Luciano Marcon

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Address: Max-Planck-Ring 9
72076 Tübingen
Phone: +49 7071 601 817
E-Mail: luciano.marcon[at]
Picture of Marcon, Luciano


Since 2014 EMBO/Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the FML of the Max Planck Society, Tübingen, Germany

2008 - 2013 Center for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain)
PhD thesis in Dr. James Sharpe laboratory (grade: summa cum laude)

2006 - 2007 University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK)
MSc, European Master in Informatics (EuMI) (awarded with distinction)

2002 - 2005 University of Trento (Trento, Italy)
Degree in Computer Science, Bioinformatics (grade: 106/110)

Honors and Awards

2015 Wired Audi Innovation Award 2015 - best Italian innovator in the category under 35 years

2015 Young Researcher at the Lindau Nobel Meeting 2015 supported by EMBO

2014 - 2016 EMBO and Marie-Curie Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellowships

2014 Eppendorf Award for the best doctoral thesis at the Center for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain)

2013-2014 Premi Extraordinari for the best doctoral thesis of the Biomedicine program at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain)

2006 - 2007 Scholarship of Excellence - European Master in Informatics (EuMI)

Courses 2016 EMBO Laboratory Management Course for postdocs

Commissions of Trust

Since 2014 Reviewer for PLoS One, Scientific Reports

Personal webpage

I combine theoretical and experimental work to understand which gene regulatory networks and physical cellular processes can create self-organizing multicellular behaviours during embryonic development and in-vitro cell cultures.

On the theoretical side, I am developing tools to automate mathematical analysis that screens for reaction-diffusion networks that can produce different self-organizing behaviours such as the formation of periodic patterns, oscillations and travelling waves. On the experimental side, I perform 3D live imaging by using lightsheet microscopy to capture the dynamics of fluorescent reporters in normal situations and in perturbation experiments.

I use these tools to study the early embryonic development of Zebrafish, the symmetry breaking of mouse embryonic stem cell aggregates and to design self-organizing synthetic circuits in E.Coli colonies.


Marcon L, Diego X, Sharpe J, Müller P (2016). High-throughput mathematical analysis identifies Turing networks for patterning with equally diffusing signals. eLife Apr 8;5. PDF Supporting Material

Onimaru K, Marcon L, Musy M, Tanaka M, Sharpe J (2016). The fin to limb transition as the re-organisation of a Turing pattern. Nat. Comm. in press. PDF


Uzkudun M, Marcon L, Sharpe J (2015). Data-driven modelling of a gene regulatory network for cell fate decisions in the growing limb bud. Mol Syst Biol. 11(7):815. PDF Supporting Material


Raspopovic J*, Marcon L*, Russo L, Sharpe J (2014). Digit patterning is controlled by a Bmp-Sox9-Wnt Turing network modulated by morphogen gradients. Science. 345(6196):566-70. PDF Supporting Material


Marcon L, Sharpe J (2012). Turing patterns in development: what about the horse part? Curr Opin Genet Dev. 22(6):578-84. PDF

Sheth R*, Marcon L*, Bastida MF, Junco M, Quintana L, Dahn R, Kmita M, Sharpe J, Ros MA (2012). Hox genes regulate digit patterning by controlling the wavelength of a Turing-type mechanism. Science. 338(6113):1476-80. PDF Supporting Material


Marcon L, Arqués CG, Torres MS, Sharpe J (2011). A computational clonal analysis of the developing mouse limb bud. PLoS Comput Biol. 7(2):e1001071. PDF Supporting Material