Coordinator: Maria Helena Raposo Fernandes
The Health and Wellbeing thematic line sets ground on the 21st Century Grand Global Challenges by promoting a constructive guidance on the lives of individuals and societies, translating conceptual models and research into operative devices and practices that contribute effectively to improve healthy life expectancy, further enhancing wellbeing and promoting the enjoyment of life. Improving population health and wellbeing - within a clinical, communal and societal perspective, embraces other important benefits, further contributing to heighten the economic, social and environmental dimensions, as fundamental pillars for the sustainable development global strategy.
In order to maximize these concepts, effective integrated approaches and interventions, addressing major health challenges are conducted through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research approaches by a team with background in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Materials Science & Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Sciences and Entrepreneurship & Business Development. Distinct LAQV research groups put their efforts on creating strategic frameworks that, by embracing Sustainable & Green Chemistry design principles, interdependently create supportive environments for health, through a sustainable and flexible path.
Acknowledging the interconnectedness of the agents, actions and challenges, groundbreaking research and development is accomplished through a unity of approach and the adoption of a common outcome-focused framework, setting a global focus on:
- The design, advancement and upscaling of efficient and sustainable ways to remove hazardous chemicals from the environment, further reducing and potentially eliminating air, water and soil pollutants and contaminants;
- The development of "nutrition-sensitive" food systems, aiming for improved food quality and safety for healthy eating;
- The creation of innovative analytical solutions for monitoring health status and for the diagnosis and prognosis of disease progression and management;
- The validation of the efficacy and biosafety of new bioactive compounds and medicines, targeting specific markers for communicable and non-communicable diseases;
- The design of novel compounds with antimicrobial, anti-malarial, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties and study of structure-activity relationships;
- The development and characterization of groundbreaking biomedical materials, implants and advanced strategies for drug delivery, with an improved efficiency and sustainability for heightened tissue healing and regeneration;
- Entrepreneurship & Business Development.
The multidisciplinary research team contributing to the Health & Wellbeing thematic line shares a common vision of a challenge-driven concept of “excellence”, stem from the need to achieve progressive structural changes in order to flow valued scientific knowledge into all societal processes, aligned with the Global Challenges for sustainable development. Excellence is envisaged as a dynamic process encompassing:
- valued breakthrough scientific knowledge in strict alignment with existing societal demands and needs;
- unity in the interdisciplinary scientific background; and
- anticipation of new societal needs and challenges to foster ahead scientific knowledge.
In this scenario, the ultimate goal is scientific knowledge transfer and technological valorization to generate beneficial and scalable outcomes and solutions in the provision of treatment and care to deliver safer, more effective and inclusive strategies for improved health and wellbeing. Accordingly, achieved innovative products and services must be showcased adequately, throughout sustainable pipelining strategies that allow an effective scaling up, substantiating a rapid and effective technology transfer.
The team benefits from the solid background and experience of researches in entrepreneurship & business development, fostered within the intersection between of environmental and social sustainability with economic sustainability, in order to produce innovative business models. Regular activities include a bottom-up approach with dissemination of the research results in academic fora, presentations to targeted stakeholders, dynamic working-out of the university-industry interface and fostering commercialization activities, i.e. invention disclosures, patent application and start-up creation. This strategy has been fruitful in acknowledged benefits for health care, scientific productivity and economic development, further inspiring new mental attitude to societal sustainability, inclusiveness and healthiness.