Joana C. Xavier, Ph.D. is a bioengineer, computational biologist, author, explorer, and philosophy apprentice. She asks life’s deepest and oldest question—how did cells first emerge on Earth?—among many others, which invariably orbit fundamental features of life.

Joana is currently based in London, UK. She has worked in Portugal, Germany, Hungary and the U.S.A. and has scientific collaborations all around our gorgeous planet. She holds an MSc in Bioengineering and a PhD in Systems Biology.

Joana is interested in biosciences and bioengineering, the simplest cells, all kinds of networks, nature, art, philosophy, literature, music, sustainable pescetarianism, compassion and meditation.



OoLEN is the first international, post-disciplinary network of early-career scientists studying the origin of life. Check out the website to connect with us.

Autocatalytic networks at the origin of metabolism

Mar 11, 2020

Xavier et al. uncover an autocatalytic core of metabolism in the intersection of both prokaryotic domains, Archaea and Bacteria.

The early origin of cooperation

The physical linkage of the first self-replicating molecules is likely to have been selected based on their capacity to perform cooperative catalysis.