Ninth EDCTP Forum 2018

VISIT 5 Coimbra University

Name and location of institution

Coimbra Hospital and University Centre (CHUC)
Praceta Mota Pinto, 3000- 075 Coimbra, Portugal

University of Coimbra (UC) - Health Science Campus
Azinhaga de Santa Comba, Celas, 3000-548 Coimbra

Maximum number of participants 20
Date 21 September 2018, 14.00 - 17.00

Institutions/areas to be visited or presented:

- iCBR, Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra)


Time Activity Location
10.00 Bus departing from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Ninth EDCTP Forum
venue main entrance
13.45 - 14.00 Welcome snack iCBR
Azinhaga de Santa Comba, Celas
300-548 Coimbra
14.00 - 14.15
Opening session
Fernando Regateiro
Chairman, Board of Directors, Coimbra Hospital and University Centre (CHUC)
Amílcar Falcão
Vice-Rector of the University of Coimbra
14.15 - 14.55

José Saraiva da Cunha
Board of R&D Unit, Director of Infectious Diseases Department, CHUC

Empowerment of health professionals for Clinical R&D and Partnership opportunities for R&D

Prof. Catarina Resende de Oliveira
Board of Clinical Trials Unit, CHUC
The role of the Unit for Innovation and Development in Clinical Research at CHUC

14.55 - 15.45

Communicable Diseases

Nuno Empadinhas
Molecular Mycobacteriology and Microbiome Group, CNC

Teresa Gonçalves
Medical Microbiology Group, CNC

Olga Borges
Chitosan-based delivery systems with vaccine application Group, CNC

Gabriela Da Silva
Infectious Diseases cause by Multidrug Resistant Bacteria

15.45 - 16.10

Non Communicable Diseases

Francisco Ambrósio
Retinal Dysfunction and Neuroinflammation Lab @ iCBR, Faculty of Medicine

Henrique Girão
CARDIC - Group of Basic and Translational Research and Group of Ubiquitin-dependent
Proteolysis and Intercellular Communication  @ iCBR, Faculty of Medicine

Flávio Reis
Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics of Cardiorenal and cardiometabolic
Disorders Group @ iCBR, Faculty of Medicine
Insulin Resistance & Diabetic Angiopathy Group @ CIBB Consortium

16.10 - 16.40

Coffee- break & Networking

16.40 - 17.00

Visit to facilities/labs


Bus departing to Lisbon



Coimbra Health

Consortium formed by University of Coimbra (UC) and Coimbra Hospital and University Centre (CHUC)

Coimbra Hospital and University Centre (CHUC)

Coimbra Hospital and Universitary Centre (CHUC) mission is to deliver high-quality clinical care in a context of pre and postgraduate training with a strong focus on research, scientific knowledge and innovation. CHUC´s excellence centres ensure high standard healthcare services being the Portuguese hospital with the largest number of Centers of Reference and belonging to ten Europe Reference Networks.


Established in 2013, CNC.IBILI Consortium at University of Coimbra (UC) integrates the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) and the Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (IBILI). CNC.IBILI was recently renamed as CIBB (Centre for Innovative Biomedicine and Biotechnology) and integrates CNC and iCBR (Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research; former IBILI). CNC.IBILI/CIBB is the result of a continuous and ongoing effort to bring together in a single hub of excellence researchers in Biomedicine and Biotechnology. It is a leading top-ranking research institute in Life & Health Sciences, graded Excellent in all FCT evaluations, with strong international recognition in several research areas. CNC.IBILI/CIBB, a UC flagship in biomedical sciences, hosts researchers from the faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Economics, from Coimbra University Hospitals (CHUC) and Healthcare system and key collaborators from biotech and pharmaceutical industry. CNC.IBILI/CIBB currently has over 580 members including integrated PhD holders (350) and supporting technicians/officers (ca. 60). Committed to fundamental and translational research and advanced training it has three strategic research lines: Neuroscience & Disease; Metabolism, Ageing & Disease, and Innovative Therapies. CIBB is competitive in obtaining (inter)national research funding and uniquely positioned in translating fundamental research into clinical and/or marketable applications. CIBB’s activities are supported by world-class core facilities/infrastructures, including (a) the microscopy Units; (b) a cutting-edge medical imaging centre (ICNAS) with MRI, PET and a cyclotron for tracer synthesis; (c) state-of-the-art high-throughput screening platform; (d) Mass Spectrometry, Flow Cytometry, and Next-Generation Sequencing Units. (e) Imaging and electrophysiology for vision research; (f) Animal Facilities.


