Pablo's research and teaching areas Roque de los dos Hermanos, Anaga mountains, Tenerife, Canary Islands

Pablo Vinuesa's research group at CCG-UNAM

Research in my group aims at learning how speciation in selected alpha- and gamma-Proteobacteria is coupled with niche specialization, including host adaptation.

Our current efforts concentrate on evolutionary, comparative and functional genomics of Salmonella Typhimurium and Stenotrophomonas spp. to elucidate the evolutionary processess and molecular mechanisms that underlie the origins of multidrug-resistance and virulence in these opportunistic pathogens. ( »more ...)

Central topics in our research are functional and evolutionary analyses of mobile genetic elements, efflux pumps, resistance genes, secretion systems and the exoproteins they secrete.

Research in Vinuesa's lab is funded by CONACyT and PAPIIT grants.
I'm collaborator of a large CONACyT - Fronteras de la Ciencia grant (2017-2018; 2019-2020) entitled: "Descubriendo el impacto del genoma accesorio en la evolución de cepas atípicas de Salmonella Typhimurium causantes de infecciones sistémicas en México", together with Drs. Edmundo Calva, José Luis Puente and Claudia Silva from the Institute of Biotechnology (IBT-UNAM).

We are looking forward to receive PhD students and posdoctoral researchers to join these projects.
Please contact Pablo Vinuesa if you are interested!

Joining the Lab

Bachelor's thesis
Bacherlor's students seeking to do a Bachelor's thesis are welcome in the lab, provided they have a profund interest in initiating a scientific carrier at the crossroad of microbial genomics, evolution or molecular biology.
Graduate studies
The Vinuesa lab accepts roughly 1 Ph.D. student per year, mainly through the Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Biomédicas, but also through other PhD programs at UNAM like PDCBioquímicas and PDCBiológicas. If you are interested, please contat me, explaning your motivation and background. Applicants with strong interest/background in any of the following areas - microbiology, evolution, genomics, bioinformatics, biochemistry or molecular biology - are especially encouraged.
Postdoctoral studies
We encourage applications from candidates with work experience in fields ranging from evolution, genomics, bioinformatics, biochemistry and molecular biology.

Candidates with proved experience in at least one of the following fields are particularly sought:
  • microbial transcriptome and/or proteome analysis, including RNA-seq and/or UPLC-ESI-MS/MS
  • experience working with bacterial RNA, qPCR and gene expression assays, including transcriptional and translational fusion technologies
  • CLSM and/or TEM microscopy, (imaging) flow cytometry
  • infection assays in Galleria mellonella
  • working experience (cellular biology, microscopy ...) with amoeba (Acanthamoeba and/or Dictyostelium)
  • genetic and phenotypic analysis of biofilm formation
  • site-directed and other types of mutagenesis in bacteria, including Tn-Seq, IVET ...
  • gene cloning and recombinant DNA-technologies
  • bacterial secretome analysis, protein biochemistry, protein purification (FPLC ...), enzyme assays
  • advanced bioinformatics programming experience in R/Python/Perl in UNIX/Linux environments
  • advanced data mining and statistical analysis skills, particularly experience implementing machine-learning approaches for genomics
  • expertise in phylogenomics, population genomics and/or comparative genomics and molecular evolution

Because we currently have no funds available for postdoctoral positions, Mexican applicants are encouraged to look for postdoctoral fellowships opportunities from DGAPA/UNAM and CONACyT:
International posdoctoral candidates please visit:
Spanish PhDs looking for financial support for posdoctoral positions abroad, have a look at the funding opportunities offered by:

Current lab members and their research projects

M.C. Stefany Argueta (PhD student; PDMCBioq-UNAM, February 2021->).
Stefany is starting a new research line on : Metalostasis de manganeso en Stenotrophomonas maltophilia y su impacto en la virulencia y supervivencia intracelular en células fagocíticas

Juan Manuel Zurita Artaloitia (Bacherlor's student; Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas - UAEM, Agust 2019->).
Juan Manuel joined the lab September 2019 to prepare his Bacherlor's thesis project, which started in January 2020. His project's tile: "Diversidad molecular de amebas de vida libre en diferentes ecosistemas del Estado de Morelos".

Diana Marisol Vázquez Enciso (MS student; PDMCBioq-UNAM, August 2019->).
Diana joined the lab August 2019 and sucessfully passed the admission exam for the PDMCBioq-UNAM program on May 2019. Her MS resarch project focuses on "Genetic and functional analysis of efflux pumps in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia".

M.C. Julio César Valerdi Negreros (PhD student; PDCB-UNAM, August 2019->).
Julio joined the lab in February 2019 and sucessfully passed the admission exam for the PCDB program on May 6th 2019. His PhD project deals with the "genetic and functional analysis of fimbrial loci in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia".

