Francesco Russo

Francesco Russo


Francesco Russo , Congenital Disorders
T. +45 32688256 @.

Research area

I am a research scientist at the Metabolomics Research Group at the Section for Clinical Mass Spectrometry, Danish Center for Neonatal Screening, Department of Congenital Disorders. In the lab headed by Dr. Madeleine Ernst, we explore the great potential of untargeted-based metabolomics using state of the art mass spectrometers and machine learning techniques. Our main focus is on neonatal dried blood spots located at the Danish National Biobank. We try to predict diseases at birth and find new biomarkers to implement in the clinic and newborn screening routine. We combine different data types including registry-based data, children and mothers' metadata and metabolomics to increase our understanding of diseases. I am an affiliated member of PREDICT, the National Center of Excellence for Molecular Prediction of Inflammatory Bowel Disease headed by professor Tine Jess, where I support projects related to clinical metabolomics and computational analyses.


Before starting my position as a research scientist at Statens Serum Institut in February 2021, I held a postdoc position at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen in the Brunak lab. During my postdoc, I was supported by the first edition of the BRIDGE Translational Excellence Postdoctoral fellowship sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The BRIDGE project aimed to explore big data (electronic health records and laboratory tests) to improve our understanding of dementia and was a collaboration with professor Søren Brunak and professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt (Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet). I performed my PhD studies across three countries (Italy, Switzerland and Denmark) and I obtained the PhD title in Bioinformatics from the University of Copenhagen in 2017. The PhD thesis included several works on RNA biology (in particular non-coding RNAs), systems biology, network biology, RNA-Seq and electronic health records. The heterogeneity of the research subjects allowed me to collaborate with scientists from different backgrounds and with different skills across fields. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Molecular Biology from the University of Catania (Italy) under the supervision of professor Alfredo Ferro, studying non-coding RNAs and developing computational resources related to the field.

Google Scholar


My responsibilities as a research scientist involve several tasks related to data science and the analyses of big data using machine learning techniques. In particular, a main goal is to develop novel computational metabolomics approaches for the analysis of neonatal dried blood spots and improving the interpretation and visualization of the results. My current projects include collaborations with PREDICT, iPSYCH, COPSAC, Rigshospitalet and more.

Selected publications

  • Emiliano Maiani, Giacomo Milletti, Francesca Nazio, Søs Grønbæk Holdgaard, Jirina Bartkova, Salvatore Rizza, Valentina Cianfanelli, Mar Lorente, Daniele Simoneschi, Miriam Di Marco, Pasquale D’Acunzo, Luca Di Leo, Rikke Rasmussen, Costanza Montagna, Marilena Raciti, Cristiano De Stefanis, Estibaliz Gabicagogeascoa, Gergely Rona, Nélida Salvador, Emanuela Pupo, Joanna Maria Merchut-Maya, Colin J. Daniel, Marianna Carinci, Valeriana Cesarini, Alfie O’sullivan, Yeon-Tae Jeong, Matteo Bordi, Francesco Russo, Silvia Campello, Angela Gallo, Giuseppe Filomeni, Letizia Lanzetti, Rosalie C. Sears, Petra Hamerlik, Armando Bartolazzi, Robert E. Hynds, David R. Pearce, Charles Swanton, Michele Pagano, Guillermo Velasco, Elena Papaleo, Daniela De Zio, Apolinar Maya-Mendoza, Franco Locatelli, Jiri Bartek & Francesco Cecconi; AMBRA1 regulates cyclin D to guard S-phase entry and genomic integrity, Nature volume 592, pages799–803 (2021).
  • Thilde Terkelsen, Francesco Russo, Pavel Gromov, Vilde Drageset Haakensen, Søren Brunak, Irina Gromova, Anders Krogh & Elena Papaleo; Secreted breast tumor interstitial fluid microRNAs and their target genes are associated with triple-negative breast cancer, tumor grade, and immune infiltration, Breast Cancer Research (BMC) volume 22, Article number: 73 (2020).
  • Isabella Friis Jørgensen*, Francesco Russo*, Anders Boeck Jensen, David Westergaard, Mette Lademann, Jessica Xin Hu, Søren Brunak & Kirstine Belling; Comorbidity landscape of the Danish patient population affected by chromosome abnormalities, Genetics in Medicine (Nature) volume 21, pages2485–2495 (2019). [*: Contributed equally to this work.]
  • Francesco Russo, Sebastiano Di Bella, Federica Vannini, Gabriele Berti, Flavia Scoyni, Helen V Cook, Alberto Santos, Giovanni Nigita, Vincenzo Bonnici, Alessandro Laganà, Filippo Geraci, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Rosalba Giugno, Federico De Masi, Kirstine Belling, Lars J Jensen, Søren Brunak, Marco Pellegrini, Alfredo Ferro; miRandola 2017: a curated knowledge base of non-invasive biomarkers, Nucleic Acids Research (Oxford University Press), Volume 46, Issue D1, Pages D354–D359 (2018).
  • Kirstine Belling, Francesco Russo, Anders B. Jensen, Marlene D. Dalgaard, David Westergaard, Ewa Rajpert-De Meyts, Niels E. Skakkebæk, Anders Juul, Søren Brunak; Klinefelter syndrome comorbidities linked to increased X chromosome gene dosage and altered protein interactome activity, Human Molecular Genetics (Oxford University Press), Volume 26, Issue 7, Pages 1219–1229 (2017).
  • Alessandro Laganà*, Francesco Russo*, Catarina Sismeiro, Rosalba Giugno, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Alfredo Ferro; Variability in the Incidence of miRNAs and Genes in Fragile Sites and the Role of Repeats and CpG Islands in the Distribution of Genetic Material, PLoS ONE 5(6): e11166 (2010). [*: Contributed equally to this work.]