Valerio Orlando

Professor, Bioscience

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division

KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program


Education Profile

  • ​​​​​​​Postdoctoral fellow, Zentrum fuer Molekulare Biologie (ZMBH) University of Heidelberg, Germany,1997
  • Ph.D. University "La Sapienza", Rome Italy, 1989

Research Interests

​The epigenome constitutes the chromosomal molecular interface that allows the genome to interact with the environment. The epigenome enables cells to learn, remember and maintain their functional states throughout life and enable organisms to integrate environmental signals.

Prof. Orlando's lab is interested in investigating the chromatin mediated fundamental mechanisms that control cell identity and plasticity. These include signaling to chromatin regulation and nuclear organization by Polycomb proteins, the role of ncRNA-protein interactions in transcriptional regulation, Epigenomics and how this relates for development, transdifferentiation and adaptation (e.g. Metabolism), in particular in stress conditions.

Furthermore, as part of the mechanistic plastic properties of the genome in response to developmental and environmental cues, Prof. Orlando's lab also investigates the epigenetic regulation of the expression and dynamics of transposable elements and their role in cell differentiation and epigenomic biodiversity.

Selected Publications

  • ​Lanzuolo C., Roure, V., Dekker, J., Bantignies F and Orlando V. (2007).
  • Polycomb Response Elements mediate the formation of chromosome higher order structures in the Bithorax Complex. Nature Cell Biology Oct;9(10):1167-74.
  • Faulkner GJ, Kimura Y, Daub CO, Wani S, Plessy C, Irvine KM, Schroder K, Cloonan N, Steptoe AL, Lassmann T, Waki K, Hornig N, Takahashi H, Kawai J, Forrest AR, Suzuki H, Hayashizaki Y, Hume DA, Orlando V*, Grimmond SM*, Carninci P*. (2009).
  • The regulated retrotransposon transcriptome of mammalian cells. Nature Genetics May;41(5):563-71
  • Cernilogar F, Onorati MC, Kothe G, Saxena A, Burrough A, Breiling A, Parsi M, Siomi H, Siomi, M, Carninci, P, Gilmour D, Corona D and Orlando V. (2011). Chromatin associated RNAi components affect transcriptional regulation in Drosophila. Nature Nov 6. 480(7377):391-5.
  • Lanzuolo C and Orlando V (2012). 
    Memories from Polycomb Group Proteins. Annual Review of Genetics; 46:561-89.
  • Lo Sardo F, Lanzuolo C, Comoglio F, De Bardi M, Paro R, Orlando V. (2013)
  • PcG-Mediated Higher-Order Chromatin Structures Modulate Replication Programs at the Drosophila BX-C. PLoS Genet. Feb;9(2):e1003283. Epub 2013 Feb 21.
  • FANTOM Consortium and the RIKEN PMI and CLST (DGT). A promoter level mammalian expression atlas. Nature. 2014 Mar 27;507(7493):462-70. doi: 10.1038/nature13182.
  • Andersson R, et al, FANTOM Consortium, Forrest AR, Carninci P, Rehli M, Sandelin A. An atlas of active enhancers across human cell types and tissues. Nature. 2014 Mar 27;507(7493):455-61. doi: 10.1038/nature12787.
  • A cytosolic Ezh1 isoform modulates a PRC2-Ezh1 epigenetic adaptive response in post-mitotic cells. Bodega B, Marasca F, Ranzani V, Cherubini A, Della Valle F, Neguembor MV, Wassef M, Zippo A, Lanzuolo C, Pagani M, Orlando V. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2017 May;24(5):444-452
  • How Polycomb-Mediated Cell Memory Deals With a Changing Environment Marasca F, Bodega B, Orlando V. Bioessays. 2018 Apr;40(4):e1700137