Daniel Cazares (PhD student; PDCB-UNAM, August 2015->).
Daniel started working in the lab for his PhD in February 2015. His PhD proyect is entitled: "Diversity of phages from environmental Proteobacteria and their role in horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes". Daniel's work was published in mSystems: A Novel Group of Promiscuous Podophages Infecting Diverse Gammaproteobacteria from River Communities Exhibits Dynamic Intergenus Host Adaptation. Cazares D, Cazares A, Figueroa W, Guarneros G, Edwards RA, Vinuesa P. mSystems. 2021 Feb 2;6(1):e00773-20. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00773-20. PMID: 33531404

Former lab members

Claudia Torres (posdoctoral researcher with a DGAPA-UNAM fellowship, September 1st 2017 - August 30th, 2019;)
Claudia worked on "comparative and functional genomics of Type II Secretion Systems in Stenotrophomonas"

Dr. Luz Edith Ochoa Sánchez (PhD student, PDCB-UNAM; PhD Viva: May 17th, 2019).
Luz did her PhD thesis on divesity and genomics of environmental Stentotrophomonas and Acinetobacter strains she recovered from pristine and polluted sites in Morelos, Mexico. Her thesis is available online here: PDF of Luz's PhD thesis @ TESIUNAM digial
Luz published several papers as first and co-author:

Dr. Fabiola Miranda (PhD student, PDCB-UNAM; PhD Viva: January 8th, 2016, with honors).
Fabiola started to work formally in our group in February 2010. Her thesis: "Análisis ecológico y evolutivo de rizobios asociados a Phaseolus vulgaris y Acacia spp. en diferentes ecosistemas de Morelos, México" is available online here: PDF of Fabiola's PhD thesis @ TESIUNAM digial.
She published her first paper in Environmental Microbiology:
Fabiola is currently doing her postdoctoral research in Dr. Martin Polz's lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Jazmín Ramos Madrigal (Bacherlor's thesis student; LCG-UNAM, May 2012, with honors).
Jazmín started to work formally in our group in August 2010. Her Bacherlor's thesis project was: "Diversity and Prevalence of Class-1 Resistance-Integrons in Escherichia coli Isolates Recovered from Rivers in Morelos, Mexico".
Jaz did her PhD at the Natural History Museum of Denmark working on paleogenomics.

Enrique Zozaya (Bachelor's degree, LCG-UNAM; 2008-2010, with honors).
Enrique's Bachelor's degree thesis deals with the "optimization of PCR primers and amplification protocols to study rhizobial communities in tropical forest soils using a metagenomics approach". He received his bachelor's degree on March 12th 2010 with honors, for the thesis entitled: "Aproximación gen y linaje específica al estudio metagenómico de comunidades de rizobios."

Iraís Figueroa Palacios (Bachelor's degree, FB-UAEM, 2007-2008, with honors).
Iraís finished on May 29th 2008 her BcS's thesis on "Use of optimized molecular markers in molecular systematic and population genetic studies of Bradyrhizobium spp." She characterized Bradyrhizobium spp. isolates by means of multilocus sequence analyses in phylogenetic and population genetics contexts using new molecular markers that we are developing in our group.

Keilor Rojas-Jiménez (former PhD student 2002-2005; in co-supervision with Prof. Dr. Dietrich Werner, Philipps-Universitaet-Marburg).
Dr. Keilor Rojas obtained his PhD in 2005 from the University of Marburg, Germany, characterizing acid-sensitive mutants of Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 with the thesis entitled: Genetic analysis and phenotypic characterization of three novel genes of Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 involved in symbiotic interactions with Phaseolus vulgaris. Thesis in PDF format available here.
After some years working at the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad -INBio in Costa Rica, he founded his own biotech company Biotec Soluciones Costa Rica S.A.. On June 21st 2011, Keilor was invested as Costa Rica's Vice-Minister of science and technology.
He currently works as an associate research scientits a at Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad - INBIO in Costa Rica, doing research on biodiversity of fungi in acquatic ecosystems.

Visiting scholars

Jennifer Rubio Román (Carrera en Ingeniería en Biotecnología, Universidad Politécnica del Estado de Morelos - UPEMOR)
Jenni is doing a three month stay in our lab (September - December, 2019) to get the practical training required by UPEMOR's Bachelor's Program in Biotecnology working on "Evaluación de la virulencia y capacidad de formación de biopelículas de una cepa de Stenotrophomonas maltophilia y su mutante de deleción en el gen gspD".

M.C. José Antonio Magaña Lizárraga, PhD Student (Doctorado en Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Ciencias Químico Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa)
José Antonio made a research stay in our lab (September 9 to November 25th, 2019) to get training in comparative genomics and phylogenomics to analyze the Escherichia coli genomes he is studying for his PhD project.

Ali Berenice Posada Reyes, PhD student (PDCBiológicas-UNAM, Facultad de Ciencias - UNAM)
Ali made a 10 month stay (February-December 2019) to get training in comparative and evolutionary genomics for her PhD project on epistatic networks in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

MSc. Ionel Hernández Forte, Depto. de Fisiol. y Bioquím. Vegetal. Ins. Nac. de Ciencias Agrícolas (INCA), Cuba.
Ionel made a three month stay (March 1st - May 31st, 2018) as the recipient of a Merit Awards for International Students|Mexican Agency of Foreign Affairs | SRE to work on "genetic characterization of plant-growth-promoting bacteria" he isolated in Cuba from rice plants.