Roser Vento-Tormo | Group leader

Vento, Roser

Roser leads a research team at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Roser's research is focused on the adaptation of immune cells in tissues and their function in steady state and inflammation. Her team uses genomics, spatial transcriptomics and bioinformatics tools to reconstruct the microenvironment that will shape immune cellular identity and function.

She is passionate about the capacity of immune cells to communicate with their neighbours and coordinate complex, tailored responses. Her team has a special interest in modelling cellular interactions and uses single-cell, spatial transcriptomics and functional assays to reconstruct the signalling mechanisms underpinning cellular behaviour in healthy and diseased tissues.

Roser did her PhD with Esteban Ballestar in Barcelona, where she studied the influence of cytokines on innate immune cell differentiation. Amongst others, she characterised the molecular events downstream of IL4 that shape cell-type specific epigenetic and transcriptomic changes during dendric cell differentiation. In subsequent work, she was looking for a translational application of her work and identified an epigenetic signature associated with autoinflammatory diseases for the first time. This has paved the way for identifying novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers. In the final year of her PhD studies, Roser took part in a part-time bioinformatic's master where she improved her bioinformatics and statistics skills.

Roser did her postdoc with Sarah Teichmann at the Wellcome Sanger Institute as an EMBO and HFSP Fellow. During her postdoc, she worked on tissue resident immune responses and focused on one of the most intriguing environments for immunologists: the maternal-fetal interface during pregnancy. She generated the first single-cell map of the maternal–fetal interface during early pregnancy and discovered new cell states and their role in controlling inflammation and ensuring a peaceful maternal and fetal co-existence in the womb. Roser also designed CellPhoneDB, a novel repository of ligands and receptors, and their interactions and applied CellPhoneDB to study cellular connections from single-cell transcriptomics data.


  • Single-cell reconstruction of the early maternal-fetal interface in humans.

    Vento-Tormo R, Efremova M, Botting RA, Turco MY, Vento-Tormo M et al.

    Nature 2018;563;7731;347-353

  • Single-cell transcriptomes from human kidneys reveal the cellular identity of renal tumors.

    Young MD, Mitchell TJ, Vieira Braga FA, Tran MGB, Stewart BJ et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2018;361;6402;594-599

  • Exponential scaling of single-cell RNA-seq in the past decade.

    Svensson V, Vento-Tormo R and Teichmann SA

    Nature protocols 2018;13;4;599-604

  • Prostaglandin E2 Leads to the Acquisition of DNMT3A-Dependent Tolerogenic Functions in Human Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells.

    Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Català-Moll F, Obermajer N, Álvarez-Errico D, Ramirez RN et al.

    Cell reports 2017;21;1;154-167

  • Genetic and Epigenetic Determinants in Autoinflammatory Diseases.

    Álvarez-Errico D, Vento-Tormo R and Ballestar E

    Frontiers in immunology 2017;8;318

  • DNA demethylation of inflammasome-associated genes is enhanced in patients with cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes.

    Vento-Tormo R, Álvarez-Errico D, Garcia-Gomez A, Hernández-Rodríguez J, Buján S et al.

    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 2017;139;1;202-211.e6

  • IL-4 orchestrates STAT6-mediated DNA demethylation leading to dendritic cell differentiation.

    Vento-Tormo R, Company C, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, de la Rica L, Urquiza JM et al.

    Genome biology 2016;17;4

  • NF-κB-direct activation of microRNAs with repressive effects on monocyte-specific genes is critical for osteoclast differentiation.

    de la Rica L, García-Gómez A, Comet NR, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Ciudad L et al.

    Genome biology 2015;16;2

  • Epigenetic control of myeloid cell differentiation, identity and function.

    Álvarez-Errico D, Vento-Tormo R, Sieweke M and Ballestar E

    Nature reviews. Immunology 2015;15;1;7-17

  • Gains of DNA methylation in myeloid terminal differentiation are dispensable for gene silencing but influence the differentiated phenotype.

    Vento-Tormo R, Álvarez-Errico D, Rodríguez-Ubreva J and Ballestar E

    The FEBS journal 2015;282;9;1815-25

  • NF-κB directly mediates epigenetic deregulation of common microRNAs in Epstein-Barr virus-mediated transformation of B-cells and in lymphomas.

    Vento-Tormo R, Rodríguez-Ubreva J, Lisio LD, Islam AB, Urquiza JM et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2014;42;17;11025-39

  • Decoding human fetal liver haematopoiesis.

    Popescu DM, Botting RA, Stephenson E, Green K, Webb S et al.

    Nature 2019;574;7778;365-371

  • The Pediatric Cell Atlas: Defining the Growth Phase of Human Development at Single-Cell Resolution.

    Taylor DM, Aronow BJ, Tan K, Bernt K, Salomonis N et al.

    Developmental cell 2019;49;1;10-29

Career/Research Highlights

Vento, Roser
Roser's Timeline

Appointed Group Leader in the Cellular Genetics programme


Awarded HFSP Long-Term Fellowship


F1000 Associate Faculty Member

Awarded EMBO long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship

Joined Sarah Teichmann's research group as a Postdoctoral Fellow

Awarded PhD in Biomedicine


Received MSc in Biomedical Technology


Awarded PFIS Predoctoral Fellowship