Project Supervisor

Roser Vento-Tormo


Roser Vento-Tormo’s research interest is to understand the influence of cellular microenvironments on individual cellular identities and responses, in the context of development and immunity. During her PhD in the laboratory of Esteban Ballestar (Barcelona, Spain), Roser studied the interplay between cell signalling and epigenetics in myeloid cell fate decisions. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Teichmann laboratory at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK), she developed CellPhoneDB, the first computational tool to study cell-cell communication from single-cell transcriptomics data. She also generated the first single-cell transcriptomics atlas of the human placenta, gaining new insights into the tolerogenic events that ensures a successful pregnancy.

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This was the first study using single-cell genomics to profile a tissue across multiple regions, leading to the discovery of novel spatial niches at the human placental interface. Roser Vento-Tormo started her lab at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK) in 2019. Since its inception, the team is focused on using and developing new computational, genomics and in vitro models to disentangle the complexity of the human body. Roser has won multiple prizes (e.g. 2021 Early Career Research Award from the Biochemistry Society, 2023 Michelson & Science Prize for Immunology) and her work is funded by many recognised international agencies (e.g. ERC, MRC, CZI, Wellcome-LEAP).

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We have a long-standing interest in understanding the principles of transcriptional regulatory circuits, with a particular focus on how signals from the tissue microenvironment can rewire them. To understand this process, we innovate and integrate cutting-edge genomics, bioinformatics, gene editing and bioengineering tools. We apply those technologies to two understand the formation and regeneration of human tissues, with a particular interest in the development of the immune system in health and disease.


Arutyunyan A, Roberts K, Troulé K, Wong FCK, Sheridan MA, Kats I, Garcia-Alonso L, Velten B, Hoo R, Ruiz-Morales ER, Sancho-Serra C, Shilts J, Handfield LF, Marconato L, Tuck E, Gardner L, Mazzeo CI, Li Q, Kelava I, Wright GJ, Prigmore E, Teichmann SA, Bayraktar OA, Moffett A, Stegle O, Turco MY, Vento-Tormo R (2023) Spatial multiomics map of trophoblast development in early pregnancy. Nature 616(7955):143-151

Garcia-Alonso L, Lorenzi V, Icoresi Mazzeo C, Alves-Lopes JP, Roberts K, Sancho-Serra C, Engelbert J, Marečková M, Gruhn WH, Botting RA, Li T, Crespo B, van Dongen S, Kiselev V, Prigmore E, Moffett A, Chedotal A, Herbert M, Bayraktar O, Surani A, Haniffa M, Vento-Tormo R (2022). Single-cell roadmap of human gonadal development. Nature. 607(7919):540-547.

Alsinet C, Primo MN, Lorenzi V, Bello E, Kelava I, Jones CP, Vilarrasa-Blasi R, Sancho-Serra C, Knights AJ, Park JE, Wyspianska BS, Trynka G, Tough DF, Bassett A, Gaffney DJ, Alvarez-Errico D, Vento-Tormo R (2022) Robust temporal map of human in vitro myelopoiesis using single cell genomics (2022). Nat Commun. 13(1):2885.

Garcia-Alonso L, Handfield L-F, Roberts K, Nikolakopoulou K, Gardner L, Fernando RC, Woodhams B, Arutyunyan A, Polanski K, Hoo R, Sancho-Serra C, Li T, Kwakwa K, Tuck E, Kleshchevnikov V, Tarkowska A, Porter T, Icoresi Mazzeo C, van Dongen S, Dabrowska M, Vaskivskyi V, Mahbubani KT, Park J-E, Jimenez-Linan M, Campos L, Kiselev V, Lindskog C, Ayuk P, Prigmore E, Stratton MR, Saeb-Parsy K, Moffett A, Moore L, Bayraktar OA, Teichmann SA, Turco MY, Vento-Tormo R (2021). Mapping the temporal and spatial dynamics of the human endometrium in vivo and in vitro. Nature Genetics. 53(12):1698-1711.

Efremova M, Vento-Tormo M, Teichmann SA, Vento-Tormo R (2020) CellPhoneDB: inferring cell-cell communication from combined expression of multi-subunit ligand-receptor complexes. Nature Protocols. 15(4):1484-1506