Nuno Empadinhas (Head: Molecular Mycobacteriology and Microbiome Group, CNC) 

Our group investigates new pathways and gene functions in TB and in Nontuberculous mycobacteria in a quest for new targets for drug discovery. Recent collaborative projects investigate the role of the intestinal microbiome in the susceptibility to TB and the TB-Diabetes synergy in low vs high-burden countries. In another ongoing project we profiled the microbiome and generated a large culture collection of pathogenic microbiota from the skin and foot ulcers of 200 diabetic patients for bacteriotherapeutic approaches. Members of our group are involved in ICATE project, an initiative to raise awareness and training in the field of TB and other infectious diseases in high-burden countries.


Teresa Gonçalves (Head: Medical Microbiology Group, CNC) 

The Medical Microbiology group activities are developed in two main areas: 1) Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases/Diarrheal diseases in respect to diagnosis using molecular biology techniques (PCR, real time PCR and NGS). We are also studying the modulation of purinergic receptors as a novel therapeutic approach to control GI tract infections and dysbiosis, and 2) Respiratory diseases/infections in molecular biology as a tool to rapidly diagnose AIDS lung diseases (bacterial, fungal and viral diseases), in the characterization of lung colonization by melanised fungi as a route to severe respiratory allergies and in the development of affordable therapies based in natural resources. 


Olga Borges (Head: Adjuvants: Chitosan-based delivery systems with vaccine application, CNC)

Our group's main interest is the development of nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems capable of functioning as immunomodulators. At present, we have projects in the field of immunotoxicological evaluation of polymeric nanoparticles, development of oral formulations for the hepatitis B vaccine and for the development of an immunotherapy for chronic hepatitis B patients. 


Gabriela Da Silva (Head of the sub-group: Study of Infectious diseases caused by multidrug resistant bacteria from the New preventive and therapeutic strategies medicinal chemistry and drug discovery group) 

My main research interest is to study infectious diseases caused by multidrug resistant bacteria, to understand how resistance emerges and disseminates and to discover potential new antimicrobials and therapeutic strategies that may be useful to treat these infections, and improve the public health.

Specific points are:


To study antimicrobial resistance and concomitant virulence of multidrug resistant bacteria at molecular level.

To understand how genes are disseminated in diverse bacterial populations: horizontal gene transfer mechanisms.

To test potential new antimicrobials in vitro and in vivo models and to unravel new strategies to overcome infectious diseases. The study of the interaction of host-pathogen will be crucial to find new targets.


Francisco Ambrósio (Head: Retinal Dysfunction and Neuroinflammation Lab @ iCBR)

We are investigating the pathological mechanisms underlying retinal degenerative diseases (diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration), giving a particular attention to inflammatory processes. In addition, we intend to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop new therapies for these diseases.


Henrique Girão (Head: CARDIC - Group of Basic and Translational Research and  Group of Ubiquitin-dependent Proteolysis and Intercellular Communication @ iCBR) 

Our group is devoted to the study of the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases in order to identify potential therapeutic targets. We have been focused on various aspects of quality control and communication in coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and pulmonary hypertension.


Flávio Reis

Head of Group of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics of Cardiorenal and cardiometabolic Disorders and Insulin Resistance & Diabetic Angiopathy Group @ iCBR) 

Our research groups focus on prevention of evolution from early stages of diabetes (prediabetes) to diabetes, one of the most prevalent noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. We are interested in evaluate the impact of therapeutic and nutraceutic options (including prebiotics and probiotics) in the evolution of hepatic and vascular complications, including diabetic nephropathy.

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