Elisabetta Fiacco

Postdoctoral Fellow

Past Members


I completed my PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at “La Sapienza” University of Rome (Italy) working in the Epigenetics and Regenerative Pharmacology Lab directed by Dr. Pier Lorenzo Puri. My PhD project mostly focused on the study of Muscle Adult Stem Cells. I really enjoyed my PhD research and was fascinated by how multipotent adult Stem Cells can give rise to specialized cells. I realized that I wanted to work with the induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs), that have the ability to differentiate into virtually any type of cell and organ in the body. The potential application of using iPSCs in regenerative medicine is huge. So, for my first Post Doc, I made the decision to move to KAUST to have the opportunity to learn from Prof. Antonio Adamo, who is an expert in the field, in one of the best universities in the world.

Research Interests

My first research project focused on the study of the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms dysregulated in metabolic disorders with particular attention on Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2D). We took advantage of a large cohorts of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) carrying symmetrical copy number variation disorders associated with glucose abnormalities. Our idea was to differentiate healthy and disease IPSCs towards glucose-sensitive cell types in order to identify pathological signatures of T2D pathogenesis.
Since January 2018, I’m working on a project that uses an iPSC-based approach to study the transcriptional and epigenetic consequences of X chromosome aneuploidies using Klinefelter Syndrome as a disease model.

Selected Publications

Elisabetta Fiacco, Francesco Castagnetti, Valeria Bianconi, Luca Madaro, Marco De Bardi, Francesca Nazio, Adele D'Amico, Enrico Bertini, Francesco Cecconi Pier Lorenzo Puri & Lucia Latella.
“ Autophagy regulates satellite cell ability to regenerate normal and dystrophic muscles.” Cell Death and Differ. 2016 Nov 1;23(11):1839-1849.


  • October 2016-To date Post-Doctoral fellow in the STEMD Lab, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • November 2012-February 2016 Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology “La Sapienza
    “Università di Roma
  • January 2010-March 2012 Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology “La Sapienza “Università di Roma

Scientific and Professional Membership

Partner Aisal (Associazione Italiana Scienze degli animali da laboratorio)


Winner of the Best Poster Award. ChroMe “Chromatin and Metabolism” Spetses Summer School 25-31 August 2018 (Anargyrios e Korgialenios School, Spetses Island, Greece).

KAUST Affiliations

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)

KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP)