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Staff at EMBL

Dr. Dónal O'Carroll

Group Leader
O'Carroll Group Joint appointment: Genome Biology Unit
Joint appointment: Developmental Biology Unit

EMBL Monterotondo, Adriano Buzzati-Traverso Campus, Via Ramarini 32, 00016 Monterotondo, Italy

E-mail: send a mail


PhD 1999, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna.
Postdoctoral research at The Rockefeller University, New York.
Adjunct member of faculty, The Rockefeller University, since 2007.
Group leader at EMBL Monterotondo since 2007.
ERC Investigator since 2012.


Argonaute2 mediates compensatory expansion of the pancreatic beta cell. Tattikota, S.G., Rathjen, T., McAnulty, S.J., Wessels, H.H., Akerman, I., van de Bunt, M., Hausser, J., Esguerra, J.L., Musahl, A., Pandey, A.K., You, X., Chen, W., Herrera, P.L., Johnson, P.R., O'Carroll, D., Eliasson, L., Zavolan, M., Gloyn, A.L., Ferrer, J., Shalom-Feuerstein, R., Aberdam, D. & Poy, M.N. Cell Metab. 2014 Jan 7;19(1):122-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.11.015. Epub 2013Dec 19. Europe PMC

Multiple epigenetic mechanisms and the piRNA pathway enforce LINE1 silencing during adult spermatogenesis. Di Giacomo, M., Comazzetto, S., Saini, H., De Fazio, S., Carrieri, C., Morgan, M., Vasiliauskaite, L., Benes, V., Enright, A.J. & O'Carroll, D. Mol Cell. 2013 May 23;50(4):601-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.04.026. Europe PMC

General principals of miRNA biogenesis and regulation in the brain. O'Carroll, D. & Schaefer, A. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Jan;38(1):39-54. doi: 10.1038/npp.2012.87. Epub2012 Jun 6. Europe PMC

MicroRNA-128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice. Tan, C.L., Plotkin, J.L., Veno, M.T., von Schimmelmann, M., Feinberg, P., Mann, S., Handler, A., Kjems, J., Surmeier, D.J., O'Carroll, D., Greengard, P. & Schaefer, A. Science. 2013 Dec 6;342(6163):1254-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1244193. Europe PMC

Dicer is selectively important for the earliest stages of erythroid development. Buza-Vidas, N., Cismasiu, V.B., Moore, S., Mead, A.J., Woll, P.S., Lutteropp, M., Melchiori, L., Luc, S., Bouriez-Jones, T., Atkinson, D., O'Carroll, D., Jacobsen, S.E. & Nerlov, C. Blood. 2012 Sep 20;120(12):2412-6. Epub 2012 Aug 6. Europe PMC

Quantitative functions of Argonaute proteins in mammalian development. Wang, D., Zhang, Z., O'Loughlin, E., Lee, T., Houel, S., O'Carroll, D., Tarakhovsky, A., Ahn, N.G. & Yi, R. Genes Dev. 2012 Apr 1;26(7):693-704. doi: 10.1101/gad.182758.111. Europe PMC

FOG-1 and GATA-1 act sequentially to specify definitive megakaryocytic and erythroid progenitors. Mancini, E., Sanjuan-Pla, A., Luciani, L., Moore, S., Grover, A., Zay, A., Rasmussen, K.D., Luc, S., Bilbao, D., O'Carroll, D., Jacobsen, S.E. & Nerlov, C. EMBO J. 2011 Nov 8;31(2):351-65. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2011.390. Europe PMC

The endonuclease activity of Mili fuels piRNA amplification that silences LINE1 elements. De Fazio, S., Bartonicek, N., Di Giacomo, M., Abreu-Goodger, C., Sankar, A., Funaya, C., Antony, C., Moreira, P.N., Enright, A.J. & O'Carroll, D. Nature. 2011 Oct 23;480(7376):259-63. doi: 10.1038/nature10547. Europe PMC

The miR-144/451eGFP allele, a novel tool for resolving the erythroid potential of hematopoietic precursors. Rasmussen, K.D. & O'Carroll, D. Blood. 2011 Sep 15;118(11):2988-92. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-04-350728. Epub 2011Jul 25. Europe PMC

Blimp1 regulates the transition of neonatal to adult intestinal epithelium. Muncan, V., Heijmans, J., Krasinski, S.D., Buller, N.V., Wildenberg, M.E., Meisner, S., Radonjic, M., Stapleton, K.A., Lamers, W.H., Biemond, I., van den Bergh Weerman, M.A., O'Carroll, D., Hardwick, J.C., Hommes, D.W. & van den Brink, G.R. Nat Commun. 2011 Aug 30;2:452. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1463. Europe PMC

