Carla Rodrigues awarded “Prémio Jovem Investigador - Isabel Spencer Martins”

Carla Rodrigues, a Post-Doctoral researcher from Bac_Drugs Lab group from UCIBIO at Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade do Porto, was awarded the “Prémio Jovem Investigador - Isabel Spencer Martins” by Sociedade Portuguesa de Microbiologia (SPM). The winner was selected based on the analysis of her Curriculum vitae, taking into account the number and impact factor of articles published in scientific journals, and oral communications in congresses.

The award ceremony took place at the MICROBIOTEC’17, held in Universidade Católica do Porto, Portugal (7 - 9 December 2017). Carla Rodrigues had the opportunity to present part of her PhD work at the “Genomics and Systems Biology and Emergent technologies” session, entitled “High resolution analysis of multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae: from key molecular drivers to clonal delineation”. The "Young Investigator Prize", worth 500 euros, was instituted in 2009 and represents a tribute of SPM to Professor Isabel Spencer-Martins, who was responsible for the Microbiological Resources Center of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Carla Rodrigues graduated in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Faculdade de Farmácia - Universidade do Porto (FFUP) in 2010, after concluding an ERASMUS traineeship in Service de Bacteriologie Hôpital de Bicêtre under the supervision of Laurent Poirel, currently researcher at the University of Fribourg. She began her PhD in 2012 at BacT_Drugs Lab from UCIBIO at FFUP, under the supervision of Luísa Peixe (Professor at FFUP and Lab leader of the BacT_Drugs Lab), Ângela Novais (Post-doc at BacT_Drugs Lab) and Elisabete Machado (Professor at Faculty of Health Sciences - University Fernando Pessoa), and was awarded her PhD degree in July 2017. During her PhD, she also won a FEMS Research Grant, which gave her the opportunity to complete a traineeship at the Departamento de Microbiología - Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal in