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Sergio Muñoz


Supervisor: Claudio H. Slamovits
Research Area: Molecular biology and evolution of microbial eukaryotes

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Endocytobiology, endosymbiosis, mitochondria evolution, organelle evolution, origin of eukaryotes, evolution of eukaryotes, alpha-proteobacteria, cell biology, genomics, transcriptomics, phylogenetics.

Research Interests

I am interested in the evolution of the cell, the origin and diversification of eukaryotes, and endosymbiosis. My current projects revolve around (i) the most ancient case of endosymbiosis known: the origin and evolution of mitochondrial ultrastructure, and (ii) the establishment of a recent tripartite symbiotic complex: the mechanistic basis for the symbiosis between Nephromcyes and its bacterial endosymbionts within a molgulid tunicate host. I combine bioinformatics and genomics, as well as experimental biology to improve our understanding on the evolutionary and developmental dynamics of endosymbiosis, and the evolution of mitochondria and eukaryotes.


B. Sc. Honors in Biology (2007-2013)
Universidad de Antioquia
"The evolutionary history of green plants (Viridiplantae) from the perspective of their plastid genomes"

Awards & Professional Activities

Scholarships & Awards

Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship - Level 1 (2014-2016)

Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship - Level 2 (2016-2018)

Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (2016)

President's Award (2016)

Holz-Conner Travel Award 2014 - International Society of Protistologists (ISOP) (2014)

Theodore L. Jahn & Eugene C. Bovee 2015 Award for best student talk at VII European Congress of Protistology and International Congress of Protistology (ECOP/ICOP). Sevilla, Spain (2015)

1st Eppendorf ISE-G PostDoc-Preis 2015 for best talk at XVII International Society of Endocytobiology - German Section (ISE-G). Berlin, Germany (2015)

Holz-Conner Travel Award 2017 - International Society of Protistologists (ISOP) (2017)

Beth Gourley Award 2017 - Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University (2017)


  1. Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., Mejía-Franco, F.G., Durnin, K., Colp, M., Grisdale, C.J., Archibald, J.M., and Slamovits, C.H., (2017) The New Red Algal Subphylum Proteorhodophytina Comprises the Largest and Most Divergent Plastid Genomes Known. Curr. Biol. 27(11):1677-1684 [Article]
  2. Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., Wideman, J.G., Roger, A.J., and Slamovits, C.H., (2017) The origin of mitochondrial cristae from alphaproteobacteria. Mol. Biol. Evol. 34(4):943-956: [PubMed] [Article]
  3. Roger, A.J., Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., and Kamikawa, R., (2017) The Origin and Diversification of Mitochondria. Curr. Biol. 27(21):R1177-R1192 [Article]
  4. Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., and Slamovits, C. H., (2017) Plastid Genomes in the Myzozoa. Advances in Botanical Research In Press Corrected Proof: [Article]
  5. Wideman J.G., and Muñoz-Gómez S.A., (2016) The evolution of ERMIONE in mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid homeostasis: An evolutionary view from comparative cell biology. Biochim. Biophys. Acta - Mol. Cell Biol. L. 1861(8):900-912 [PubMed] [Article]
  6. Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., and Roger, A.J., (2016) Leaving negative ancestors behind. eLife. 5:e20061 [Article]
  7. Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., Slamovits, C.H., Dacks, J.B., Baier, K.A., Spencer, K.D., and Wideman, J.G., (2015) Ancient Homology of the Mitochondrial Contact Site and Cristae Organizing System Points to an Endosymbiotic Origin of Mitochondrial Cristae. Curr. Biol. 25(11):1489–1495 [PubMed] [Article]
  8. Muñoz-Gómez, S.A., Slamovits, C.H., Dacks, J.B., and Wideman, J.G., (2015) The evolution of MICOS: ancestral and derived functions and interactions. Commun. Integr. Biol. 8(6):e1094593 [Article]