Julia Pinheiro Chagas da Cunha

Life Sciences

Epigenetics, the field of science investigating the factors that can switch genes on or off within an organism, has been the focus of biologist Julia Cunha’s work. From a young age, she was captivated by the process of cell division, and her current research focuses on understanding the epigenetic function of chromatin. Julia earned her doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the Federal University of São Paulo and completed her post-doctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute. When she needs a break from her microscopic explorations, she turns to yoga and hands-on activities to maintain her equilibrium. In addition to her scientific pursuits, Julia is also a dedicated mother to her six-year-old daughter.


Deciphering the Epigenome of a Simple Organism During Cell Differentiation: A Gateway to Unraveling Fundamental Epigenetic Mechanisms
Science / Life Sciences

Epigenetics, a field with many unresolved questions, is particularly interested in the role of chromatin structure modulation and its epigenetic marks in relation to transcriptional regulation. Our investigation will utilize a simple eukaryotic cell model, Trypanosoma cruzi, to delve into this question. These organisms, which hold significant medical relevance in Latin America, lack gene-specific transcriptional regulation for most transcripts. This allows us to observe the effects of epigenome dynamics without the interference of transcriptional regulation. Epigenetic marks and global changes in chromatin structure have been documented in trypanosomes, and there’s evidence suggesting their modulation during cell differentiation. We plan to study the epigenome throughout cell differentiation from epimastigote to metacyclic trypomastigote forms using techniques like Gro-seq, Faire-seq, and quantitative proteomics. By integrating the results, we aim to shed light on crucial questions in the field of epigenetics.

Amount invested

R$ 112,042.03

Open Calls

Science Call 1
  • Topics
  • Cellular differentiation
  • Epigenetics
  • Simple organism
  • Trypanosoma cruzi