Molecular Evolution, Phylogenetics and Adaptation

   Deadline for applications: February 13th 2009
   Notification of acceptance dates:
         EARLY: January 30th 2009
        NORMAL:  February 17th 2009
   Course date: March 2nd - March 6th 2009


Hernan Dopazo is the head of the Comparative Genomics Unit at the CIPF (Valencia) and leads the PHYLEMON project ( He obtained his Ph.D. Degree in the National History Museum of Madrid and has held postdoctoral positions in the National Center for Oncologic Research (Madrid), the Institute for Biomedical Research (Argentina), the CEA-UBA's Complex Systems Research Group (Argentina), and at the FCEN's Vertebrate Paleontolgy Laboratory (Argentina). He has taught Evolutionary Theory and Phylogenetics for more than ten years at the UBA (Argentina), the UAM (Madrid), CIPF (Valencia), University of Cambridge (UK), Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (Portugal), and others. His main interests are within the fields of phylogenomics, comparative genomics, and natural selection and its relation to disease.

François Serra obtained his Degree in Biology, specialized in physiology and neurophysiology (Strasbourg I Universty, France) and a Master's Degree in Structural genomics and bioinformatics (Strasbourg I Universty, France). He is part of the Comparative Genomics Unit in the Department of Bioinformatics at the CIPF (Valencia) where he was recently involved in the PHYLEMON project, for the second release of the suite of web-tools ( His main research interests are grounded on comparative genomics and evolution with a special focus on the detection of adaptation at genomic scale in mammals as well as in melanogaster group.He has taught training courses like this one at CIPF (Valencia).

Bioinformatics Department, Centro de Investigacion Principe Felipe, Valencia, Spain.

Course description:

More than 30 years ago, Theodosius Dobzhansky claimed:
"Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"
Currently, the simplest Bioinformatics analysis uses species comparisons in order to hypothesise the function of a novel biological sequence. Moreover, in most Molecular Biology labs, evolutionary and phylogenetic concepts are constantly being used with more or less formality: homology, similarity, evolutionary rates, long branch attraction, rooted and unrooted trees, monophyletic group, molecular clock, adaptation, lineage effects, neutralism, cladograms, phylograms, etc. The course covers these and other major concepts in Evolutionary Biology and Phylogenetics. Attendees will acquire specific skills in using the methodology in Comparative and Evolutionary Biology problems. The course is designed to be a mixture of theoretical and practical sessions developed in 5 days, where both classic and recently introduced methods for phylogenetic reconstruction will be covered. As outcome of the more recent developments, the course dedicates a day to the analysis of adaptation at a molecular level. The software resources that will be used in the practical sessions include: Phyml, Phylip, MEGA, TreePuzzle, MrBayes, PAML, Modeltest-Protest, and the Phylemon web server.

Course Pre-requisites:

Elementary knowledge of Biochemistry and Sequence Analysis is useful though not strictly required.

Detailed Program (Timetable)

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência,

Apartado 14, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal

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Last updated:  Jan 25th 2009