The Molecular Biotechnology and Protein Engineering Group general objectives are to contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms of disease and pathogenicity in the context of infection, facilitate the identification of new factors/molecular pathways that may constitute pathogen- or host-directed targets for therapeutic intervention, and contribute for the development of new biological drugs as well as for the rational design of drugs for new enzyme targets. By the recent integration of two outstanding young investigators through the prestigious FCT-Investigator Programme, the group is composed by a highly multi- and interdisciplinary team with solid expertise in the areas of enzymology and protein biochemistry; structural biology; computational biochemistry and enzyme design; as well as antibody engineering and production.
With a common focus on research and development of alternative strategies to combat infectious diseases, our research is organized in the following topics:
Rational design of new enzymes and drugs using our own developed protocols based on state-of-the-art computational biochemistry methods.
BYDRUG: Immunotargeting efflux systems for therapeutic modulation of multidrug resistant bacteria. FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (2018-2021). PI: Isaura Simões.
Hijack the host or get killed: delineating Rickettsia survival strategies for development of targeted therapeutic strategies. FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (2018-2021). PI: Isaura Simões
POLYREP: An intriguing mycobacterial polysaccharide: recycling, replication and beyond. FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (2018-2021). PI: Isaura Simões.
Rational design of a thermostable esterase for the production of high-value bioplastics for biomedical applications (FCT/MIT Portugal). (2018-1019). PI: Alexandra T. P. Carvalho.
The retropepsin-like enzyme RC1339/APRick from Rickettsiae as a potential therapeutic target for rickettsial disease. 1R21-AI111086 (NIH) (2015-2017). PI: Juan Martinez.