Infectious diseases remain one leading cause of death worldwide. This pressing situation is further compounded by the immune vulnerabilities associated with the rising rates of chronic diseases and aging populations, and by the inexorable antimicrobial resistance trend worldwide.
Our group is focused on mycobacterial pathogens, “a globally established priority for which innovative new treatments are urgently needed” (WHO 2017). We have deciphered biosynthetic pathways for stress metabolites and mycobacterial polysaccharides considered promising targets for tuberculosis (TB) therapies. Over the years, we have unveiled enzyme activities that were the founding members of 15 new IUBMB families (https://www.enzyme-database.org/query.php?name=Empadinhas).
An integrated approach that incorporates the human microbiome has become mandatory to investigate brain, metabolic and also infectious diseases, a new paradigm that will soon provide new tools to prevent, halt or treat disease. Articulation of this group’s expertise with the biomedical and biotechnological strengths in the Innovative Therapies strand and across the CIBB will drive fruitful scientific and translational outputs. In 6 years this group secured over 800k euro in research funding, including recent grants to investigate diabetic wounds microbiota and the microbiome-gut-brain axis in Parkinson's Disease.
Research in diseases, whether brain, metabolic or infectious, should now also inevitably integrate the human microbiome, in a new paradigm that is deemed to unveil important new tools to prevent, stop or treat them. The articulation of our experience with CIBB's strengths allowed securing multiple grants, shared supervision of PhD students, and high-impact joint publications, in addition to those wit external collaborators.
Nontuberculous mycobacteria from drinking water: beyond the lung disease epidemic. PTDC/BIA-MIC/0122/2021, FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (2022-2025)
Microbiome-miRNAs axis in Parkinson’s disease: involvement of mitochondrial mediated inflammatory response. EXPL/MED-NEU/1515/2021, FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (2022-2023)
The Gut-Immune-Brain Axis in Parkinson disease. PTDC/MED-NEU/3644/2020, FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (2021-2024)
An intriguing mycobacterial polysaccharide: recycling, replication and beyond. PTDC/BTM-TEC/29221/2017 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029221), FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/POCI (2018-2021)
The toxinogenic gut microbiome in sporadic Parkinson’s Disease: a quest for “AntiPDbiotics”. Mantero Belard Award, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (MB-40-2016) (2017-2020).