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BIOTECnico PhD Program Seminar Cycle 2021

BIOTECnico PhD Program Seminar Cycle 2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

The BIOTECnico PhD program will initiate a cycle of alumni seminars on the 19th of January 2021. Until the 30th of March, every 2 weeks, on Tuesdays at 4 pm, BIOTECnico alumni will deliver a 20 min presentation describing the main achievements of the PhD projects they developed at iBB, as well as their current professional activities and institution. The seminars will be delivered via zoom and the full list can be found here.

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BIOTECnico PhD Alumni Seminar: Amir Hassan

BIOTECnico PhD Alumni Seminar: Amir Hassan | iBB | Scoop.it

Amir Hassan will be giving a talk entitled "Adaptation of Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria to the cystic fibrosis lung: focus on lipopolysaccharide O-antigen and cell wall physical properties", Tuesday the 19th january at 16:00 h via zoom. Amir obtained his PhD in Biotechnology and Biosciences in 2020 and is currently at the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

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Rogério Gaspar Appointed Director of Regulation and Prequalification of WHO

Rogério Gaspar Appointed Director of Regulation and Prequalification of WHO | iBB | Scoop.it

Rogério Gaspar from BERG-iBB has been apointed Director of Regulation and Prequalification of the World Health Organization (WHO). The RPQ Department is part of the Access to Medicines and Health Products Division of WHO, which works with Member States and partners to improve the access to safe, quality assured, efficacious and affordable medicines and health products and to promote that these are used rationally. Rogério will inititate his new duties in Geneva in the early 2021. Read more here.

iBBs insight:

Congratulations Rogério!

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Lipid-based Carriers for Food Ingredients Delivery

Lipid-based Carriers for Food Ingredients Delivery | iBB | Scoop.it

Encapsulation in the food industry has gained relevant importance, mainly due to its contribution to solve food problems by reducing the loss of nutrients, prolonging the shelf-life, and improving food quality and safety. Lipid-based delivery systems as microemulsions, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers are widely used to deliver food ingredients due to their ability to protect and deliver it, enhancing its functionality and bioavailability. Despite the benefits on delivering food ingredients the toxicity profile of such carriers is usually neglected. The encapsulation advantages and disadvantages, and microencapsulation techniques used to obtain lipid-based carriers for food ingredients delivery are discussed in a review paper just published in the Journal of Food Engineering by Pedro Fonte from BERG-iBB and colleagues from the Federal University of Valleys of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri, Brazil. More importantly, the different types of lipid-based carriers used for food ingredients delivery are thoroughly scrutinized, as well as their application in foods and possible toxicity concerns.

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Cláudia Godinho Awarded First Prize in “Science Communication in Microbiology”

Cláudia Godinho Awarded First Prize in “Science Communication in Microbiology” | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, PhD researcher at iBB-BSRG, was awarded 1st place in the “GENERAL” category of the competition “Science Communication in Microbiology”, promoted by the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM) to commemorate the International Microorganism Day 2020. The competition aims to encourage and facilitate communication of relevant topics and research fields in ​​microbiology to the general public in a concise, clear and attractive way, through the presentation of an image and respective explanatory summary. The winning entry, entitled “Contribution of microbial diversity to a circular Bioeconomy”, draws attention to the role that yeast biodiversity can play in the production of a wide range of bioproducts, from agro-industrial residues.

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Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings | iBB | Scoop.it

With best wishes for the Holiday season and the coming year!

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Stem cell Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence-based Modeling

Stem cell Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence-based Modeling | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "SMART:New technologies and strategies for Stem cell Manufacturing bioprocess monitoring and ARTificial intelligence-based modeling" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2020 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of SMART is to develop new monitoring and modeling strategies envisaging more efficient bioreactor-based processes for the manufacturing of human induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived cardiomyocytes for biomedical applications, using artificial intelligence to integrate bioprocess monitoring data with biological data. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Chemical Engineering, is headed by Carlos Rodrigues from SCERG-iBB.

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Cysteine Metabolic Circuitries: Druggable Targets in Cancer

Cysteine Metabolic Circuitries: Druggable Targets in Cancer | iBB | Scoop.it

To enable survival in adverse conditions, cancer cells undergo global metabolic adaptations. The amino acid cysteine actively contributes to cancer metabolic remodelling on three different levels: in its free form (redox control), as a substrate to produce hydrogen sulphide (H2S) (stimulation of cellular bioenergetics), and as a carbon source (epigenetic regulation, biomass and energy production). In review published in the British Journal of Cancer, Vasco Bonifácio from BSIRG-iBB and colleagues from CEDOC and ITQB provide a systematic portrayal of the role of cysteine in cancer biology as a source of carbon and sulphur atoms, the pivotal role of cysteine in different metabolic pathways and the importance of H2S as an energetic substrate and signalling molecule.

