Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio)

Evolution & Health home

Model viruses

Research tools



Viral mutation rates


University of Valencia

Genetics Department



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Evolution and Health Research Unit

Sanjuán lab

Research tools

Experimental evolution
Evolution in the lab is used to test evolutionary hypotheses under controlled laboratory conditions  and in several applied research fields in which natural selection is used to direct specific traits towards pre-defined goals (directed evolution). This has allowed producing proteins with novel or enhanced functions or to modify microbial cells for biotechnological applications. To address basic evolutionary questions we have used bacteriophages, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), HIV-1, HCV replicons, and plant viruses. We are also exploring the applicability of directed evolution to cancer virotherapy using VSV.

Molecular and cell biology
The techniques we are currently using include massive parallel high-fidelity sequencing, genetic engineering, site-directed mutagenesis, single-cell analysis, high content screening, and electron microscopy, in addition to classical virology and molecular biology tools.

Comparative biology
Comparing species is a classical approach in biology. We combine this approach with experimentation. One of our main research goals is to compare the evolutionary properties of different species, including their ability to generate genetic variation, adapt to novel environments, tolerate deleterious mutations, or evolve new functional capabilities, in the laboratory.

Computational biology and modeling
We use computational tools for phylogenetic analysis, sequence analysis, modeling, etc.

Universitat de València, 2017