The Biomedical Research Centre grows with the recruitment of 4 Principal Investigators

Thursday, September 1, 2022 - 10:06

The Católica Medical School hired 4 associate professors who will lead research teams at the Católica Biomedical Research Center (CBR). Cláudio Franco, Luís Teixeira, Maria João Amorim and Raquel Oliveira assume functions on September 1, 2022. “Research is one of the fundamental pillars of the Faculty of Medicine. It is essential for developing critical thinking and leads to the continuous search for scientific discovery. Integration of researchers in the Faculty of Medicine is a very important step to promote increasingly stronger bridges between research and clinical practice”, states António de Almeida, Dean of the Medical School. The new researchers are also part of the CBR board of directors, together with Pedro Simas, director of this new institute. CBR is a multidisciplinary and collaborative research centre that aims to strengthen the link between research, teaching, and the practice of medicine, promoting the discovery of solutions to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. “The most important characteristic of CBR is the scientific freedom of its researchers, essential for creativity and innovation”adds Pedro Simas. The CBR is located on the Campus of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, in a close collaboration between the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
The new Investigators are dedicated to the study of several fundamental aspects of biomedicine. The group led by Cláudio Franco studies the molecular mechanisms that lead to the formation of a functional vascular network. This process is essential for embryonic development, growth, regeneration and tissue healing. Abnormalities in this process are associated with diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, ischemia, stroke, or tumour angiogenesis. The group led by Luís Teixeira is interested in stable relationships between hosts and microbes. These symbiotic interactions range from parasitic to advantageous to both partners. This is the case of the anti-viral protection that the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia confers to various insects, which is being used to interfere with the transmission of viral diseases by mosquitoes. The group led by Maria João Amorim studies how viruses replicate inside the hosts they infect, and how hosts defend themselves from viral challenges. Understanding these processes will contribute to better control, prevent, diagnose, and treat viral diseases. Finally, the group led by Raquel Oliveira studies how, during cell division, genetic information is equally distributed throughout the cells. Anomalies in this process are associated with genetic diseases, tumour development and infertility. To develop their research programmes, researchers rely on international funding from the European Research Council, the La Caixa Foundation, the American Institute for Health and national projects from the Foundation for Science and Technology. The CBR aims to grow further by attracting new talents to this project. To this end, a call for expressions of interest is open for new Principal Investigators in various scientific fields, with a particular emphasis on data science. The call is open until the 30th of October 2022.