Gioele La Manno


Dr. La Manno is a computational and developmental biologist who studies the developmental dynamics of the nervous system. Since 2018, he has led the the Neurodevelopmental systems biology laboratory within the Brain Mind Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). The long-term goal the La Manno Lab is the description and modeling of the cell fate commitment process taking place during nervous system development.

Dr. La Manno has started his scientific career as a trainee of Prof. Sten Linnarsson at Karolinska Inistitute, where he made his first scientific contributions related to the development of single-cell RNA sequencing technologies, and their application of single-cell RNA-seq to study the developing mammalian nervous system. First, Dr. La Mano contributed to the discovery of sympathetic neurons that control goosebumps and nipple erection and their specification (Nature Neur 2016). Then, he described the heterogeneity of human midbrain development and analyzed how molecularly compares to the mouse and to ES in vitro differentiation (Cell 2016). This line of work was continued in his own lab and led to the release of a comprehensive single-cell transcriptomic atlas of the entire embryonic mouse brain between gastrulation and birth (Nature 2021).

Dr. La Manno also pioneered the use of single-cell transcriptomics information to guide the evaluation and improvement of differentiation protocols for cell replacement therapies of Parkinson’s disease (Cell 2016). Recently, his lab characterized the dynamics of differentiation of the differentiation of ES cells in Retinal Pigment Epithelial cell that is scheduled to be used in clinical trial for the treatment of Age-related Macular degeneration in 2022 (Petrus-Reurer et al., biorxiv 2020).

A particularly influential contribution to the field of single-cell genomics is the development of the RNA Velocity analysis framework (Nature 2018). RNA Velocity makes it possible to directly measure—in static snapshot data—the dynamic, time-resolved component of gene expression.

The La Manno lab has also led advances in spatial transcriptomics. We recently developed a versatile framework that enables the transformation of existing low-input NGS techniques into methods capable of encoding spatial information through compressed sampling and probabilistic image reconstruction (Nature Biotechnology 2020). More generally, the lab is currently embracing new emerging single-cell and spatial omics technologies. In particular, we have made pioneering work in describing the lipid heterogeneity at the single-cell level (Capolupo et al. 2020, Science). We are generating one of the largest spatial lipidomic datasets available using MALDI-imaging.

As a recognition his scientific contributions Dr. La Manno was awarded the Vasco Sanz Prize, the EMPIRIS Award, the SIB Resource innovation award, and the Dimitris N. Chorafas prize.