Joana C. Xavier, MSc. Ph.D. is a bioengineer, computational biologist, author, explorer, and philosophy enthusiast. 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 Dayhoff Labs, London, UK. She has worked in Portugal, Germany, Hungary and the U.S.A., volunteered in India and spent months in Canada, Japan and Brazil. Her network of friends and collaborators envelops our beautiful blue dot. She holds an MSc in Bioengineering with a specialization in Biotechnology, and a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering with a specialization in Systems Biology.

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



OoLEN is the 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

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.