João Paulo Tavanez is an Assistant Researcher at the Medical Microbiology Unit of the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT), Global Health and Tropical Medicine (GHTM), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (UNL). He holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Faculty of Medicine of the Lisbon University (FMUL), completed in 2007. He has a Degree in Medicine by FMUL (2022) and a Degree in Biology (Microbiology and Genetics) by the Faculty of Sciences of the Lisbon University (FCUL), completed in 2000.
He has supervised and co-supervised several Master´s and PhD students and is a regular peer-reviewer in several scientific journals. Currently he is the Principal Investigator of the project “Whole genome analysis of pre-mRNA splicing alterations in HDV-induced hepatocellular carcinoma” funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), PTDC/SAU-INF/29971/2017.
He was awarded with the Research Grant “Grupo de Investigação Cancro Digestivo (GICD)/Bayer” First Prize in 2016, with the Long term Post-Doctoral Fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2006, with the Pfizer Investigation First Prize in 2002, with the Young Investigator First Prize of the Portuguese Society of Human Genetics in 2002, with the Ricardo Jorge First Prize in Public Health in 2001 and with the Laura Ayres First Prize in Microbiology and Pathogenesis in 2001.
Main areas of scientific activity:
- Gene expression regulation.
- Constitutive and alternative pre-mRNA splicing regulation in cell differentiation and disease in humans.
- Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) biology and Hepatocellular Carcinoma induced by chronic viral infections.
Current Research Interests:
- Understanding the mechanisms by which alternative splicing contribute to the regulation of cancer progression.
- Understanding the mechanisms of action of anti-tumor drugs that target splicing factors.
- Understanding how protein and ribonucleoprotein complexes identify and proofread pre-mRNA splice sites.
- Characterization of whole genome pre-mRNA splicing alterations in HDV-induced hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Development of RNA-based therapies.
- Quina AS., Tavanez JP., Mathias ML. “Genetic variation at the p53 locus of two ecologically divergent Microtus pine voles: identification of molecular markers for species assignment”. Integr Zool. 2021, Nov 9.doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12607.
- Tavanez JP., Caetano R., Branco C., Brito I., Pereira AM., Vassilevskaia T., Quina AS., Cunha C. “Hepatitis Delta virus interacts with splicing factor SF3B155 and alters pre-mRNA splicing of cell cycle control genes”. FEBS J. 2020, 287:3719-3732.
- Tavanez JP., Madl T., Kooshapur H., Sattler M., Valcárcel J. “hnRNP A1 Proofreads 3´Splice Site Recognition by U2AF”. Mol Cell. 2012 Feb 10;45(3):314-29.
- Tavanez, J.P., Valcárcel J. (2010). A splicing mastermind for EMT. EMBO J. 2010 Oct; 6;29(19):3217-8.
- Tavanez JP., Calado P., Braga J., Lafarga M., Carmo-Fonseca M. “In vivo aggregation properties of the nuclear poly(A)-binding protein PABPN1”. RNA. 2005 May;11(5):752-62.