Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva

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Viral mutation rates


University of Valencia

Genetics Department

Cavanilles Institute




Evolution and Health Research Unit

Sanjuán lab

Experimental evolution of viruses, mutation rates, virus-host interactions, oncolytic viruses

In my lab at the Science Park of the University of Valencia (find us), we study virus evolution from an experimental approach. Currently, we are investigating how mutation and selection shape the variability and evolution of human viruses and other model viruses. We are also interested in exploring the use of viruses as anti-cancer therapeutic agents. My current interests are focusing on the analysis of virus-virus interactions.


Rafael Sanjuán, Ph.D. in Evolutionary Genetics


Tel: +34 963 543 270

Fax: +34 963 543 670


Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva  
Parc Cientific de la Universitat de València

C/ Catedrático José Beltrán n°2

46980 Paterna, Valencia



José M. Cuevas

José has a PhD in Biology from the University of Valencia (2003). His career has focused on the study of experimental and molecular evolution of viruses.  After a 3-year postdoc granted by the Welcome Trust, he returned to Cavanilles Institute as Juan de la Cierva researcher to work on phage and VSV experimental evolution. After a stay at the Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP-CSIC) where he analyzed adaptive mechanisms of tobacco etch virus using microarrays and massive sequencing technologies, we returned to Cavanilles Institute to study HIV variability, funded by the ERC and MINECO. He has recently obtained a Ramón y Cajal 5-year tenure at Cavanilles Institute.

Pilar Domingo-Calap

Pilar did her PhD in our lab and then moved to Strasbourg for a 3-year postdoc in which she investigated how adaptive immunity shapes the genetic diversity of polyomaviruses in renal transplant patients. She just obtained a 3-year Juan de la Cierva senior postdoc contract in our laboratory.

PhD Students                  

Marianoel Pereira

Marianoel joined our lab as an undergraduate student, then  did her master thesis in Molecular Biology in our lab. She was awarded with a fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Education to do a y PhD in experimental evolution. She is working on the genetic and evolutionary determinants of bacteriophage mutation. Her PhD is pending defense.

Jennifer Risso

Jenni has a Degree in Biotechnology and her PhD focuses on the origins of genetic diversity inhuman adenoviruses.

Research Assistants

Silvia Torres
Silvia has a PhD in chemistry and is contracted as a full-time Research Assistant in our lab.

María Durán

María just defended a PhD on brain ultrastructure advised by Prof. José M. García-Verdugo at the Universitat de València. He recently joined our lab to analyse the structure of viral infectious units.



Raquel Garijo (PhD Student and Research Assistant), January 2012 - February 2016.

Cristina Ballesteros (Postdoc), January-December 2015.

Ron Geller (Postdoc), April 2013 - June 2015.

Marine Combe (PhD Student), April 2012 - February 2015.

Joan B. Peris (PhD Student), January 2012 - August 2013.

Pablo Hernández-Alonso (Master Student and Research Assistant), September 2011 - March 2013.

Pilar Domingo-Calap (PhD Student), September 2008 - September 2012.

Antonio V. Borderia (visitor Postdoc), December 2009 - February 2010.

Katie Bradwell (Master Student), September 2009 – September 2010.

Paulina Davis (Student of the MHIRT program), July-August 2009.

Loles Catalán (Research Assistant), December 2008 - July 2009.

Temesgen Woldezion (Student of the MHIRT program), July-August 2008.

Universitat de València, 2016