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José received his first degree in Biology from the University of Porto, in Portugal. He joined the GABBA graduate program from the University of Porto and then went on to do his PhD studies at Imperial College under the supervision of Professor Neil Brockdorff on heritable silencing mechanisms during mouse development.


Professional History

In 2003 following his PhD, José moved to Professor Austin Smith's laboratory at the University of Edinburgh as an EMBO post-doctoral fellow to investigate factors involved in nuclear reprogramming. This work has led to the identification of Nanog as the first defined gene with nuclear reprogramming capacity in the conversion of a somatic cell into a pluripotent cell.
In 2008 José started as a group leader at the Wellcome Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, investigating the biology underlying the process of induced pluripotency. His work was initially supported by a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship Award (2009) and then by a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship Award (2014).
In 2021 José moved to the Guangzhou Laboratory in China. His lab is now focused on the generation of new mouse and human systems that can model embryonic development in vitro. 

Key Awards


  • National major talent award (China), 2022.
  • Guangzhou High-Tech Zone, Elite Talents in entrepreneurship and Innovation (CHINA), 2022.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow (UK), WT101861, 2014.
  • Wellcome Trust Research Fellow (UK), WT086692, 2009.
  • Next Generation Stem Cell Research Award (UK), 2008.
  • EMBO Post-doctoral Fellow (EU), ALTF 852-2003, 2003.
  • PhD fellowship from the Ministry of Science and Technology (PRAXIS/XXI/BD/13568/97) (Portugal), 1997.
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