The aim of our research is to identify the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota contributes to health. In this context, we are particularly interested in bacterial metabolites called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs, acetate, propionate and butyrate). These molecules are generated by the fermentation of dietary fibers and play an important role in regulating host metabolism and immunity, being recognized as one of the microbiota-host interaction links.
Since 2015, José is professor in the Department of Genetics, Evolution, Microbiology and Imunology, Institute of Biology at University of Campinas (Unicamp). Currently, he heads a Laboratory of Emerging Viruses (LEVE) where he is conducting researches about pathogenesis of Oropouche virus (OROV), Zika virus (ZIKV), Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and the recently discovered new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). During COVID-19 pandemics, Proença-Modena worked to mitigate the social and public health impact of this disease in the metropolitan region of Campinas, having a leading role for molecular diagnosis, scientific dissemination, and development of research that has contributed to the understanding of new epidemiological, evolutionary and pathophysiological aspects of COVID-19. He published 62 papers in indexed journals and wrote two book chapter in virology and microbiology.
My research is focused to understand the evolution of reproductive barriers among lineages and populations, which is a key step in speciation. A diverse array of mechanisms, such as hybridization, introgression and selection for divergent habitats are investigated in order to understand plant speciation within Neotropical region. Our lab members use different but complementary approaches to understand the first steps of speciation. Students from different research fields are welcome.