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Research Scientist Position in Biomolecular Engineering is Open

Research Scientist Position in Biomolecular Engineering is Open | iBB | Scoop.it

A position is open at iBB to hire a doctorate researcher under the scope of the FCT-funded CBM-X project. The selected candidate (PhD holder) will work on the development (design, cloning, production, purification and testing) of bi-functional biomolecular constructs combining Carbohydrate Binding Modules (CBMs) with relevant biological partners (oligonucleotides, material binding peptides, avidin monomers and PDZ domains) that allow the modification of cellulose with nano materials and/or biomolecules.The work will be performed at BERG-iBB under the supervision of Prof. Miguel Prazeres. More information on the position and how to apply can be found here under the acronym CBM-X. The application deadline is February 5th, 2019.

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Applications for the INPhINIT PhD Program are Open

Applications for the INPhINIT PhD Program are Open | iBB | Scoop.it

Applications for the 2019 edition of the INPhINIT PhD Program, sponsored by the "la Caixa" Foundation, are now open in 2 formats: INCOMING, until February 6, 2019; and RETAINING until February 27, 2019. Click on title for more info. 

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Perturbing the Dynamics and Organization of Cell Membrane Components: A New Paradigm for Cancer-Targeted Therapies

Perturbing the Dynamics and Organization of Cell Membrane Components: A New Paradigm for Cancer-Targeted Therapies | iBB | Scoop.it

https://www.scoop.it/t/ibb/?&tag=Ars%C3%A9nio+FialhoUnlike the current paradigm of “one drug one target”, nowadays multiple-target approaches taking place at the cancer cell membrane are gaining much more relevance. The rational is based on the use of a new class of molecules that can exert significant changes in the dynamics and organization of cell membranes thereby affecting growth factor signaling, invasiveness and drug resistance. In a review published in a Special Issue “Receptor-Targeted Cancer Therapy” of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, BSRG-iBB team members Nuno Bernardes and Arsenio M Fialho present and discuss novel approaches for cancer therapy, including the anticancer bacterial protein azurin.

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Bioactive Secondary Metabolites from Octocoral-Associated Microbes—New Chances for Blue Growth

Bioactive Secondary Metabolites from Octocoral-Associated Microbes—New Chances for Blue Growth | iBB | Scoop.it

Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa Octocorallia) are magnificent repositories of natural products with fascinating and unusual chemical structures and bioactivities of interest to medicine and biotechnology. Microorganisms associated with octocorals possess a widespread yet uncharted capacity to synthetize a broad range of these natural products. In this review article published in Marine Drugs, Inês Raimundo, Sandra Silva, Rodrigo Costa and Tina Keller-Costa from BSRG-iBB uncover a wide diversity of bioactive natural products, particularly alkaloids, cyclopeptides, terpenoids and polyketides, reported to date for octocoral-derived microbes, with remarkable antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antifouling and anticancer activities. Beyond providing an overview of these bioactive compounds, the authors reveal hundreds of putative secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters across 15 genomes of bacteria isolated from octocorals in Portugal, highlighting their potential as sources of novel metabolites suitable for bioprospection studies. They finish by discussing how to harness this biotechnological potential using multidisciplinary laboratory experimentation. This review provides the scientific community with an integrated view of the current status of secondary metabolite biosynthesis by octocoral-associated microbes and the methodological challenges that are to be met in order to achieve a sustainable response to the urgent industrial demand for novel drugs and enzyme varieties from the blue economy sector.

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Small Noncoding Regulatory RNAs from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia Complex

Small Noncoding Regulatory RNAs from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia Complex | iBB | Scoop.it

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most life-limiting autosomal recessive disorder in Caucasians, with chronic bacterial airway infections representing the major cause of early decease. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and bacteria from the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are the leading pathogens of CF patients’ airways. A wide array of virulence factors is responsible for infections caused by these bacteria, which have tightly regulated responses to the host environment. Small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) are major regulatory molecules in these bacteria. Several approaches have been developed to study P. aeruginosa sRNAs, many of which are involved in the virulence. On the other hand, the knowledge on Bcc sRNAs remains far behind. In a review published on International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Tiago Pita, Joana Feliciano and Jorge H. Leitão from BSRG-iBB updated the knowledge on characterized sRNAs involved in P. aeruginosa virulence, compiled data so far achieved on sRNAs from the Bcc and discuss their possible roles on bacteria virulence.

