Crosetto group members


Current team members: 7

Current nationalities: 4

Nicola Crosetto
(Principal Investigator)

I was born in Cuneo, Italy, but if this were a political manifesto, I would prefer to be called a citizen of the future United States of Europe. In 2003, I received an M.D. from the University of Pavia, Italy where I attended the prestigious Collegio Ghislieri for excellence in higher education. From 2004 until 2007, I attended the School of Specialization in Medical Oncology at the University of Turin and Cuneo Santa Croce Hospital, Italy where I became familiar with the complexity and challenges of treating cancer patients. Being fascinated by mechanisms of disease and biotechnologies, after finishing my medical training I became a PhD student in Ivan Dikic’s Lab at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany and University of Pavia, Italy where I worked on DNA repair regulatory mechanisms by ubiquitin, and gained a lot of expertise in molecular biology and protein biochemistry methods. Looking for the next challenge, in 2011 I moved to Boston to join Alexander van Oudenaarden’s Lab at MIT where I learnt to value multidisciplinarity and quantitative science as the keywords that will shape biology and medicine in the next decade, and became passionate about molecular methods development. It was during this fantastic period that, together with Magda, I developed the HD-FISH and FuseFISH methods that are described here. In 2013, I joined Alexander van Oudenaarden’s Lab at the Hubrecht Institute, Netherlands where I conceived several methods and technology improvements that lie at the core of research in my lab. In 2015, I became an Assistant Professor at Karolinska Institutet and joined SciLifeLab to start an exciting new journey through science and technology.


Silvano Garnerone
(Project Leader)
Bienko/Crosetto Labs

Have you ever come across this sentence: “If the 20th century was the century of physics, the 21st century will be the century of biology”? Well…I decided to see how and why this might be the case.
I defended my PhD thesis in Physics in 2007 at the Politecnico di Torino (Italy); since then I have worked at the Universite’ Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo. My area of research has focused on quantum physics, information theory, and network science; my major contributions to these fields have been the development of new algorithms for the solution of hard computational problems, and of new techniques for the study of complex systems and big data.
In 2014 I felt the need to start a new career adventure and, excited by the big data revolution, I looked for an environment where my analytic and computational skills could be useful in approaching new fascinating problems. Biology, an old passion of mine, presented itself as the perfect arena where I could help tackling scientific and clinically relevant questions whose answers hide in the increasing flood of data coming from new sequencing and microscopy technologies.
From January 2015 I work in the Bienko and Crosetto labs, where not only I take care of their computational infrastructure but, most importantly, I participate in the delicate process of shaping questions, experiments and data-analysis pipelines according to the tools and techniques that the two groups use and develop.

Britta Bouwman
Crosetto Lab

I grew up in Neede, a small village in the east of the Netherlands. Although my childhood dream was to become a Medical Doctor, I quickly realized that I preferred science to medicine when I started medical school. I switched fields and enrolled in a MSc program in Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University, specifying in Cancer Genomics & Developmental Biology. As part of this program, I spent a year in New York City for a research internship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Early 2011, right after receiving my MSc degree, I joined the group of Wouter de Laat at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht for my PhD studies. During the five years in the de Laat lab, I had a wonderful time studying the 3D architecture of the genome applying techniques such as 4C and Hi-C. Together with my colleagues, I followed the changes in genome conformation during differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to more differentiated cell types, as well as during reprogramming to induced pluripotency. Furthermore, we developed novel methods to study 3D chromatin organization. In the beginning of 2016 my PhD contract finished and I joined Cergentis (a spin-off company of de Laat lab) as a product developer, to gain a bit of experience in a small biotech company. At night, I completed the (final) chapters of my PhD thesis, which I defended in June 2016 at Utrecht University. In the fall of 2016, I moved to Stockholm to join Nicola’s group at Karolinska Institutet and SciLifeLab as a postdoctoral scientist.

Xiaolu Zhang
Crosetto Lab

I was born in Shandong province, which is located in the northeast of China. In 2009, I received my M.D. from Shandong University, and in the same year, I was admitted to Ph.D study in the same University without entrance examination because of high scores achieved during University study. In 2010, I got support from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for study abroad. Then at the beginning of 2011, I came to Karolinska Institutet and joined Magnus Björkholm’s group, starting Ph.D research about molecular alterations and clonal evolution in acute myeloid leukemia. At the end of 2014, I finished my Ph.D study, and joined Crosetto lab following my great interest in tumor heterogeneity research and their developed fantastic methods.

Roberto Ballarino
(PhD student)
Crosetto Lab

I was born in the suburbs of Amsterdam as a blend of headstrong Sicilian attitude and rational Dutch nature. As a result, I grew up acquiring the habit of always asking why.
My research interests include molecular (epi)genetics, subcellular processes involved in cell type specification, glia-neuron interactions and mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders. I enjoy pursuing creative avenues on the frontiers of science, by combining cutting-edge experiments with state-of-the-art technology.
During my bachelor program in Biomedical sciences at Utrecht University, I studied cellular and molecular biology and became increasingly interested in studying brain development. After completing my Bachelor thesis on neuroregeneration in Joost Verhaagen’s lab in the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, I followed my passion and enrolled in the Master program in Neuroscience at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Here I joined the lab of Steven Kushner and studied the molecular basis of psychiatric disease through in vitro modeling of neurodevelopment using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Fascinated by the capacity of iPSCs to form physiologically active neural networks, I dedicated myself to study the underlying mechanisms of development, and in October 2017, joined the BiCrolab.
My current focus lies in defining the genome-wide distribution of double-stranded DNA breaks, chromatin organization and structural genetics underlying neuronal differentiation. By studying the molecular biology of the neuron, I aim to lay the groundwork for novel insights into fundamental biology and clinical therapies.

Reza Mirzazadeh
(PhD student)
Crosetto Lab

I am from Tehran, Iran and in 2010 I moved to Uppsala in Sweden for a M.Sc. program in genomics and bioinformatics. My thesis focused on “Integration polymorphism of Canine Endogenous Retroviruses” in the lab of Göran Andersson at IMBIM, Uppsala University.
To figure out which branch of molecular biology I was most interested in, I joined Mats Nilsson’s group, who focuses on developing novel technology for nucleic acid analysis. There, I got introduced to the fascinating field of circularizable oligonucleotide probes, so-called padlock probes.
Having experienced a lab with strong technology development spirit, soon I realised this is the path I would like to further continue my journey in science. This motivated me to join the Crosetto Lab at Karolinska Institutet and SciLifelab for my Ph.D. studies, where I am currently developing genome-wide methods to map DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in cancer and other diseases, as well as other exciting technologies.

Michele Simonetti
(PhD student)
Crosetto Lab

I was born in Perugia, Italy in 1991. I studied at University of Perugia where I received a Batchelor Degree as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in November 2013. During this period I worked at the University Hospital with a focus on disease diagnostic. In October 2015 I obtained a MSc Degree in Medical Biotechnology. For my thesis I worked at the Department of Surgery and Biomedical Sciences, Section of Gastroenterology. In January 2016 I joined the group of Nicola Crosetto for a traineeship within the Erasmus + programme following my interest in the development of new molecular methods for understanding disease processes.