Dr Giovanni Stracquadanio (FHEA)

Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Biology


Giovanni Stracquadanio is a Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Biology. He is the head of the Data-driven Biology lab, which aims at combining computer aided engineering and machine learning methods to understand genome biology and streamline bioproduction. We are currently working on understanding how high-frequency mutations and metabolic reprogramming mediate cancer risk and affect tumor progression, and how to mine omic data to design new genes and proteins with specific functions.  

Dr Stracquadanio obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Catania (Italy) in 2010. He received postdoctoral training in synthetic biology in Joel Bader and Jef Boeke labs at the Johns Hopkins University working on the synthetic yeast genome.  Dr Stracquadanio was a main contributor to the Synthetic Yeast (Sc2.0) genome project, pioneering algorithms and developing software at the foundation of the first synthetic eukaryotic genome. He has also developed tools used in large-scale synthesis projects, streamlining chromosomes engineering and the assembly of biological pathways.  In 2014, he moved to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Oxford to work on cancer genetics, in Gareth Bond’s lab; here, he focused on studying how high-frequency inherited p53 mutations affect the risk of cancer. 

In 2016, Dr Stracquadanio established the first computational biology lab at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering of the University of Essex, and in 2017 received the Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Science.  In 2019, he joined the School of Biological Sciences at University of Edinburgh as a Senior Lecturer in synthetic biology and is currently serving as co-director of the Edinburgh Genome Foundry.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Co-director of the Edinburgh Genome Foundry.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Dr Fabio Cassano (Postdoc)
  • Viola Fanfani
  • Angelo Gaeta

Research summary

  • Synthetic genomics
  • Synthetic biology
  • Next-generation sequencing 
  • Bayesian inference
  • Network inference
  • Deep learning
  • Computational biology
  • Bioinformatics

Project activity

  • Cancer heritability 
  • Biological network inference
  • Optimal DNA design and manufacturing
  • Synthetic genome analysis
  • Multiple myeloma sequencing

Current project grants

Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Science: "Network analysis of the effect of hypoxia and nutrient deprivation on motility and metabolic switching of cancer cells".