Comparative Bioinformatics

Comparative Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Comparative Bioinformatics

Group leader

Comparative Bioinformatics

Group leader
1994-1997 PhD in Bioinformatics, under the supervision of Des Higgins at EMBL (Heidelberg) and EMBL-EBI (Cambridge).
1997-1999 Post Doctoral researcher at ISREC (Lausanne) and NIMR-MRC (London).
2000-2001 Assistant Professor, Marseilles University/CNRS-IBSM.
2001-2007 CNRS investigator, IBSM (Marseille).
2001-2005 Assistant Professor, Lausanne University. Group Leader at the Swiss Bioinformatics Institute (SIB) and member of the SIB executive board.
Since 2007 Senior Group Leader in the Bioinformatics and Genomics Programme, at the CRG (Barcelona)


New method to ensure reproducibility in computational experiments (25/04/2017)
Nextflow contributes to establishing good scientific practices and provides an important framework for those research projects where the analysis of large datasets are used to take decisions, for example, in precision medicine.
Spanish scientists sequence the genome of the Iberian lynx, the most endangered felid (14/12/2016)
Genomic analysis of the Iberian lynx confirms that it is one of the species with the least genetic diversity among individuals, which means that it has little margin for adaptation.


The main focus of the group is the development of novel algorithms for the comparison of multiple biological sequences. Multiple comparisons have the advantage of precisely revealing evolutionary traces, thus allowing the identification of functional constraints imposed on the evolution of biological entities. Most comparisons are currently carried out on the basis of sequence similarity.

Our goal is to extend this scope by allowing comparisons based on any relevant biological signal such as sequence homology, structural similarity, genomic structure, functional similarity and more generally any signal that may be identified within biological sequences.

Using such heterogeneous signals serves two complementary purposes:

(i) producing better models that take advantage of the signal evolutionary resilience,

(ii) improving our understanding of the evolutionary processes that lead to the diversification of biological functions.

All the applications related to our work are provided to the community through an international network of web servers that can be accessed from

Ongoing projects include:

  • Analysis of Copy Number Variations in eukaryotic genomes
  • Improvement of RNA Multiple Sequence Alignments
  • Post Processing of Multiple Sequence Alignments
  • Benchmarking and Validation of Multiple Sequence Alignment Methods
  • Combination of sequence and structural information
  • Protein Structure comparisons
  • Incorporation of Genomic information within multiple sequence alignments
  • Analysis of the sequence/function relationship
  • Multiple Genome Comparisons
  • Evolution of Bacterial genomes



Nextflow is a pipeline orchestration tool that provides a domain specific language (DSL), meant to simplify the writing of complex distributed computational workflows in a portable and replicable manner. It allows the seamless parallelization and deployment of any existing application with minimal development and maintenance overhead, irrespective of the original programming language.

Contact person:

T-Coffee is a multiple sequence alignment package.


T-Coffee is a multiple sequence alignment package. You can use T-Coffee to align sequences or to combine the output of your favorite alignment methods (Clustal, Mafft, Probcons, Muscle, etc.) into one unique alignment (M-coffee). T-Coffee can align Protein, DNA and RNA sequences. It is also able to combine sequence information with protein structural information (Expresso), profile information (PSI-Coffee) or RNA secondary structures (R-Coffee).