Marcelo Briones


Marcelo Briones, Ph.D.

Dr. Briones is a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). His main goal is the study ofPicture_MarceloBriones gene evolution and genome structure in microorganisms and humans using molecular biology techniques and statistical analysis of bioinformatics data. His main scientific contributions were: (1) the experimental demonstration of the molecular clock hypothesis by in vitro evolution, (2) the discovery of geographic patterns in mitochondrial sequences in the pathogenic  yeast Candida, (3) the proposition of the theory of paleobiogeographical evolution of Trypanosoma cruzi (the causative agent of Chagas disease) and (4) the participation in large multi-laboratories projects such as the genome of Xylella fastidiosa, the transcriptome of cancer and the epileptic brain. His laboratory is currently working in (a) Experimental Microbial Evolution, (b) evolutionary patterns of mitochondrial genome evolution in humans and its correlation with neurological disease (c) genetic polymorphisms in human genes associated with drug metabolism.  He is a member of the São Paulo State Academy of Sciences, Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Life Fellow of the Galton Institute, UK.

Representative publications:

Lichtenstein F, Antoneli F Jr, Briones MRS. (2015) MIA: Mutual Information Analyzer, a graphic user interface program that calculates entropy, vertical and horizontal mutual information of molecular sequence sets. BMC Bioinformatics, 16: 409. doi: 10.1186/s12859-015-0837-0.

Avedissian M, Longo BM, Jaqueta CB, Schnabel B, Paiva PB, Mello LE, Briones MRS. (2007) Hippocampal gene expression analysis using the ORESTES methodology shows that homer 1a mRNA is upregulated in the acute period of the pilocarpine epilepsy model. Hippocampus, 2007;17(2): 130-6.

Elias RC, Galera MF, Schnabel B, Briones MRS, Borri ML, Lipay M, Carvalheira G, Brunoni D, Melaragno MI. (2006) Deletion of 17p13 and LIS1 gene mutation in isolated lissencephaly sequence. Pediatr. Neurol., 35(1): 42-6.

de Souza SJ, Camargo AA, Briones MRS, Costa FF, Nagai MA, Verjovski-Almeida S, et al. (2000) Identification of human chromosome 22 transcribed sequences with ORF expressed sequence tags. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2000 Nov 7;97(23):12690-3.

Kawashita SY, Sanson GFO, Fernandes O, Zingales B and Briones MRS (2001) Maximum-Likelihood divergence date estimates based on rRNA gene sequences suggest two scenarios of Trypanosoma cruzi intraspecific evolution. Mol Biol Evol, 18 (12): 2250-2259. DOI:

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