Conserved vertebrate mir-451 provides a platform for Dicer-independent, Ago2-mediated microRNA biogenesis. Yang, J.S., Maurin, T., Robine, N., Rasmussen, K.D., Jeffrey, K.L., Chandwani, R., Papapetrou, E.P., Sadelain, M., O'Carroll, D. & Lai, E.C. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 24;107(34):15163-8. doi:10.1073/pnas.1006432107. Epub 2010 Aug 10. Europe PMC

Argonaute 2 in dopamine 2 receptor-expressing neurons regulates cocaine addiction. Schaefer, A., Im, H.I., Veno, M.T., Fowler, C.D., Min, A., Intrator, A., Kjems, J., Kenny, P.J., O'Carroll, D. & Greengard, P. J Exp Med. 2010 Aug 30;207(9):1843-51. Epub 2010 Jul 19. Europe PMC

The miR-144/451 locus is required for erythroid homeostasis. Rasmussen, K.D., Simmini, S., Abreu-Goodger, C., Bartonicek, N., Di Giacomo, M., Bilbao-Cortes, D., Horos, R., Von Lindern, M., Enright, A.J. & O'Carroll, D. J Exp Med. 2010 Jul 5;207(7):1351-8. doi: 10.1084/jem.20100458. Epub 2010 May 31. Europe PMC

Genome-wide identification of targets and function of individual MicroRNAs in mouse embryonic stem cells. Hanina, S.A., Mifsud, W., Down, T.A., Hayashi, K., O'Carroll, D., Lao, K., Miska, E.A. & Surani, M.A. PLoS Genet. 2010 Oct 21;6(10):e1001163. Europe PMC

Reversible block of mouse neural stem cell differentiation in the absence of dicer and microRNAs. Andersson, T., Rahman, S., Sansom, S.N., Alsio, J.M., Kaneda, M., Smith, J., O'Carroll, D., Tarakhovsky, A. & Livesey, F.J. PLoS One. 2010 Oct 18;5(10):e13453. Europe PMC

DGCR8-dependent microRNA biogenesis is essential for skin development. Yi, R., Pasolli, H.A., Landthaler, M., Hafner, M., Ojo, T., Sheridan, R., Sander, C., O'Carroll, D., Stoffel, M., Tuschl, T. & Fuchs, E. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 13;106(2):498-502. Epub 2008 Dec 29. Europe PMC

Essential role for Argonaute2 protein in mouse oogenesis. Kaneda, M., Tang, F., O'Carroll, D., Lao, K. & Surani, M.A. Epigenetics Chromatin. 2009 Aug 10;2(1):9. Europe PMC

Dicer-dependent microRNA pathway safeguards regulatory T cell function. Liston, A., Lu, L.F., O'Carroll, D., Tarakhovsky, A. & Rudensky, A.Y. J Exp Med. 2008 Sep 1;205(9):1993-2004. Epub 2008 Aug 25. Europe PMC

A Slicer-independent role for Argonaute 2 in hematopoiesis and the microRNA pathway. O'Carroll, D., Mecklenbrauker, I., Das, P.P., Santana, A., Koenig, U., Enright, A.J., Miska, E.A. & Tarakhovsky, A. Genes Dev. 2007 Aug 15;21(16):1999-2004. Epub 2007 Jul 12. Europe PMC

Cerebellar neurodegeneration in the absence of microRNAs. Schaefer, A., O'Carroll, D., Tan, C.L., Hillman, D., Sugimori, M., Llinas, R. & Greengard, P. J Exp Med. 2007 Jul 9;204(7):1553-8. Epub 2007 Jul 2. Europe PMC

Maternal microRNAs are essential for mouse zygotic development. Tang, F., Kaneda, M., O'Carroll, D., Hajkova, P., Barton, S.C., Sun, Y.A., Lee, C., Tarakhovsky, A., Lao, K. & Surani, M.A. Genes Dev. 2007 Mar 15;21(6):644-8. Europe PMC

Blimp1 defines a progenitor population that governs cellular input to the sebaceous gland. Horsley, V., O'Carroll, D., Tooze, R., Ohinata, Y., Saitou, M., Obukhanych, T., Nussenzweig, M., Tarakhovsky, A. & Fuchs, E. Cell. 2006 Aug 11;126(3):597-609. Europe PMC

Morphogenesis in skin is governed by discrete sets of differentially expressed microRNAs. Yi, R., O'Carroll, D., Pasolli, H.A., Zhang, Z., Dietrich, F.S., Tarakhovsky, A. & Fuchs, E. Nat Genet. 2006 Mar;38(3):356-62. Epub 2006 Feb 5. Europe PMC