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Andreia Pimenta to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Andreia Pimenta to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Andreia Isabel de Melo Pimenta will be defending her PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, Tuesday the 22nd of December 2020, at 10:00 am (https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/87589426644). During the last years, and under the supervision of Arsénio Fialho from BSRG-iBB, Andreia studied the role of Trimeric autotransporter adhesins in the pathogenesis of Burkholderia cenocepacia. The title of her thesis is “New insights into the interaction of Burkholderia cenocepacia with host cells: Trimeric autotransporter adhesins as pathogenicity factors”.

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2nd "Cool Tools for Sicence" Meeting

2nd "Cool Tools for Sicence" Meeting | iBB | Scoop.it

Have you created a customized solution for research? Software? A gadget? A life-changing protocol? Your creation might be useful for someone else! Come and share it at the 2nd “Cool Tools for Science” meeting, a great chance to show and exchange a new dimension of your work: user innovation.  The meeting will be held online on the 2th and 13th May 2021.

iBBs insight:

A good oportunity to showcase iBB's cool tools!

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Research on Valorisation of Macroalgae Wins "Mares Circulares" Award

Research on Valorisation of Macroalgae Wins "Mares Circulares" Award | iBB | Scoop.it

Teresa Cesário from BERG-iBB won one of the awards of "Mares Circulares", an iberian competition that supports projects that tackle the problem of marine waste and litter. The competition is part of the Mares Circulares wider initiative designed to preserve the oceans that was launched in 2018 by the Coca-Cola European Partners. The project submitted by Teresa is focused on the valorization of whole and residual macroalgae into bioplastics and protein ingredients. The competition was organized and coordinated by the Association Chelonia with the support of Liga para a Proteção da Natureza (LPN).

 

Photo: Underwater McMurdo Sound, NSF/USAP photo by Steve Clabuesch; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

iBBs insight:

Congratulations Teresa!

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Design and Synthesis of Novel Quinic Acid Derivatives for Glioblastoma Treatment

Design and Synthesis of Novel Quinic Acid Derivatives for Glioblastoma Treatment | iBB | Scoop.it

Quinic acid (QA) is a cyclic polyol exhibiting anticancer properties on several cancers. However, the potential role of QA derivatives against glioblastoma is not well established. Pedro Fonte from BERG-IBB in a joint collaboration with Tampere University, Lady Doak College, University of Aveiro, Faculty of Pharmacy-University of Lisbon, and the Institute for Systems Biology proposed a new strategy for quinic acid delivery for glioblastoma treatment in a recent publication in Future Medicinal Chemistry. Sixteen novel QA derivatives and QA-16 encapsulated poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (QA-16-NPs) were screened for their anti-glioblastoma effect. The presence of a tertiary hydroxy and silylether groups in the lead compound were identified for the antitumor activity. QA-16 displayed 90% inhibition with the IC50 of 10.66 μM and 28.22 μM for LN229 and SNB19, respectively. The induction of apoptosis is faster with the increased fold change of caspase 3/7 and reactive oxygen species. Overall, it was observed the QA-16 and QA-16-NPs shows similar cytotoxicity effect, providing the opportunity to use QA-16 as a potential chemotherapeutic agent.

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Oxidative Stress Response Pathway Promotes Virulence

Oxidative Stress Response Pathway Promotes Virulence | iBB | Scoop.it

Candida glabrata’s ability to cause persistent human infections is tightly linked to its impressive ability to overcome host immune system defenses. The molecular basis of virulence in this pathogen are far from being clarified, as it lacks many of the typical pathogenesis features displayed by other Candida species. In this study, the transcription factor Tog1 was found to play a key role in the transcriptome-wide response to oxidative stress, enabling higher proliferation upon phagocytosis and increased virulence. The knowledge gathered through this study, by an international team led by Miguel Cacho Teixeira, BSRG-iBB, and just published in Virulence, is expected to contribute to guide the design of more successful therapeutic approaches.

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Amin Javidanbardan Wins Best Video-poster Award at IST´s  PhD Open Days

Amin Javidanbardan Wins Best Video-poster Award at IST´s  PhD Open Days | iBB | Scoop.it
Amin Javidanbardan, Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher of the ITN action “CODOBIO”, won the best video-poster award at IST´s  PhD Open Days with a presentation entitled “Microfluidic Chromatography Columns for Design and Development of Continuous Biopharmaceutical Products”. Amin is enrolled in the PhD program of Biotechnology and Biosciences and is being supervised by Ana Azevedo (iBB-BERG) and João Pedro Conde (INESC-MN), both from the Department of Bioengineering.
Congratulations Amin!
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BIOTECnico PhD Program Seminar Cycle 2021

BIOTECnico PhD Program Seminar Cycle 2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

The BIOTECnico PhD program will initiate a cycle of alumni seminars on the 19th of January 2021. Until the 30th of March, every 2 weeks, on Tuesdays at 4 pm, BIOTECnico alumni will deliver a 20 min presentation describing the main achievements of the PhD projects they developed at iBB, as well as their current professional activities and institution. The seminars will be delivered via zoom and the full list can be found here.

