As a computational biologist with an interdisciplinary background (biology and computer science) and several years’ experience in epigenomics, transcriptomics and genomics, Iros Barozzi's area of expertise ranges from the design to the implementation of integrative and machine learning approaches for studying the interaction between transcription and chromatin on non-coding DNA elements, both in physiological and pathological contexts.
The Computational Cancer Genomics Laboratory at the Center for Cancer Research is investigating how gene regulatory networks are mis-regulated during the progression of breast and prostate cancers into drug-resistant, metastatic disease. Despite difficulties in identifying mutations in the coding sequence of genes that drive the progression to metastatic cancer, little attention has so far been paid to the contribution of transcriptional heterogeneity to resistance as opposed to genetic heterogeneity. Barozzi and his team are working to ensure that, by shifting this focus, it might be possible to identify and address new associations between primary tumour heterogeneity and treatment resistance. To this end, researchers are integrating information at both the single-cell and population levels through genomic analyses and using machine learning approaches to predict resistance.
These goals encompass the overarching themes of the laboratory, namely the identification and characterisation of patterns of transcriptional heterogeneity in apparently identical cells and the characterisation of the underlying regulatory mechanisms. A better understanding of these fundamental mechanisms may provide a different perspective, so that the treatment of primary cancer lesions can be successfully tailored, thereby preventing the development of resistance to current therapies.
About Iros Barozzi
Iros Barozzi studied Biotechnology at the University of Insubria and Bioinformatics at the University of Bologna. He then worked as a Research Fellow at the IFOM-IEO Campus in Milan and obtained his PhD in molecular medicine at the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) in Milan. He went on to work as a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley and at Imperial College London.
In 2021, he joined MedUni Vienna (Center for Cancer Research) as a Junior Principal Investigator.