Changing lives discoveries

Scientific research to understand and treat rare genetic diseases

Research Programs

TIGEM's mission is to discover how abnormal molecular mechanisms cause disease and to use this knowledge to offer innovative therapeutic strategies.

In order to achieve these aims, TIGEM uses a multidisciplinary approach, integrating three distinct research programs to address scientific problems from a number of different angles. 

TIGEM’s carefully selected group of internationally renowned researchers fall into the main research themes Cell Biology, Genomic Medicine, and Molecular Therapy. Within these themes, TIGEM hosts 24 research groups committed to the research of rare genetic disorders.
TIGEM’s findings at the primary research level are often scaled up to the translational medicine stage, allowing TIGEM’s work to track disease understanding from the level of the genome to the lives of patients. As well as work carried out by the individual groups at TIGEM, collaborative projects form an important aspect to our work, both within our own institution and in partnership with others.

In addition to this, TIGEM has a number of key alliances with various universities, offering the institute additional opportunities and resources for excellent students and researchers.

TIGEM’s success in biological research applied to genetic diseases has received international recognition. Since 1994, TIGEM has published over 1600 research articles in leading scientific journals and continues to be one of the most prolific research centres in Europe.

Studying the structure and function of cells, both in normal and diseased conditions.

Developing and integrating experimental and computational tools that can be applied to mammalian disease models to monitor therapeutic approaches.

Developing novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of disease.

Research Faculty

TIGEM is organized into 24 research units led by a group leader. The size of these units varies based on the seniority of the group leader and availability of external funding. Typically, research groups vary from three to ten members that include technicians, fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. Each group has an autonomous budget (or budgets, if externally funded) and the group leader is responsible for the management of her/his funds.


Research activity at TIGEM is supported by eleven Core Facilities and three Units dedicated to providing state-of-the-art technology as well as “housekeeping” assistance. The Core Facilities make technological expertise available to all faculty members, staff, and students.

PhD Programs

TIGEM collaborates with three leading universities to offer three PhD programs.
Successful completion of either program leads to conferral of a British or Italian PhD degree, depending on the awarding institution of the chosen program.