The Italian Epigenome Program

The Italian Epigenome Program involves two initiatives: i) the "Milan Genomic Initiative (MGI)" and ii) the "Italian Flagship Project EPIGEN".

The MGI was started in 2011, as a joint operation among IEO (Istituto Europeo di Oncologia), IIT (Istituto Italiano di Technologia) and IFOM (Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare), and is located at the IFOM-IEO Campus in Milan, a multi-institutional bio-medical research area hosting over 500 scientists.

The MGI includes, among others:

  1. An integrated genomic platform (Illumina HiSeq 2000, nanostring) and robotics, operated with the contribution of the three institutes,
    with a work-force of 6 people
  2. An integrated bio-informatic platform involving 27 scientists
  3. 16 independent research-groups that contribute projects in the field of epigenetics.

The three institutions are committed to the 5-year support of the “Center of Genomic Science” for a total of  ~10 millions.

The EPIGEN was launched by the Italian Ministry of Research and started in January 2012. It includes:

  1. Next Generation Sequencing Service and Development Centre. A centralized facility for Next Generation Sequencing (HiSeq 2500, Gallx, HiSeq 2000) located at the Institute of Applied Genomics (IGA, Istituto di genomica Applicata), Udine (Whole Genome Shotgun Bisulphite Sequencing, Bisulphite conversion followed by capture and sequencing, MeDIP, ChIP-sequencing, RNA sequencing, small RNA sequencing). Coordinator: M. Morgante.
  2. A centralized Computer Centre & data storage service, located in Rome (Consorzio interuniversitario CASPUR).
  3. A bioinformatics center for integration of epigenomics data.  A virtual center that brings together expertise from across the country and aims at developing  algorithms and software for epigenomics analyses. Coordinator: Graziano Pesole (Institute of Biomembrane and Bioenergetics (IBBE), Bari). Participants: Anna Tramontano University of Rome, Dep.of Physics;  Giulio Pavesi, Dep.Biomolecular Science & Biotechnology, University of Milan; Alberto Policriti Institute of Applied Genomics, Udine); Stefano Volinia University of Ferrara. Dep. Morfology & Embryology; Giorgio Valle CRIBI Genomics Group, University of Padua; Diego Di Bernardo Telethon Institute of Genetics & Medicine, Naples; Claudia Angelini Mauro Picone Institute (IAC), Bari.; Flavio Licciulli Institute of Biomedical Technology, Bari; Raffaele Calogero University of Turin, Dep. Clinical and Biological Sciences; Silvio Bicciato Center for Genome Research, University of Modena & Reggio Emilia; Paola Bertolazzi Antonio Ruberti Institute (IASI), Rome; Nico Sanna Interuniversity Consortium for the Application of Supercomputing (CASPUR), Rome.
  4. A Nuclear-imaging center. Expertise and cutting edge imaging-technologies are available for  EPIGEN partners for analysies of the role of the nuclear structure in epigenetic regulatory-mechanisms. Coordinator: Alberto Luini. Institute of Protein Biochemistry, Naples.  Participants: Daniela Corda. Institute of Protein Biochemistry, Naples.
  5. 25 independent groups that contribute projects in the field of epigenetics. Another 20-25 groups will be funded in 2013.

EPIGEN is supported by  the Italian Ministry of Research with 30 Mln € for 4 years.