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Marta Carvalho Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Marta Carvalho Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Marta Monteiro Silva Carvalho will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) at Instituto Superior Técnico, tuesday the 4th December 2018 (14:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB and Deepak Vashisth from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Marta focused on the development of biomimetic 3-D matrices for stem cell mediated bone formation, with a particular interest on evaluating the influence of non-collagenous proteins present in the bone matrix. The title of her thesis is "Stem Cell-mediated bone formation on biomimetic 3-D matrices”.

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Multimodal Chromatography of Supercoiled Minicircles

Multimodal Chromatography of Supercoiled Minicircles | iBB | Scoop.it

The ability to purify supercoiled minicircles (sc MC) from related miniplasmid (MP) and parental plasmid (PP) impurities is critical for a wider application of MC vectors in gene therapy research. BERG-iBB researchers developed a process that relies on multimodal chromatography with a 2-step NaCl elution to separate sc MC from open circular impurities. A detailed study of the DNA-ligand interactions underlying the separation shows that the order of elution reflects the increasing degree of base exposure of the species. Data further suggests that nucleic acid bases most likely engage in cation-π, π-π stacking and H-bonding with ligand. The work was published in Separation and Purification Technology.

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Raquel Cunha Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal)

Raquel Cunha Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) | iBB | Scoop.it

Raquel Medina dos Santos Cunha will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, tuesday the 20th November 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB, Jeffrey Karp from Harvard Medical School and António Fiarresga from Hospital de Santa Marta, Raquel worked on the development of platforms for the production and characterisation of clinical grade stem cell-based therapies with enhanced regenerative potential. The title of her thesis is "Towards the development of potency assays and 3D inflammation models to evaluate the regenerative potential of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell (MSC) and MSC-derived products”.

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Seminar on Biorefineries (Fuel Oriented or Product Oriented) by Anton Friedl

Seminar on Biorefineries (Fuel Oriented or Product Oriented) by Anton Friedl | iBB | Scoop.it

Anton Friedl will be giving a talk entitled "Biorefineries - Fuel oriented or Product oriented", Thursday the 8th november at 16:45 h (room GA3, Alameda campus). In his talk, Anton will focus on the following topics: i) general requirements for the development of sustainable processes based on renewable biomas, ii) substrate and products from biorefineries and iii) ecological and economical evaluation of biorefinery concepts. Anton Friedl is a full professor at the Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Chemical Engineering, where he is the Head of the Research Division on Bio resources and Plant Science.

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Teresa Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine)

Teresa Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) | iBB | Scoop.it

Teresa Silva will be defending his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 26th October 2018 (15:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Carmo Fonseca from IMM and Tiago Fernandes and Evguenia Bekman from SCERG-iBB, Teresa worked on the development of new models to study neurodegenerative diseases such as ataxias that are caused by dysfunction of the cerebellum. The title of her thesis is "Novel bioengineering strategies for modeling cerebellar ataxias”.

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The ABC Transporters Pdr18 and Snq2 Derive from a Recent Gene Duplication Event

The ABC Transporters Pdr18 and Snq2 Derive from a Recent Gene Duplication Event | iBB | Scoop.it

Several membrane transporters from the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily present in yeast genomes are implicated in multidrug/multixenobiotic resistance (MDR/MXR). This is the case of Pdr18, that confers tolerance to ethanol and acetic acid and several other toxicants in yeast and has a biological role attributed in ergosterol transport at the plasma membrane. A recently iBB-BSRG paper published in Frontiers in Genetics, Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology section, reconstructs the evolutionary history of the encoding gene PDR18 and the paralogue gene SNQ2. This publication results from the PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences of Cláudia P. Godinho advised by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia with collaboration of Paulo J. Dias and Elise Ponçot. By combining phylogenetic gene neighborhood analysis for 117 yeast genomes belonging to 29 species across the Saccharomycetaceae family, the gene duplication event was traced to the last common ancestor of the Saccharomyces genus yeasts. The fact that Snq2 and Pdr18 confer resistance to different sets of chemical compounds with little overlapping is consistent with the subfunctionalization and neofunctionalization of these gene copies. Remarkably, PDR18 is only found in Saccharomyces genus genomes. 

