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Dr Andre Pires da Silva



Associate Professor


Life Sciences
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 765 73329
WebLink: Pires lab

Research Interests

Our long term goal is to use an integrated approach, combining developmental genetics, cell biology, genomics and mathematical modeling to understand how organisms evolve to changes in the environment. Our main model system is the nematode, which offer many advantages for this integrative approach. We have been studying some non-Caenorhabditis nematode species that have many features not present in C. elegans, but that are useful as models for fundamental biological phenomena:

  • Developmental basis for aging: We are studying a species of nematode that produces genetically identical genders with distinct lifespans; this model allows intra-specific comparisons in which no genetic or environmental confounding effects are present. The nematode can be used to model more complex organisms that include humans because recent work revealed that genes modulating aging are highly conserved in evolution.
  • Cross-generational inheritance: Epigenetic inheritance across generations is relatively widespread in living organisms. However, in many cases it is unclear how stimuli experienced by one generation is passed to following generations. We are studying a species of nematode in which the gender of the progeny depends on environmental cues experienced by the mother. We are studying the mechanisms of this mode of inheritance.
  • Asymmetric cell division: Some of the cellular diversity during development is generated by asymmetric cell divisions. We are using a nematode model in which two kinds of sperm are generated by an asymmetric cell division (Shakes et al, 2011). Because the progeny of each kind of sperm is easily identifiable, we are using this nematode to find the cellular and genetic basis of asymmetric cell division.


1994 -1999- Ph.D. in Developmental Biology, Universitat Gottingen and Max Planck Institute for biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany
1993-1994 Diploma in Biology, Universitat Heidelberg and European Molecular Biology Laboratories, Heidelberg, Germany.
1988-1992 Bachelor's degree in Biology, Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil.

Member, Society for the Study of Evolution
Member, European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology
Member, Genetics Society of America
Member, Society for Developmental Biology

Research Projects

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