Fabio obtained his M.D. from his hometown university in Genoa, Italy. During undergraduate studies, he investigated the mechanisms underlying chondrocyte differentiation in the laboratory of Ranieri Cancedda. Next, he joined the Ph.D. programme at the European Molecular Biology Laboratories in Heidelberg, where he studied the influence of avian retroviral oncogenes on cellular differentiation under the supervision of Thomas Graf. His interest in this topic led him to continue his training at Stanford University, in Helen Blau's laboratory, where he pioneered the use of Î²-galactosidase complementation as a reporter of protein-protein interactions in live cells. He moved to the University of British Columbia to open his laboratory in 2001.