Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio)

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Viral mutation rates


University of Valencia

Genetics Department





Evolution and Health Research Unit

Sanjuán lab

Virus experimental evolution, virus social evolution, mutation rates, oncolytic viruses, phage
In our 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 social-like interactions shape the variability and evolution of viruses. We are also interested in exploring the use of viruses as anti-cancer therapeutic agents, and of phage therapy. 


Rafael Sanjuán, Ph.D. in Evolutionary Genetics


Tel: +34 963 543 270


Instituto de Biología Integrativa de Sistemas (I2SysBio)  
Parc Cientific de la Universitat de València

C/ Catedrático Agustín Escardino 9

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 our group to study HIV variability, funded by the ERC and MINECO. He has recently obtained a Ramón y Cajal 5-year tenure.

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.

We are now recruiting 2 additional ERC-funded postdocs.

PhD Students                  

Juan Vicente Bou Prados
JuanVi has a PhD fellowship funded by the Prometeo research program of the Generalitat Valenciana, and is coadvised by Prof. Fernando González-Candelas. His project focuses on how encapsulation in lipid vesicles drives virus-virus interactions in enteroviruses, focusing on human rhinovirus (a causal agent of common colds).

Jennifer Risso

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

Iván Andreu
Iván just obtained a PhD fellowship from the Spanish MINECO to work on virus social evolution, using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) as model system.

Research Assistants

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.

We are now recruiting 1 additional research assistant.

Master Students

María Cebrián
María is working with phage infecting Mycobacterium smegmatis, an non-pathogenic bacterium that can be helpful for doing resarch on phage therapy to combat mycobacteria such as tuberculosis.

Verónica-Salomé Pazmiño

Salo is working with



    • Giacomo Butta (Master Student), 2016-2017. 
    • Silvia Torres (Researh Assistant), 2013-2017.
    • Julia Hillung (Postdoc), 2016.
    • Alvaro Briz (Master Student), 2016.
    • Marianoel Pereira-Gómez (PhD Student), 2012-2016.
    • Raquel Garijo (PhD Student and Research Assistant), 2012-2016.
    • Cristina Ballesteros (Postdoc), 2015.
    • Ron Geller (Postdoc), 2013-2015.
    • Marine Combe (PhD Student), 2012-2015.
    • Joan B. Peris (PhD Student), 2012-2013.
    • Pablo Hernández-Alonso (Master Student and Research Assistant), 2011-2013.
    • Pilar Domingo-Calap (PhD Student), 2008-2012.
    • Antonio V. Borderia (visiting Postdoc), 2010.
    • Katie Bradwell (Master Student), 2009-2010.
    • Paulina Davis (Student of the MHIRT program), 2009.
    • Loles Catalán (Research Assistant), 2009-2009.
    • Temesgen Woldezion (Student of the MHIRT program), 2008.

Universitat de València, 2017