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Why do Fireflies Shine?

Why do Fireflies Shine? | iBB | Scoop.it

Vasco Bonifácio was invited to participate in the program “Explain me as if were 5 years old”, an IST initiative that consists of informal conversations about science for curious children and adults. In this program, which was broadcast live on Facebook on the afternoon of November 28, 2020, Vasco presented the session “Why do fireflies shine?”. In this session, chaired by Joana Lobo Antunes (Communication and Public Relations Office of IST), Vasco Bonifácio explained the phenomena of bioluminescence, chemiluminescence and phosphorescence and how these physical-chemical processes are related to research in the area of cancer treatment that he has been developing in recent years. There was also time to carry out live experiments, which delighted the young audience and to answer many questions! The program was recorded and is available on the program's website (Episode 12).

iBBs insight:

https://explicame.tecnico.ulisboa.pt/episodio-12.html

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Modeling Rett Syndrome With Human Patient-Specific Forebrain Organoids

Modeling Rett Syndrome With Human Patient-Specific Forebrain Organoids | iBB | Scoop.it

Engineering brain organoids from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) is a powerful tool for modeling brain development and neurological disorders. Rett syndrome (RTT), a rare neurodevelopmental disorder, can greatly benefit from this technology, since it affects multiple neuronal subtypes in forebrain sub-regions. SCERG-iBB researchers have recently established dorsal and ventral forebrain organoids from control and RTT patient-specific hiPSCs recapitulating the 3D organization and functional network complexity of this brain region. The data obtained revealed a premature development of the deep-cortical layer, associated to the formation of TBR1 and CTIP2 neurons, and a lower expression of neural progenitor/proliferative cells in RTT dorsal organoids. Moreover, calcium imaging and electrophysiology analysis demonstrated functional defects of RTT neurons. Additionally, assembly of RTT dorsal and ventral organoids revealed impairments of interneuron’s migration. Overall, these models provide a better understanding of RTT during early stages of neural development, demonstrating a great potential for personalized diagnosis and drug screening. The paper was published in Frontiers in Cell Development Biology.

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Urinary Bladder Bioprinting for Transplantation

Urinary Bladder Bioprinting for Transplantation | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "UROPRINT: Urinary bladder bioprinting for fully autologous transplantation" has been recommended for funding by the EU. The goal of UROPRINT is to laser print fully functional immunocompatible urothelial tissue ex vivo and in vivo for bladder augmentation and replacement. The project is led by the Institute of Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens and involves iBB-SCERG, Asphalion SL, Institute of Comunication and Computer Systems, Optics11 BV and METATISSUE/JFCC-Biosolutions, LDA.

 

Photo details: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Regeneration of Periodontal Tissues with Hierarchical Biomimetic Scaffolds

Regeneration of Periodontal Tissues with Hierarchical Biomimetic Scaffolds | iBB | Scoop.it

The project "DentalBioMatrix: Exploiting the power of decellularized extracellular matrix to fabricate hierarchical biomimetic scaffolds to regenerate functional periodontal tissues" has been recommended for funding by FCT (2020 Call for SR&TD Project Grants). The goal of DentalBioMatrix is to develop novel bioengineering strategies to regenerate periodontium, by engineering hierarchically designed compartmentalized systems to meet the different characteristics of the tissues involved in periodontal defects. Decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) will be used to create complex dECM-derived scaffolds to recreate the different niches of periodontium. Collectively, this approach will potentially provide the opportunity to harness the properties of periodontal tissue ECM, recreating a local niche at the tooth interface that can promote periodontal regeneration, especially important for osteoporotic and older patients with compromised ECM. The project, which falls within the scientific area of Medical Biotechnology, is headed by Marta Carvalho from SCERG-iBB.

