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Ana Cristina Lemos de Matos

Ana Cristina Lemos de Matos

Post-Doc Researcher

Post-Doc Researcher
Member type
Former Members
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal

“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll



Host-parasite interactions are a supreme example of different genetic entities struggling to overcome one another and achieve evolutionary success, very often with a detrimental result to the opponent. The Red Queen's Hypothesis substantiates this idea: “For an evolutionary system, continuing development is needed just in order to maintain its fitness relative to the systems it is co-evolving with.” (Leigh Van Valen, 1973).


Viruses are bright masters in cellular processes mimicry and subversion in the host, especially immunity factors. Myxoma virus (MYXV), which is a member of the Leporipoxvirus genus, in the Poxviridae family, is a double stranded DNA (dsDNA) that causes a lethal disease, myxomatosis, in European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and has its natural reservoir in North and South American rabbits (Sylvilagus bachmani and Sylvilagus brasiliensis, respectively), where it causes only a benign infection. Like other poxviruses, MYXV contains several genes that encode host-related immunomodulatory proteins.


Using the MYXV-European rabbit/American rabbits interaction model and a combination of phylogenetic and functional approaches, I am currently studying the acting mechanisms of pathogen driven-evolution on susceptible/resistant hosts immunity factors and the molecular “arms race” interface between hosts and viral mimicry proteins.

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