Foto del docente

Paolo Garagnani

Associate Professor

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine - DIMES

Academic discipline: MED/04 Experimental Medicine and Pathophysiology

Curriculum vitae

Paolo Garagnani

Born in Bologna the 29th of May 1973

Address: via Bentivogli 129, 40138, Bologna, ITALY


Telephone: +39 3284338368

Nationality: Italian


During a long and independent research career I have acquired technical, methodological, theoretical skills on genomics and epigenomics eventually applied to the study bio-pathology of aging.

In particular I:

  1. developed and standardized methodologies for analyzing epigenetic (DNA methylation) at whole genome (Illumina HumanMethylation27 and HumanMethylation450 BeadChip) and at candidate gene level (Sequenom MassARRAY platform);
  2. developed an original method for the statistical analysis of DNA methylation data obtained with the above mentioned methodologies;
  3. identified the strongest markers of chronological age in humans i.e. the age related hypermethylation of the ELOVL2 and FHL2 genes;
  4. identified an "epigenetic signature" of Down syndrome, and demonstrated the accelerated epigenetic aging of many tissues (brain, blood, saliva and circulating leukocytes) in this syndrome.
  5. developed and standardized techniques for next generation sequencing platforms: Illumina MiSeq, HiSeq1000 and 2000 Genome Analyzer IIx; Life technologies Ion Torrent;
  6. proposed for the first time and validated the model of centenarians as a "super-control" for the study of the genetic basis of age-associated diseases;
  7. used the most advanced technology of DNA sequencing ("ultra-deep sequencing") to quantify the accumulation of heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations and to study its inheritance path.
  8. studied ribosomal DNA methylation to deepen the knowledge of the role of ribosome biogenesis in neoplastic growth;
  9. conceptualized the complex role of the colon micro-environment in the growth and progression of colon cancer, offering an integrated view of multiple components pathogenic often treated in a piecemeal fashion as aging, inflammation, diet/intestinal microbiota and epigenetic alterations.


  • I have been involved in large international consortia for the study of the genetic basis of age-associated diseases.
  • I am partner (fund-holder, € 240,500) of the project “Inflammaging in the concept of Parkinson's Disease” funded by the Michael Jay Fox Foundation (MJFF).
  • I am partner (fund-holder, € 213,500) of PROPAG-AGING (The continuum between healthy aging and idiopathic Parkinson's Disease within at propagation perspective of inflammation and damage: the search for new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic targets, H2020-EU.3.1.1., R2015-2019, ref. 634821), a EU funded project (€ 6M) on Parkinson's disease. In this project I have the specific task of correlating the pathogenesis of this neuro-degenerative disease with healthy aging (comparison with centenarians and their offspring), by studying epigenetic and glycomic profiles.
  • I am partner (fund-holder, € 258,061.32) of European-Marie Sklodowska-Curie PANINI project (Physical Activity and Nutrition Influences In aging, H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015, R2016-2020, ref. 675003). The recruited PhD student will be under my supervision and will study the effect of nutrition (Mediterranean diet) on epigenetic and ageing.
  • I am sub-contractor (fund-holder, € 50,000) of the project "COPD and emphysema in HIV/ AIDS" (Call Targeted Research from 2011 to 2012 - Call for Young Researchers, scientific coordinator Dr. Gabirella Orlando, University Hospital of Modena), with the task of assessing epigenetic age in HIV-infected patients.
  • I am scientific manager of the project "Genome-wide association study for biomarker identification in the Italian population with psoriatic arthritis", funded by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
  • I am partner (fund-holder, € 258,061.32) of European-Marie Sklodowska-Curie PAIN-NET project (Role of Epigenetics in Chronic Pain Conditions).
  • I am partner (fund-holder, € 258,061.32) of European-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Im4future project (Advanced Statistics for the Identification of Healthy Ageing Determinants).
  • I actively participate in several EU funded projects:
  1. HUMAN (Health and the Understanding of Metabolism, Aging and Nutrition, FP7-HEALTH, 2013-2018, ref. 602757).
  2. COBRA (Co-morbidity in relation to AIDS, FP7-HEALTH, from 2013 to 2017, ref. 305522).
  3. MISSION-T2D (Multiscale Immune System Simulator for the onset of Type 2 Diabetes integrating genetic, metabolic and nutritional data, FP7-ICT, 2013-2016, ref. 600803).
  4. MIMOMICS (Methods for analysis of Multiple Integrated Omics datasets, FP7-HEALTH, 2012-2017, ref. 305280).
  5. NU-AGE (New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of elderly population for an healthy aging in Europe, FP7-KBBE, 2011-2016, ref. 266486).
  6. IDEAL (Integrated research on developmental determinants of Aging and Longevity, FP7-HEALTH, 2011-2016, ref. 259679).
  7. MARK-AGE (European Study to Establish Biomarkers of Human Ageing, FP7-HEALTH, 2008-2013, ref. 200880).
  8. GEHA (Genetics of Healthy Ageing, FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH, 2004-2010, ref. 503270).
  • 2015 Best Paper award for the Aging Cell Journal for the original study “Horvath S, Garagnani P, Bacalini MG, Pirazzini C, Salvioli S, Gentilini D, Di Blasio AM, Giuliani C, Tung S, Vinters HV, Franceschi C. Accelerated epigenetic aging in Down syndrome. Aging Cell. 2015 Jun;14(3):491-5. doi: 10.1111/acel.12325”.


