The Royal mounds, Gamla Uppsala archaeological site


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January 6th, 1984
Valledupar, Colombia

Swedish citizen
Resident of Uppsala, Sweden

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Music, Painting, Science, Web design, Baking


E-mail: daniel.ocampo.daza /at/

Tel: +46730690264

Daniel Ocampo Daza
Portalgatan 38
754 18 Uppsala


    I received my M.Sc. in biology from Uppsala University in 2007 and subsequently pursued a doctorate under the supervision of prof. Dan Larhammar at the Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University. I defended my thesis "Evolution of Vertebrate Endocrine and Neuronal Gene Families: Focus on Pituitary and Retina" on 1 March 2013, receiving a Ph.D. in medical science.

    I have teaching qualifications and experience with lectures, small group seminars, practical tutoring, demonstrations and problem-based learning as well as course administration and curriculum building.

    Download full CV here (PDF)

Skills summary

    Evolution, Neuroscience, Endocrinology, Comparative endocrinology, Scientific writing, Molecular evolution, Sequence analysis, Phylogenetics, Genome Analysis, Gene prediction and annotation, Bioinformatics


    Native/bilingual proficiency in Spanish and Swedish
    Full professional proficiency in English


    2013 — Ph.D. in Medical Science
    Uppsala University, Department of Neuroscience
    2007 — M.Sc. in Biology
    Uppsala University

Caporale LH (2009) BioEssays 31:700-2


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Understanding our evolutionary past through the language of our genes

As vertebrates, we are united by a common ancestry spanning back some 500 million years to the Cambrian period. Since then we have evolved a great variety of different complex and specialized functions that have allowed us to occupy diverse ecological niches. Vertebrates live in almost every place on earth; from deep ocean trenches to arid deserts. The early evolution of vertebrates was a period of great innovation that set the foundation for this diversity. For instance, our mineralised bone structures and complex nervous systems go back to this period.

Genome: The total genetic content (DNA) in one set of chromosomes of an organism; including genes, regulatory sequences and non-functional DNA.

There is now convincing evidence that during a relatively short period of time our early ancestors got four times as much genetic material than before. This happened through two rounds of a process called whole-genome duplication. This must have had a great impact for our forbearers, because we can still find many of those duplicated genes in us today! A third whole-genome duplication happened early in the evolution of a group of fishes called teleosts and this also had a great impact. The duplication of genes, segments of chromosomes, and especially entire genomes, is a force to be reckoned with in evolution because it creates new genetic material that mutation and selection can act on to generate new functions and evolutionary novelties.

Bioinformatics: A scientific field and set of methods for the analysis of biological data using computers and statistical techniques.

In the previous decade we have seen an unprecedented advance in DNA sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools. There is now openly available genome data from an ever growing number of organisms, including many vertebrates. This allows us to study the consequences of ancient whole-genome duplications and other evolutionary events with greater accuracy and resolution than ever. By our common ancestry, we can in practice study our common vertebrate past by comparing our DNA sequences with each other. Like archaeologists looking for clues to the past in the soil, or naturalists exploring new and unknown environments, we can wade through the vast stretches of DNA sequences in computers and explore the contents of different genomes; trying to identify genes and figuring out the puzzle of how they are related to each other and how they originated.

Phylogenetics: A scientific field and set of methods to study how organisms or biological molecules are related through evolution. These evolutionary relationships are visualised through diagrams called phylogenetic trees.

This is the backdrop for my research, which addresses the evolution of endocrine and neurobiological gene families in vertebrates. That is, families of genes involved in the hormonal control of the body and in the nervous system. By combining genomic analyses with molecular phylogenetics it was possible to conclude that the ancient whole-genome duplications in vertebrates likely contributed greatly to the evolution of processes such as vision, neural communication, growth and osmoregulation (the control of water balance).

But it's not only an interesting evolutionary puzzle. Knowing more about our evolutionary past, where we come from and how we got here, and understanding it through the language of our genes, benefits all biological research. Functional studies can profit greatly from this genomic and evolutionary approach. Not least through the increased understanding of the important model organisms that are used in laboratories. Together with the fast development of DNA sequencing and the vast amounts of data that have been generated, this means that it has become essential for biologists of all fields to consult sequence databases and analyze genomic data. This is where my research is currently leading: To help bridge the gap between the fields of evolution, genomics and bioinformatics, and to facilitate their applications in functional research.