220-plex microRNA expression profile of a single cell. Tang, F., Hajkova, P., Barton, S.C., O'Carroll, D., Lee, C., Lao, K. & Surani, M.A. Nat Protoc. 2006;1(3):1154-9. Europe PMC

Germline recruitment in mice: a genetic program for epigenetic reprogramming. Ohinata, Y., Seki, Y., Payer, B., O'Carroll, D., Surani, M.A. & Saitou, M. Ernst Schering Res Found Workshop. 2006;(60):143-74. Europe PMC

Blimp1 and the emergence of the germ line during development in the mouse. Saitou, M., Payer, B., O'Carroll, D., Ohinata, Y. & Surani, M.A. Cell Cycle. 2005 Dec;4(12):1736-40. Epub 2005 Dec 27. Europe PMC

Blimp1 is a critical determinant of the germ cell lineage in mice. Ohinata, Y.*, Payer, B.*, O'Carroll, D.*, Ancelin, K., Ono, Y., Sano, M., Barton, S.C., Obukhanych, T., Nussenzweig, M., Tarakhovsky, A., Saitou, M. & Surani, M.A. Nature. 2005 Jul 14;436(7048):207-13. Epub 2005 Jun 5.
* equally corresponding authors Europe PMC

Essential function of histone deacetylase 1 in proliferation control and CDK inhibitor repression. Lagger, G., O'Carroll, D., Rembold, M., Khier, H., Tischler, J., Weitzer, G., Schuettengruber, B., Hauser, C., Brunmeir, R., Jenuwein, T. & Seiser, C. EMBO J. 2002 Jun 3;21(11):2672-81. Europe PMC

Histone H3 lysine 9 methylation is an epigenetic imprint of facultative heterochromatin. Peters, A.H., Mermoud, J.E., O'Carroll, D., Pagani, M., Schweizer, D., Brockdorff, N. & Jenuwein, T. Nat Genet. 2002 Jan;30(1):77-80. Epub 2001 Dec 10. Europe PMC

Loss of the Suv39h histone methyltransferases impairs mammalian heterochromatin and genome stability. Peters, A.H.*, O'Carroll, D.*, Scherthan, H., Mechtler, K., Sauer, S., Schofer, C., Weipoltshammer, K., Pagani, M., Lachner, M., Kohlmaier, A., Opravil, S., Doyle, M., Sibilia, M. & Jenuwein, T. Cell. 2001 Nov 2;107(3):323-37.
* equally corresponding authors Europe PMC

Rb targets histone H3 methylation and HP1 to promoters. Nielsen, S.J., Schneider, R., Bauer, U.M., Bannister, A.J., Morrison, A., O'Carroll, D., Firestein, R., Cleary, M., Jenuwein, T., Herrera, R.E. & Kouzarides, T. Nature. 2001 Aug 2;412(6846):561-5. Europe PMC

The polycomb-group gene Ezh2 is required for early mouse development. O'Carroll, D., Erhardt, S., Pagani, M., Barton, S.C., Surani, M.A. & Jenuwein, T. Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Jul;21(13):4330-6. Europe PMC

Methylation of histone H3 lysine 9 creates a binding site for HP1 proteins. Lachner, M.*, O'Carroll*, D., Rea, S., Mechtler, K. & Jenuwein, T. Nature. 2001 Mar 1;410(6824):116-20.
*equally corresponding authors Europe PMC

Isolation and characterization of Suv39h2, a second histone H3 methyltransferase gene that displays testis-specific expression. O'Carroll, D., Scherthan, H., Peters, A.H., Opravil, S., Haynes, A.R., Laible, G., Rea, S., Schmid, M., Lebersorger, A., Jerratsch, M., Sattler, L., Mattei, M.G., Denny, P., Brown, S.D., Schweizer, D. & Jenuwein, T. Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Dec;20(24):9423-33. Europe PMC

Regulation of chromatin structure by site-specific histone H3 methyltransferases. Rea, S., Eisenhaber, F., O'Carroll, D., Strahl, B.D., Sun, Z.W., Schmid, M., Opravil, S., Mechtler, K., Ponting, C.P., Allis, C.D. & Jenuwein, T. Nature. 2000 Aug 10;406(6796):593-9. Europe PMC

The murine polycomb-group genes Ezh1 and Ezh2 map close to Hox gene clusters on mouse chromosomes 11 and 6. Laible, G., Haynes, A.R., Lebersorger, A., O'Carroll, D., Mattei, M.G., Denny, P., Brown, S.D. & Jenuwein, T. Mamm Genome. 1999 Mar;10(3):311-4. Europe PMC