  • 2016-2017 University of Bologna, School of Medicine, Medicine, Pathology and Fisio-pathology (REC) (B) – 2cfu

  • 20162017 University of Bologna, School of Medicine, Medicine, Laboratory of Pathology (REC) (B) – 8cfu

  • 2016-2017 University of Bologna, Medicine, School of Medicine, MSc Sanitary and Prevention sciences, Risk Assessment (REC)(B) – 3cfu


  • 04/03/2014 - today; Fixed term Assistant Professor (RTDB); Università degli Studi di BOLOGNA, Dip. Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale, Prof. Claudio Franceschi Laboratory
  • 01/06/2013 - 28/02/2014; Research Fellow; Università degli Studi di BOLOGNA, Dip. Medicina Specialistica, Diagnostica e Sperimentale, Prof. Claudio Franceschi Laboratory
  • 01/06/2011 - 31/05/2013; Research Fellow; Università degli Studi di BOLOGNA, Centro Interdipartimentale Galvani, Prof. Claudio Franceschi Laboratory
  • 01/06/2010 - 31/05/2011; Research Fellow; Università degli Studi di BOLOGNA, Dipartimento di Ematologia e Scienze Oncologiche, Prof. Claudio Franceschi Laboratory
  • 01/06/2009 - 31/05/2010; Research Fellow; Università degli Studi di VERONA, Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Prof. Massimo Deleedonne Laboratory
  • 01/04/2008 - 31/05/2009; Temporary employment; Applied Biomedical Research Centre (CRBA), Dr. Vilma Mantovani Laboratory
  • 01/10/2007 - 30/04/2009; Temporary employment; Università degli Studi di BOLOGNA, Dipartimento di Chimica, Prof. Luca Prodi Laboratory
  • 01/10/2006 - 07/04/2007; Marco Polo project; University of Barcelona, Department of Experimental Sciences and Health, Unit of Evolutionary Biology.
  • 01/02/2005 - 01/02/2006; Temporary employment; Applied Biomedical Research Centre (CRBA), Dr. Vilma Mantovani Laboratory


  • 01/01/2017 - today; Associated researcher at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Department of Laboratory Medicine (LABMED), Division of Clinical Chemistry, H5, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.

  • 13/03/2017 – 31/12/2017; Fixed term association at Consiglio Nazionale delle RIcerche (CNR), Institute of Molecular Genetics, via Abbiategrasso, 2017-27100 Pavia, Italy.


Degree in Biological Sciences. Vote 104/110

Date: 12/03/2003

Title of Thesis: "Analysis of the variability of mitochondrial DNA of a population Luo of Kenya",

Date: 04/01/207[F1] [#_msocom_1]

Supervisor: Prof. Donata Luiselli

Thesis title: "Human genetic variability of two genes Involved in iron homoestasis, Haptoglobin and Hepcidin, and in a region of chromosome 22 geneless".


Stefania Antico, Master of Science in Biology, 2011

Cristina Giuliani, Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology, 2011

Francesca Crupi, Master of Science in Biology, 2012

Francesco Ravioli, Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology, 2013

Miriam Zuccalà, Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology, 2013

Maria Luisa Niccolini, Master of Science in Statistics, 2013

Francesco Ravioli, Master of Science in Biotechnology, 2016


Since 2012 shareholder of the company Personal Genomics (3%), spin-off of University of Verona and since 2015 joint spin-off of University of Bologna.

Since 2014 shareholder of the company BIODIVERSA (3%).


88 publications

H-index: 20 (According to Scopus ranking)

1275 total citations

[F1] [#_msoanchor_1] Nome e Cognome Supervisor

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