Non-coding RNA and genomic stability (Prof. Schoeftner)

Prof. Stefan Schoeftner


Tel. ++39 040 3756805
Fax. ++39 040 398990




Stefan Schoeftner is Associate Professor in Molecular Biology at the the University of Trieste, Department of Life Sciences and Principle Investigator of the Non-coding RNA and genomic stability group. Stefan Schoeftner studied Biology/Genetics at the University of Vienna (Austria) and obtained the PhD from the same University, working at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna.
He performed his post-doctoral research at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO) in Madrid and at the Laboratorio Nazionale CIB (LNCIB), Trieste in Italy.

Later he headed independent research group at the Italian National Cancer Research Institute, Regina Elena in Rome (2011-2013) and at the LNCIB in Trieste (2013-2019). Since 2015 Stefan Schoeftner holds the position as Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Trieste, Department of Life Sciences. In 2020 the Schoeftner group moved to the Department of Life Sciences, Trieste

The research interest of Stefan Schoeftner has been focused on understanding key processes that impact on the stability and structure of telomeres and the cancer genome as well as the development of novel, cell based tools for cancer research.
During his career Stefan Schoeftner discovered mechanisms that coordinate the inactivation of chromatin structures of an entire chromosome, a process called X inactivation (Schoeftner et al. EMBO Journal, 2006). He investigated the mechanism that links chromatin structure to the mechanisms that ensure the stability of DNA sequences, named telomeres, that protect the ends of chromosomes (Schoeftner et al. PNAS 2009). Further, he discovered RNA molecules derived from transcription of telomeres and having an impact on telomere function (Schoeftner and Blasco, Nat Cell Biol, 2008). His team identified a role for small RNAs, so called miRNAs, in controlling telomere and genomic stability in human breast cancer cells (Dinami et al. Cancer Res 2014, Dinami et al. 2017). More recently, collaborative efforts with Roberta Benetti (University of Udine, Italy) unraveled a mechanism that controls the identity and genomic stability of stem cells and cancer cells (Scarola et al. Nat Comm 2015; Commiso et al. Oncotarget 2017 and Scarola et al. 2020, under review).

To date he has authored 22 peer-reviewed scientific publications including research articles and reviews. In addition, Stefan Schoeftner is holding a patent on the use of telomeric transcripts as diagnostic and therapeutic agent (PCT/EP2008/010661).



Last update: 05-07-2021 - 21:30