Research & Scientists | Neurosciences | People | JOANAMARQUES


Name: Joana Marques

Office: I2.12

School Phone: +351 253 604 871

Email: joanamarques@med.uminho.pt




Keywords: Epigenetics Stem Cells Pluripotency Neural differentiation


After graduating in Biology (FCUP), I did my PhD thesis on genomic imprinting in human spermatogenesis, under the supervision of Prof Mário Sousa (ICBAS/FMUP).Then, I joined Prof Wolf Reik lab at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge UK for a post-doctoral training on the epigenetic regulation of pluripotency. I have been recently awarded with a FCT Investigator Grant to support my career at the ICVS. Here, my work is focused on identifying key epigenetic regulators in the pluripotent state and in the process of neuronal differentiation. For that, I use a stable and inducible knockdown system in mouse embryonic stem cells to target specific genes and analyse the effects on differentiation potential as well as neuronal function.

In our current research, we study embryonic stem cells, neural precursor cells, neurons and brain tissues, using a variety of molecular and cellular biology techniques with the aim of identifying epigenetic modifications (bisulphite sequencing, RRBS, oxidative RRBS, ChIP, etc)


Interested in joining our research projects? Please send an email to joanamarques@ecsaude.uminho.pt with your CV and motivation!


Prizes and Awards

2013 FCT Investigator Award

2010 L’Oreal/FCT/Unesco Medal of Honor for Women in Science

2010 Marie-Curie Intra-European Fellowship (not taken up)

2009 EMBO post-doc fellowship

2007 Promega Young Geneticist Award, Genetics Society UK (2nd prize)

2004 FCT PhD fellowship

2003 LabMed Prize (1st Mention of Honor)


·       Santiago M, Antunes C, Guedes M, Sousa N, Marques CJ(2014) TET enzymes and DNAHydroxymethylation in Neural Development and Function – How critical are they?Genomics. 2014 Sep 6. pii: S0888-7543(14)00160-8. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2014.08.018. [Epub ahead of print]

·       Marques CJ, Pinho MJ, Carvalho F, Barros A, Sousa M(2011) DNA methylation imprinting marksand DNA methyltransferases expression in human spermatogenic cell stages. Epigenetics6 (11): 1354-61.

·       Carey N, Marques CJ, Reik W (2011) DNA demethylases: A new epigenetic frontierin drug discovery. Drug DiscoveryToday 16(15-16): 683-90.

·       Ficz G, Branco MR, Seisenberger S, Santos F, KruegerF, Hore TH, Marques CJ, Andrews S, Reik W (2011) Dynamic regulation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mouse ES cells andduring differentiation. Nature473(7347): 398-402.

·       Wossidlo M, Nakamura T, Lepikhov K, Marques CJ,Zakhartchenko V, Boiani M, Arand J, Nakano T, Reik W, Walter J (2011) 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the mammalianzygote is linked with epigenetic reprogramming. Nature Communications 2:271.

Abnormal methylation of imprinted genes isassociated with oligozoospermia. MolHum Reprod, 14(2): 67-73.

·       Marques CJ, CarvalhoF, Sousa M, Barros A. (2004) Genomicimprinting in disruptive spermatogenesis. Lancet, 363(9422): 1700-1702.


Epigenetic regulators of pluripotency and neuronal differentiation and function (Leader) 

Genetic and EpiGenetic orchestration of the adult brain neuroplasticity in health and depression  

Selected Publications

Santiago M, Antunes C, Guedes M, Sousa N, Marques CJ. TET enzymes and DNA Hydroxymethylation in Neural Development and Function - How critical are they? Genomics – Special Issue “Hydroxymethylation”, 104(5):334-340 (2014).

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