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Rúben Soares Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Rúben Soares Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Rúben Soares will be defending his PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, monday the 15th October 2018 (10:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Profs. João Pedro Conde from INESC-MN and Raquel Barros from BERG-iBB, Rúben worked on the development of several miniaturized modules (analyte preparation, immunodetection, optical transduction and portable eçlectronics) of a portable point-of-need mycotoxin screening chip. The title of his thesis is "Development of integrated microfluidic mycotoxin screening chip for point-of-need food safety applications”.

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Miriam Sousa Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Miriam Sousa Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Miriam Sousa will be defending her PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 19th October 2018 (14:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Frederico Ferreira from SCERG-iBB, Miriam developed nanofiber scaffolds for the cultivation of neural stem cells. The title of her thesis is "Ex-Vivo Culture of Neural Stem Cells in Nanofiber Scaffolds: Cellular Organization and Dynamic Systems”.

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Temperature-Responsive Nanomagnetic Logic Gates for Cellular Hyperthermia

Temperature-Responsive Nanomagnetic Logic Gates for Cellular Hyperthermia | iBB | Scoop.it

The Biomolecular Big Brother can be described as the ability to control and monitorize biological processes, increasing the potential of Personalized Medicine. Rui Silva from BERG-iBB and co-authors from the University of Aveiro have developed a system capable of recording temperature fluctuations above a defined threshold, which can answer with Yes/No to the question “did the system locally exceed 42 ˚C degrees?”. Nanoplatelets were applied in a cellular hyperthermia assays using prostate cancer cells (PC-3 line) and different thermal doses were tested. For lower thermal doses where the threshold was not crossed and most cells appeared to be viable, whilst in high termal doses assays a loss in cellular viability was evident. The work was published in the journal Materials Horizons.

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Francisco Moreira Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Francisco Moreira Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Francisco Moreira has just defended his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 12th December 2018 (14:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Joaquim Cabral and Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB, Francisco focused on the establishment of a scalable three-dimensional dynamic culture for the expansion of adipose tissue-derived MSC under xeno-free conditions. The title of his thesis is "Scalable Platform for the Expansion of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Under Dynamic Conditions”.

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Molecular and Physiological Basis of Yeast Tolerance to Adverse Lignocellulose-Based Process Conditions

Molecular and Physiological Basis of Yeast Tolerance to Adverse Lignocellulose-Based Process Conditions | iBB | Scoop.it

Lignocellulose-based biorefineries are an alternative to current petroleum-based refineries. However, the biomass pretreatment to break the recalcitrant lignocellulosic biomass structure results in the release of weak acids, furans, and phenolic compounds, which can be severely affect the performance of the common bioethanol producing yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Moreover, pentose sugar utilization and the high temperatures required for an efficient simultaneous saccharification and fermentation step, are additional challenges. Therefore, a better understanding of the yeast response and adaptation towards the presence of the referred multiple stresses is of crucial importance to design strategies to improve yeast robustness and bioconversion capacity from lignocellulosic biomass. A recent review published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology describes the main inhibitors derived from different biomass pretreatments and the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying yeast response to the above referred challenges. Successful cases of tolerance improvement are also highlighted. Decoding the overall yeast response mechanisms will pave the way for the integrated development of sustainable yeast cell-based biorefineries. This review paper was co-authored at iBB-BSRG by Prof Isabel Sá-Correia, in collaboration with the group of Prof Lucília Domingues at CEB, Universidade do Minho.

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Personalized Wellness: Can Our DNA Coach Us

Personalized Wellness: Can Our DNA Coach Us | iBB | Scoop.it

Prof. Ana Teresa Freitas will be giving a talk at IST entitled "Personalized Wellness: Can Our DNA Coach Us" (see details in poster above).

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Daniel Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Daniel Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Daniel Filipe Camarneiro Silva will be defending his PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 12th December 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Raquel Aires Barros from BERG-iBB and Virginia Chu from INESC-MN, Daniel focused on the development of aqueous two phase separation of monoclonal antibodies in microfluidic devices. The title of his thesis is "Microfluidic separation using aqueous two phase systems”.

