Chair, University of British Columbia
Fabio is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Director of the UBC Biomedical Research Centre and BoD member of the NCE Stem Cell Network.
Fabio obtained his M.D. from his hometown university in Genoa, Italy. During undergraduate studies, he investigated the mechanisms underlying chondrocyte differentiation. Next, he joined the Ph.D. programme at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories in Heidelberg, where he studied the influence of avian retroviral oncogenes on cellular differentiation under the supervision of Thomas Graf. His interest in this topic led him to continue his training at Stanford University, in Helen Blau’s laboratory, an environment that stimulated his interest in tissue regeneration. At Stanford he also pioneered the use of b-galactosidase complementation as a reporter of protein-protein interactions in live cells, which is licensed to biotech companies and the basis of a successful CRO platform. He moved to the University of British Columbia to open his laboratory in 2001. At UBC, he has provided seminal contributions to multiple fields related to the role of inflammation and mesenchymal progenitors in adult tissue regeneration and pathogenesis. His laboratory was the first to show that microglia (CNS-resident macrophages) are self-renewing locally and do not originate form bone marrow. He also described a dramatic and unexpected positive trophic role of tissue resident mesenchymal progenitors in tissue regeneration, starting a novel and very active new field investigating these cells.