Drugs Targets & Biomarkers


Natércia Almeida Teixeira (Full Professor) (Group Leader)
Agostinho Franklim Marques (Associate Professor)
Alice Santos Silva (Associate Professor)
Maria Irene de Oliveira Monteiro Jesus  (Associate Professor)
Carla Susana Meireles Coimbra (Assistant Professor)
Elísio Manuel Sousa Costa (Assistant Professor)
Elsa Maria Bronze da Rocha (Assistant Professor)
Georgina Lopes Correia da Silva (Assistant Professor)
Luis Filipe Amado Belo (Assistant Professor)
Margarida Maria Coutinho Nogueira Marta Borges (Assistant Professor)
Maria Petronila Jorge Frade Rocha Pereira (Assistant Professor)
Rosa Cristina Barreto Catarino (Assistant Professor)
Bruno Miguel Reis Fonseca (Post-doc)
Eduardo Tejera Puente (Post-doc)
João Carlos Azevedo Cruz Gonçalves Fernandes (Post-doc)
Susana Maria Santos Rocha (Post-doc)


The DTB group is a multidisciplinary team, developing fundamental, applied and translational research activities. We are interested in understanding the causes and the mechanisms underlying health, aging and disease, as well as to provide insights into new drugs development and discovery of new drug targets. Biomarkers might be used not only as tools for diagnosis but also give insights for the development of new therapeutic strategies. On the other hand, a precocious diagnosis and monitoring may prevent worsening of diseases and contribute to improve the quality of life of the patients, reducing the socio-economic impact of such disorders.
Thus, our goals are to validate existing and potential biomarkers for diagnosis, to evaluate susceptibility and risk for disease, to monitor diseases and, by studying the underlying mechanisms, to search for new drug targets. We focus on physiological and pathological conditions, such as aging, pregnancy/ preeclampsia, anemia, chronic kidney disease and obesity, as all these disorders present common features, like inflammation and oxidative stress. To further clarify the underlying mechanisms associated to these conditions, besides human studies, animal models (pregnant rats, rat model of chronic renal failure, obese rats), in vitro studies (primary cell cultures and different cell lines) and bioinformatics models for interatomic networks analysis are used. 
The development of drug resistance has been increasing, emphasizing the importance of understanding the cellular mechanisms that lead to resistance, and the search for new powerful drugs with lower side effects. In this research area we are particularly interested in resistance to erythropoietic stimulating agent’s therapy, breast cancer therapies and biological evaluation of potential aromatase inhibitors for hormone dependent breast tumor treatment.



Tejera E, Bernardes J, Rebelo I. (2012). Preeclampsia: a bioinformatics approach through protein-protein interaction networks analysis. BMC System Biology,6:97. 

Varela C, Tavares da Silva EJ, Amaral C, Correia da Silva G, Baptista T, Alcaro S, Costa G, Carvalho RA, Teixeira NA, Roleira FM (2012) New structure-activity relationships of A- and D-ring modified steroidal aromatase inhibitors: design, synthesis, and biochemical evaluation. Journal of  Medicinal  Chemistry 26;55(8):3992-4002. 

Amaral C, Borges M, Melo S, da Silva ET, Correia-da-Silva G, Teixeira N. (2012) Apoptosis and Autophagy in Breast Cancer Cells following Exemestane Treatment. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42398.    

Fonseca B.M., Correia-da-Silva G., Taylor A.H., Lam P.M.W., Marczylo T.H., Konje J.C., Bell S.C., Teixeira N.A. (2010) N-acylethanolamine levels and expression of their metabolizing enzymes during pregnancy. Endocrinology, 151(8):3965-74.   

Costa E, Lima M, Alves JM, Rocha S, Rocha-Pereira P, Castro E, Miranda V, Faria MS, Loureiro A, Quintanilha A, Belo L, Santos-Silva A. “Inflammation, T-cell phenotype, and inflammatory cytokines in chronic kidney disease patients under hemodialysis and its relationship to resistance to recombinant human erythropoietin therapy”. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 2008, 28 (3) : 268-275. 

Fernandes JC, Eaton P, Nascimento H, Belo L, Rocha S, Vitorino R, Amado F, Gomes J, Santos-Silva A, Pintado ME, Malcata FX. “Effects of chitooligosacharides on human red blood cell morphology and membrane protein structure”. Biomacromolecules, 2008, 9 (12) : 3346-3352 

Rocha S, Costa E, Rocha-Pereira P, Ferreira F, Cleto E, Barbot J, Quintanilha A, Belo L, Santos-Silva A. “Erythrocyte membrane protein destabilization versus clinical outcome in 160 Portuguese Hereditary Spherocytosis patients”. British Journal of Hematology, 2010, 149 (5) : 785-794. 

Coimbra S, Oliveira H, Reis F, Belo L, Rocha S, Quintanilha A, Figueiredo A, Teixeira F, Castro E, Rocha-Pereira P, Santos-Silva A. “Interleukin (IL)-22, IL-17, IL-23, IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor and tumour necrosis factor-a levels in patients with psoriasis before, during and after psoralen-ultraviolet A and narrowband ultraviolet B therapy”. British Journal of Dermatology, 2010; 163 (6):1282-1290. 

Lipid profile in portuguese obese children and adolescents. Interaction of apolipoprotein E polymorphism with adiponectin levels. Nascimento H, Silva L, Lourenço P, Castro E, Weinfurterová R, Guerra A, Rego C, Ferreira Mansilha H, Quintanilha A, Santos-Silva A, Belo L. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009; 163, pp.1030–1036.    

Paiva-Martins F, Fernandes J, Rocha S, Nascimento H, Vitorino R, Amado F, Borges F, Belo L, Santos-Silva A. Effects of olive oil polyphenols on erythrocyte oxidative damage Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2009, 53 (5) : 609-616.