The identification and description of several new components of growth hormone and prolactin systems, oxytocin and vasopressin receptors as well as somatostatin receptors. Notably the discovery of prolactin 2 and several new subtypes of vasopressin type 2 receptors.
A better understanding of the history of whole genome duplications and chromosome rearrangements during vertebrate evolution.
A better understanding of the significant contribution of whole genome duplications and gene duplication to the evolution of vertebrates, and the diversification of functions such as vision, neural communication, growth and osmoregulation.

I have published eight articles that detail these findings, as well as been invited to present at several international conferences. The latest article was published in BMC Evolutionary Biology this past November. I was also invited to co-author a review article in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, which was published in April this year. Three more manuscripts are in preparation for submission later this year.

Open science

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I aim to share all data files and supporting information underlying the scientific papers of which I am the principal author under Open Science principles. These principles include the freedom for anyone to use, reuse and redistribute the data and supporting information - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike. To this effect, I share datasets openly using figshare. These datasets are citable, using stable identifiers, and easily shared. Visit my figshare profile here.

Learn more about open science at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Evidence of chromosomal rearrangements in teleost fish species. The image shows paralogous chromosome regions bearing SSTR genes in the stickleback and zebrafish genomes. The upper color blocks represent ancestral chromosome regions in each lineage. Dashed boxes represent losses of chromosome blocks. Chromosome rearrangements involving blocks of genes are represented by arrows, while smaller translocations of genes are represented by dashed arrows. Ocampo Daza D et al. (2012) BMC Evol. Biol. 2012, 12:231


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Google Scholar profile
My Impactstory
Mendeley profile
ORCID profile
ResearcherID: E-4635-2011
Figshare profile

Open science

Articles marked Open science are published in open access journals and are freely available under Creative Commons licenses. Articles marked Free have been made publicly available by the publishers. Other articles are available in free versions through the Author's copy link.

Read more about open access and my open data here.

Research articles

    Lagman D, Ocampo Daza D, Widmark J, Abalo XM, Sundström G, Larhammar D. (2013) The vertebrate ancestral repertoire of visual opsins, transducin alpha subunits and oxytocin/vasopressin receptors was established by duplication of their shared genomic region in the two rounds of early vertebrate genome duplications. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13:238 - Equal contributors
    Open science | BioMed Central | PubMed | Altmetric | Impactstory | doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-238

Review articles

    Tostivint H, Ocampo Daza D, Bergqvist CA, Quan FB, Bougerol M, Lihrmann I, Larhammar D. (2014) Molecular evolution of GPCRs: Somatostatin/urotensin II receptors. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, 52(3): T61-T86.
    FREE | JME | PubMed | Altmetric | Impactstory | doi: 10.1530/JME-13-0274

Doctoral thesis

    Ocampo Daza D (2013) Evolution of Vertebrate Endocrine and Neuronal Gene Families: Focus on Pituitary and Retina. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206; 856
    Free | DiVA | uri: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191829


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These are simple illustrations of species whose genomes have been sequenced, as well as a few others. I created them for academic purposes such as lectures, presentations, posters et c. and thought I'd share them freely. You can see some examples of how they can be used here or here. Preview all the illustrations by clicking on the link to the shared folder, or look at the sample image above.

[Download link] Download here:
Illustrations - Shared Copy folder
High-resolution TIFF-files, RGB color

Creative Commons License

This work by Daniel Ocampo Daza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. *Except the zebrafish illustration used by kind permission from Dries Knapen under a separate Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license. Sea lamprey illustration based on a photo by Jan Yde Poulsen.

I have licensed most of these illustrations under a Free Culture License by Creative Commons. This means that, with some exceptions*, you are free to use them for any purpose without asking for permission as long as you attribute them to me, including a link to Click on the links provided in the license statement above to see more detailed information. Learn more about Creative Commons here. I took precautions to use only non-copyrighted/non-restricted images as references for these illustrations. However, if you think a photo that you own the rights to or license exclusively has been used as a reference, please contact me at daniel.ocampo.daza /at/

This license does not apply to any material posted from outside sources, or any other of my original material on Ego sum Daniel, which is licensed under a share-alike license that prevents you from using my stuff in anything you or someone else will retain full copyright on.

Credits et License

— Daniel Ocampo Daza MMXIV —

All original content on Ego sum Daniel by Daniel Ocampo Daza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Langdon typeface by xIntelecom. Quicksand typeface by Andrew Paglinawan. Source Sans Pro typeface by Adobe.