My research is centred around human evolution and genetic diversity, specifically focusing on populations that have historically been underrepresented in genomic studies. I have contributed to several projects, each employing a multidisciplinary framework to shed light on the intricate interplay between human evolutionary history, genetics, geography, and its consequential implications for human health.

I apply both experimental techniques and bioinformatic analysis in my research. As such, my work spans from conducting experiments to unravel the three-dimensional structure of DNA, to analysing genomic datasets to investigate the genetic underpinnings of complex diseases. Currently, my primary focus is on comprehending the role of archaic hominin DNA within the genomes of modern populations with a particular focus on unravelling the link between this archaic genetic legacy and the immune system’s function.

Selected publications

Borda V, Alvim I, Mendes M. The genetic structure and adaptation of Andean highlanders and Amazonian dwellers is influenced by the interplay between geography and culture. These authors contributed equally to this work. PNAS. 2020.


Mendes M, Alvim I,  Borda V, Tarazona-Santos E. The history behind the mosaic of the Americas. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2020. 62:72-77.

Gouveia MH, Borda V, Leal TP, Moreira GR, Bergen AW, Alvim I et al. Origins, Admixture Dynamics, and Homogenization of the African Gene Pool in the Americas. Mol Biol Evol. 2020.


Scliar MO, Sant Anna H, Santolalla ML, Leal TP, Araujo NM, Alvim I, et al. Admixture Mapping Of Body Mass Index In Three (Children, Young Adults And Elderly) Brazilian Population-based Cohorts. International Journal of Obesity. 2021.

Magalhães WCS, Araujo NM, Leal TP, Araujo GS, Viriato PJS, Kehdy FS, Costa GN, Barreto ML, Horta BL, Lima-Costa MF, Pereira AC, Tarazona-Santos E, Rodrigues MR; Brazilian EPIGEN Consortium. (Isabela Alvim). EPIGEN-BRAZIL initiative resources: a Latin American imputation panel and the Scientific Workflow (a tool for transparent and reproducible bioinformatics analysis). Genome Research. 2018. https://doi.orIn pressg/10.1101/gr.225458.117

Borda V, Loesch DP, Guo B, Laboulaye R, Veliz-Otani D, French-Kwawu JN,  Leal TP,  Gogarten SM, Ikpe S, Gouveia MH, Mendes M,  Abecasis GR,  Alvim I, et al. Genetics of Latin American Diversity (GLAD) Project: insights into population genetics and association studies in recently admixed groups in the Americas. Biorxiv. 2023.

Kehdy FSG, Pita-Oliveira M, Scudeler MM, Torres-Loureiro S, Zolini C, Moreira R, Michelin L, Alvim I et al. Human-SARS-CoV-2 interactome and human genetic diversity: TMPRSS2-rs2070788, associated with severe influenza, and its population genetics caveats in Native Americans. Genetics and Molecular Biology. 2021

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