Coordinator: Eurico Cabrita

 

Understanding the relationship between biomolecular interactions, cellular functions, disease and applications in biomedicine needs an integrated vision and the combined effort of different Research Groups (RG) at UCIBIO. The Thematic Line (TL) “Biological & Biomolecular Interactions” joins the 6 RGs that contribute most to the understanding of molecular mechanisms and timing of cellular processes either from an experimental or a theoretical point of view: Structural Molecular Biology (SMB); Theoretical & Computational Biochemistry (TCB); Drug Targets & Biomarkers (DTB); Molecular Microbiology & Genomics (MMG); NanoImmunoTech (NIT) and Bioengineering (BENG).

The research conducted under this TL combines knowledge obtained from studies in the domains of Cellular Function and Molecular Mechanisms to address critical questions regarding: Protein Structure&Function; Inflammation & Oxidative Stress; Infection & Pathogenesis; Drug Resistance Mechanisms (antibiotic, anti-cancer); and Adaptation in Microbial Populations. We are set to integrate fundamental studies with applied research anticipating major tangible outcomes contributions in: a) Drug-Discovery; b) identification of Novel Molecular Targets; and c) Diagnostics & Therapeutics.
For this purpose, this TL promotes networking and synergistic effects among the members of the different RGs towards common research goals and develop high impact interdisciplinary projects, based on the RGs' complementary expertise on different aspects of biological & biomolecular interactions.

SMB contributes towards determination of new structures and analysis of structure-activity relationships of target-drug complexes and the rationalization of intermolecular interactions of large molecular machines; TCB performs bioinformatics, docking, interaction studies and elucidation of the catalytic mechanism of several enzymes employing computational tools; DTB and NIT focus on biomarker identification  and discovery of new therapeutic targets/drugs, such as nanomedicines and immunotherapies; MMG investigates interactions at a cellular level focusing on the interplay between microbial cells and populations with the surrounding environment, especially reacting to changes in nutrient availability, exposure to (chemical) stressors or multicellular hosts; BENG uses marine organisms as sources of bioactive compounds and develops new peptidomimetics with biological or synthetic backbones and self-assembled functional materials for Bioseparation, Biocatalysis and Sensing.

Within the objectives of the TL, the RGs organize joint meetings to define strategies and research proposals to apply to national and international calls. This organization also contributes to better address UCIBIO´s goals, by bridging basic and applied research, delivering high-quality research; promoting technology transfer to meet societal grand challenges.

 

Research Groups involved in the Thematic Line