Martínez-Limón A.,  Delli Ponti R, Hanspach G., Hengesbach M., Tartaglia GG#, Vabulas M.R.#  (#corresponding authors) N1-methyladenine safeguards against aberrant RNA-protein association during proteostasis stress (Journal of Molecular Cell Biology in press).

Recently published

  • Cerase A, Armaos A, Neumeyer C, Avner P, Guttman M, Tartaglia GG. Phase separation drives X-chromosome inactivation: a hypothesis. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2019 May;26(5):331-334. doi: 10.1038/s41594-019-0223-0.
  • Sanchez S, Armaos A, Montes R, Alriquet M, Calloni G, Vabulas M, Tartaglia GG. Insights into the structure-driven protein interactivity of RNA molecules Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 19;10(1):3246. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10923-5.

Most relevant theoretical works

  1. Tartaglia GG, Pawar AP, Campioni S, Dobson CM, Chiti F, Vendruscolo M. Prediction of aggregation-prone regions in structured proteins. J Mol Biol. 2008, 380, 425-436. (450 citations).
  2. Bellucci M, Agostini F, Masin M, Tartaglia GG. Predicting protein associations with long noncoding RNAs. Nature Methods. 2011 Jun;8(6):444-5. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1611 (210 citations).
  3. Agostini F, Vendruscolo M, Tartaglia GG. Sequence-based prediction of protein solubility. J Mol Biol. 2012 Aug 10;421(2-3):237-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2011.12.005. (100 citations).
  4. Agostini F, Zanzoni A, Klus P, Marchese D, Cirillo D, Tartaglia GG. catRAPID omics: a web server for large-scale predictions of protein-RNA interactions; Bioinformatics. 2013 Nov 15;29(22):2928-30. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt495 (120 citations).
  5. Cirillo D, Agostini F, Klus P, Marchese D, Rodriguez S, Bolognesi B, Tartaglia GG. Neurodegenerative diseases: quantitative predictions of protein-RNA interactions. RNA. 2013 Feb; 19(2): 129-40 (50 citations).

Most relevant experimental works

  1. Bolognesi B, Lorenzo Gotor N, Dhar Riddhiman Cirillo D, Baldrighi M, Tartaglia GG (corresponding author), Lehner B. Dosage sensitivity caused by increased protein concentration triggering a liquid phase separation. Cell Reports 16, 1–10, June 28, 2016 (60 citations).
  2. Cirillo D, Blanco M, Armaos A, Buness A, Avner P, Guttman M, Cerase A and Tartaglia GG. Quantitative predictions of protein interactions with long non-coding RNAs. Nature Methods. 2017 Jan 1;14(1):5-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4100. (50 citations).
  3. Marchese M, Botta-Orfila T, Cirillo D, Rodriguez JA, Livi CA, Fernández-Santiago R, Ezquerra M, Martí MJ Bechara E and Tartaglia GG.  Discovering the 3’ UTR-Mediated Regulation of Alpha-Synuclein. 2017.  Nucleic Acids Research 15;45(22):12888-12903 ( 20 citations).
  4. Ribeiro DM, Zanzoni A, Cipriano A, Ballarino M, Spinelli L, Delli Ponti R, Bozzoni I, Tartaglia GG (corresponding author), Brun C, Protein complex scaffolding as a prevalent function of human long non-coding RNAs. 2018. Nucleic Acids Research 46(2):917-928. (20 citations)
  5. Cid F, Gelabert B, Lang B, Lorenzo N, Delli Ponti R, Severijnen LS, Gelpi E, Hukema RK, Botta T, Tartaglia GG. An Integrative Study of Ribonucleoprotein Condensates Reveals a Biomarker for Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome; Cell Rep. 2018 Dec 18;25(12):3422-3434.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.11.076 (10 citations).

Collaborations on aggregation of RNA-binding proteins

  • Qamar S, Wang G, Randle SJ, […], Tartaglia GG […],St George-Hyslop FUS Phase Separation Is Modulated by a Molecular Chaperone and Methylation of Arginine Cation-π Interactions., Cell. 2018 Apr 19;173(3):720-734 (100 citations)
  • Murakami T, Qamar S, Lin JQ, […] Tartaglia GG [...], St George-Hyslop P. ALS/FTD Mutation-Induced Phase Transition of FUS Liquid Droplets and Reversible Hydrogels into Irreversible Hydrogels Impairs RNP Granule Function. Neuron. 2015 Nov 18;88(4):678-90. (78 citations)
  • Olzscha H, Schermann SM, Woerner AC, […] Tartaglia GG, […] Vabulas M Amyloid-like Aggregation Targets Metastable Proteins with Essential Functions, Cell. 2011 Jan 7;144(1):67-78 (305 citations)

Research monographs, chapters in collective volumes

  • Cirillo D and Tartaglia GG Biotechnology (2017) Materia and Hachette editions ( now available in 5 countries).
  • Book chapter. Marchese D, Livi CM, Tartaglia GG. A Computational Approach for the Discovery of Protein-RNA Networks. Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1358:29-39. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3067-8_2.
  • Book chapter. Bolognesi B, Tartaglia GG. Physicochemical principles of protein aggregation. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 2013. Doi: 1016/B978-0-12-386931-9.00003-9.



  • I am recipient of two H2020 grants on personalized medicine (awarded in 2017) and big data (awarded in 2019) as well as a Wellcome Trust (the UK agency made an exception to allow my participation as non-UK researcher).
  • Since 2011 I secured >10 millions of euros for my research. In 2013, I was awarded an ERC grant to study amyloid diseases (RIBOMYLOME), which led to >40 publications in highly influential journals such as Nature Methods, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, Nature Communications, Genome Biology, Cell Reports, Nucleic Acids Research, Bioinformatics and RNA to cite some.
  • In 2020 I received a new ERC on the relationship between non-coding RNAs and neurodegeneration (ASTRA). The project follows the success of my previous ERC RIBOMYLOME.
  • All our results and press-releases are publicly available in our webpages at the CRG as well as At the time of writing, all our algorithms are publicly available through webservers that were run by 116275 users since 2012.


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