João Pedro de Magalhães
Principal Investigator
Group at CNC

I graduated in Microbiology from the Escola Superior de Biotecnologia in my hometown of Porto, Portugal, in 1999. My first experience in a research environment was as an intern (1998-1999) in the UnIGENe research group at the Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology in Porto, where I worked on Machado-Joseph disease, a neurological disorder.

As a doctoral fellow, I pursued my dream of unravelling the mechanisms of ageing by joining the Ageing and Stress Group at the University of Namur in Belgium. With Olivier Toussaint as my advisor, my work from 1999 to 2004 spanned molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence and responses to oxidative stress, evolutionary models of ageing, and analyses of gene networks.

Fascinated by the genome and by the opportunities its sequencing opened, I then did a postdoc from 2004 to 2008 with genomics pioneer George Church at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. Succinctly, we developed high-throughput approaches for studying ageing, including computational tools and databases, statistical models of mortality, methods for cell-based RNAi screens, and comparative genomics methods for investigating the evolution of longevity.

In 2008, I joined the Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool to develop my own group on genomic approaches to ageing. Notably, we are world-leaders in employing genomics and bioinformatics to study ageing with pioneering work in sequencing and analyzing genomes from long-lived species.

Area of Research: 

My work focuses broadly on understanding the genetic, cellular, and molecular mechanisms of ageing. Although my research integrates different strategies, its focal point is developing and applying experimental and computational methods that help bridge the gap between genotype and phenotype, a major challenge of the post-genome era, and help decipher the human genome and how it regulates complex processes like ageing, longevity and neurodegenerative diseases. In the long-term, I would like my work to contribute to the development of interventions that preserve health and combat disease by manipulating the ageing process.

Research Summary:
Selected Publications: 

Wood SH, van Dam S, Craig T, Tacutu R, O’Toole A, Merry BJ, de Magalhães JP (2015) “Transcriptome analysis in calorie-restricted rats implicates epigenetic and post-translational mechanisms in neuroprotection and ageing.” Genome Biology 16:285.

Keane M, Semeiks J, Webb AE, Li YI, Quesada V, Craig T, Madsen LB, van Dam S, Brawand D, Marques PI, Michalak P, Kang L, Bhak J, Yim HS, Grishin NV, Nielsen NH, Heide-Jorgensen MP, Oziolor EM, Matson CW, Church GM, Stuart GW, Patton JC, George JC, Suydam R, Larsen K, Lopez-Otin C, O'Connell MJ, Bickham JW, Thomsen B, de Magalhães JP (2015) “Insights into the evolution of longevity from the bowhead whale genome.” Cell Reports 10:112-120.

de Magalhães JP (2013) “How ageing processes influence cancer.” Nature Reviews Cancer 13:357-365. [Invited review]

Tacutu R, Craig T, Budovsky A, Wuttke D, Lehmann G, Taranukha D, Costa J, Fraifeld VE, de Magalhães JP (2013) “Human Ageing Genomic Resources: Integrated databases and tools for the biology and genetics of ageing.” Nucleic Acids Research 41:D1027-D1033.

Wuttke D, Connor R, Vora C, Craig T, Li Y, Wood S, Vasieva O, Shmookler Reis R, Tang F, de Magalhães JP (2012) “Dissecting the gene network of dietary restriction to identify evolutionarily conserved pathways and new functional genes.” PLoS Genetics 8:e1002834.

Other information: 
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