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Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by the Single Action of Luminescent Polyurea Oxide Biodendrimers

Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by the Single Action of Luminescent Polyurea Oxide Biodendrimers | iBB | Scoop.it

Polyurea oxide (PURO) biodendrimers are a class of dendrimers that can trigger osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). The effect of PURO biodendrimers in the differentiation of hMSCs was found by the single addition to a standard growth medium for MSCs differentiation (without differentiation inducers, e.g. dexamethasone, ascorbic acid, and β-glycerophosphate). These results, published in ACS Applied Bio Materials by Rita Pires and Vasco Bonifácio from BSIRG-iBB and with colleague João Conde from NOVA Medical School, constitute the first report of in vitro osteodifferentiation fully regulated by synthetic soft polymers. The outstanding role of dendrimers in nanomedicine, under clinic translation, combined with this feature is envisaged to foster PURO dendrimers as an important strategy in cell therapy and regenerative medicine.

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Urease Next-generation Inhibition Therapy

Urease Next-generation Inhibition Therapy | iBB | Scoop.it

The project URE-LOCKERS - Urease next-generation inhibition therapy, was recently awarded to Nuno Martinho (PI, BSIRG) and Vasco Bonifácio (Co-PI, BSIRG). This project, with a total funding of 243 k€, was funded by FC&T Portugal (Ref. PTDC/MED-QUI/3542/2020). The current excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is leading to a rising health concern of bacterial resistance. Finding novel approaches that target specific microbial pathways is therefore highly desirable, particularly for non-immediate life-threatening infections. URE-LOCKERS proposes a novel nanotherapeutic approach against Helicobacter pylori infections, alternative to conventional antibiotics, based on especially designed polyurea dendrimers.

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Use of Non-conventional Yeasts to Enrich the Aroma Profile of Beer

Use of Non-conventional Yeasts to Enrich the Aroma Profile of Beer | iBB | Scoop.it

There is a wide diversity of non-conventional yeast species, which often present distinctive metabolic properties and can therefore impart different flavours and aromas to beer. Because of this, brewers now regard non-conventional yeast species as a tool to differentiate their beers from other products in the market. In fact, some of these yeasts are already used to produce specific beer styles, such as lambics. A study recently published in Food Microbiology, coordinated by Dr. Margarida Palma and Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and first authored by the BIOTECnico PhD student Nuno Melo, investigates how two non-conventional yeast species commonly found in wineries, Hanseniaspora guilliermondii and Hanseniaspora opuntiae, influence the volatile composition of beer. These two species, initially selected by a preliminary organoleptic evaluation, were found to modulate the aroma profile of beer, namely by increasing phenylethyl acetate concentration (‘rose’, ‘honey’ aroma). These findings highlight the importance of non-conventional yeasts in shaping the aroma profile of beer and suggest a role for Hanseniaspora spp. in improving it.

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FCT-2021 Call for SR&TD Project Grants

FCT-2021 Call for SR&TD Project Grants | iBB | Scoop.it

FCT has opened a call for scientific research and technological development (SR&TD) project grants to support innovative ideas in all research domains that may make significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Both long term (36 months) and short term (18 months) projects will be funded. The deadline for submission of proposals is the 10th march. Click here to learn more.

Photo details: Speciments of bacteria, wikimedia, PD.

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Applications for PhD Scholarships Within iBB are Open

Applications for PhD Scholarships Within iBB are Open | iBB | Scoop.it

Institutional applications to PhD scholarships within iBB are open in the areas of Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Biosciences and Chemistry until the 15th December. Click on the programme name to learn more.

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Production of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Bioreactors

Production of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Bioreactors | iBB | Scoop.it

Cell-based therapies have been showing unprecedented therapeutic potential, already changing the landscape of medical care. Extracellular vesicles are nanoparticles naturally secreted by cells, which are important mediators of intercellular communication in our organism and are able to mediate therapeutic effects from their cells of origin. These vesicles can also be used as drug delivery vehicles to target multiple diseases. In a paper recently published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, iBB researchers in collaboration with iMM Lisboa, CQE-IST and the companies PBS Biotech and AventaCell Biomedical, developed a new strategy for the robust and scalable production of extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stromal cells, using bioreactors and an animal serum-free cell culture supplement. This strategy, developed within the frame of the PhD Program in Bioengineering of Miguel de Almeida Fuzeta, is a relevant step towards the large scale production of extracellular vesicles form different human tissue sources, which are promising tools for the development of new therapies against a variety of diseases, from cardiovascular diseases to cancer.

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Carla Carvalho Awarded Scientific Prize by ULisboa/CGD

Carla Carvalho Awarded Scientific Prize by ULisboa/CGD | iBB | Scoop.it

The research performed by Carla Carvalho from BERG-iBB was recognized in this year's edition of the ULisboa/CGD Scientific prizes. Carla won the first prize for her work in the category "Biology, Biological Engineering, Biochemistry and Biotechnology". Her research is focused on understanding the role of lipids in bacterial adaptation and biofilm formation, and on the development of bioprocesses using marine bacteria and their enzymes.

iBBs insight:

Congratulations Carla!

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