The Group of Advanced Therapies aims at developing novel therapies for age-associated diseases such as cardiovascular and central nervous system disorders that can be moved from the bench to the bedside. To accomplish this goal, the group develops and uses technological platforms based on induced pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives (i.e. vascular cells, cardiomyocytes, etc…), advanced drug delivery systems (light-triggerable nanoparticles or bioengineered exosomes containing non-coding RNAs, proteins or small molecules), extracellular matrixes (hydrogels, nanofilms, scaffolds), and computational biology tools for the:
The group is formed by a young, dynamic and internationally-trained team that performs fundamental, pre-clinical and clinical research. The group has a total number of 40 members, 4 of them principal investigators, 1 MD, and 19 PhD-holding integrated members.
The group is led by the ERA Chair on aging at the University of Coimbra (Lino Ferreira; also an ERC holder), a strategic research area for the Center region of Portugal. In the last 5 years, the group has secured more than 5 million euros in National and International projects, and given the technology-oriented nature of the group, more than 10 patents were filed (5 licensed) and 3 spin offs created (Matera, Curemat and Exogenus Therapeutics).
For the next 5 years, the group aims to:
ERA@UC, Project ERA Chair. European Commission (2016-2020). PI: Lino Ferreira.
NANOSTEM. European Commission (2018-2022). PI: Lino Ferreira.
Nano_Brain. European Commission (2019). PI: Lino Ferreira.
AGING-MODEL: An iPSC-derived vascular model of Progeria to identify mediators for smooth muscle loss, COMPETE 2020 - Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (2018-2021). PI: Lino Ferreira.
EXO-HEART: cardiac protection and regeneration mediated by systemic administration of targeted exosomes, COMPETE 2020 - Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal (2018-2021). PI: Hugo Fernandes.