Eros Lazzerini Denchi, Ph.D.

Eros Lazzerini Denchi, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Genome Integrity


A key feature of a living organism is to preserve its genome integrity. To this end, cells use specialized proteins that survey the genome to detect and repair any lesion in the DNA. These vital processes, however, must be kept in check at naturally occurring DNA breaks; the ends of linear chromosomes. For this reason, all eukaryotic cells have telomeres, essential nucleoprotein structures that cap chromosome ends. Perturbation of telomere function frequently occurs in human pathologies such as cancer and aging. In these pathologies, telomere DNA is progressively lost, and a DNA damage response is initiated at chromosome ends. Our lab focuses on two fundamental aspects of telomere biology: the mechanism by which functional telomeres prevent DNA damage activation and the in vivo consequences of telomere dysfunction.

Areas of Expertise

Genomic Instability
DNA Damage/DNA Repair
Chromosome Structure


We study the mechanisms by which telomeres protect chromosome ends, thus ensuring chromosome and genome stability. Our lab focuses on the identification of telomere-associated proteins to define their role in preventing activation of the DNA damage response pathway and suppression of end-to-end chromosomal fusions. We also study how telomere-associated proteins regulate the balance between telomere elongation and telomere erosion, thus controlling the replicative potential of normal as well as cancer cells. Identification of novel factors that play a role in telomere biology is carried out in the lab using proteomics as well as genetic screens. 

A complementary study in our lab is focused on the in vivo consequences of telomere dysfunction. Telomere length homeostasis plays a critical role in cellular and organism survival. However, in humans, this process is inefficient and progressive telomere shortening is observed in tissues with a high cellular turnover. In the lab, we probe the role of telomere shortening in aging and tumor onset using mouse models that recapitulate telomere dysfunction in stem cells and other cellular compartments.

 The Lazzerini Denchi Lab, March 2022

Eros' lab_March 2022


Selected Recent Publications

TRF2-mediated telomere protection is dispensable in pluripotent stem cells.

Markiewicz-Potoczny M, Lobanova A, Loeb AM, Kirak O, Olbrich T, Ruiz S, Lazzerini Denchi E.
Nature. 589 : 110-115, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

TZAP: a telomere-associated protein involved in telomere length control

Li J, Fuste JM, Sima T, Karlseder J, and Lazzerini Denchi E.
Science. 355(6325): 638-41, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Different requirement of functional telomeres in neural stem cells and terminally differentiated neurons

Lobanova A, She R, Maximov A and Lazzerini Denchi E.
Genes Dev. 31(7): 639-47, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Telomere Replication Stress Induced by POT1 Inactivation Accelerates Tumorigenesis

Pinzaru A, Hom R, Phillips A, Ni E, Cardozo T, Nair N, Choi J, Wuttke D, Sfeir A, and Lazzerini Denchi E.
Cell Reports. 15(10): 2170-84, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

A two-step mechanism for TRF2-mediated chromosome-end protection

Okamoto K, Bartocci C, Ouzounov I, Diedrich JK, Yates JR 3rd, and Lazzerini Denchi E.
Nature. 494(7438): 502-5, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

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Research Fellow
Ranjodh Singh Sandhu, Ph.D.
Si Young
Si Young Lee, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Marta Markiewicz Potoczny, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Benura Azeroglu Jaramillo Riveri, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Soniya Chatterjee, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Alex Orioli, Ph.D.
Camille Jubelin, Ph.D.
Pre-doctoral IRTA (Graduate Student)
Gianna Tricola, B.Sc.