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Facing the Challenges of Downstream Process of New Generation of Biotherapeutics

Facing the Challenges of Downstream Process of New Generation of Biotherapeutics | iBB | Scoop.it

Dr. Cristina Peixoto will be giving a talk at IST entitled "Facing the Challenges of Downstream Process of New Generation of Biotherapeutics" (see details in poster above).

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Continuous Chromatography for the Purification of Biomolecules

Continuous Chromatography for the Purification of Biomolecules | iBB | Scoop.it

Professor José Paulo Mota will be giving a talk at IST entitled "Continuous Chromatography for the Purification of Biomolecules" (see details in poster above).

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Expansion and Harvesting Of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells on Dissolvable Microcarriers

Expansion and Harvesting Of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells on Dissolvable Microcarriers | iBB | Scoop.it

Development of efficient bioprocesses for human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) is critical for their medical and biotechnological applications. Scalable expansion of hiPSC is often performed using polystyrene microcarriers, which have to be removed using a time-consuming separation step. At the Stem Cell Engineering Research Group, novel xeno-free dissolvable microcarriers were applied for the first time for the integrated expansion and harvesting of hiPSC. After expansion, microcarriers were dissolved inside the bioreactor, allowing the recovery of more than 90% of the cells, which represents a significantly higher cell yield when compared with microcarrier filtration (45%). These results represent a major improvement for the downstream processing of hiPSC. Find more on the paper on Biotechnology Journal.

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Following the Evolution Towards Fluconazole Resistance in C. glabrata

Following the Evolution Towards Fluconazole Resistance in C. glabrata | iBB | Scoop.it

The effectiveness of Candida glabrata as an emerging human pathogen relies on its ability to acquire azole drug resistance. In a paper just published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the first time-course evaluation of the global gene expression changes that lead a drug susceptible C. glabrata clinical isolate to step-wise acquisition of resistance to azole drugs was conducted. This work, which results from the collaboration of six different teams under the coordination of Miguel C Teixeira from BSRG-iBB, highlights the multifactorial nature of azole resistance acquisition, including the Epa3 adhesin as a new player, while providing fascinating clues on the underlying evolutionary path. This knowledge is of crucial importance to design more effective antifungal therapy.

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Diogo Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal)

Diogo Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) | iBB | Scoop.it

Diogo Pinto will be defending his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (MIT Portugal) at Instituto Superior Técnico, thursday the 15th November 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB and António Fiarresga from Hospital de Santa Marta, Diogo worked on the development of a mesenchymal stem/stromal cells product derived from the umbilical cord matrix with enhanced therapeutic features for myocardial regeneration. The title of his thesis is "Towards the Development of a Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Product with Enhanced Therapeutic Features for Myocardial Infarction”.

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The Various Roles of Fatty Acids

The Various Roles of Fatty Acids | iBB | Scoop.it

Lipids comprise a large group of chemically heterogeneous compounds that, in general, have in their structure fatty acids (FA). In a review paper published this week in the Special Issue of Molecules edited by both authors and entitled “The Multiple Roles of Fatty Acids”, Dr. Carla CCR de Carvalho (BERG-iBB) and Dr. Maria José Caramujo (CE3C, FCUL) discuss the various roles of FA in prokaryotes and eukaryotes and highlight the application of FA analysis to elucidate ecological mechanisms. The authors briefly describe FA synthesis; analyse the role of FA as modulators of cell membrane properties and FA ability to store and supply energy to cells; and inspect the role of polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) and the suitability of using FA as biomarkers of organisms.

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Diogo Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine)

Diogo Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) | iBB | Scoop.it

Diogo Silva will be defending his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 17th October 2018 (9:00 H, room 4.41). During the last years, and under the supervision of Joaquim Cabral from SCERG-iBB and Manuel Abecasis from IPO, Diogo developed new Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) for various types of hematologic cancers and optimized existing CARs that are already in the clinic. The title of his thesis is "Engineering of T-Cells with Chimeric Antigen Receptors as a Therapy for Hematologic Cancers”.

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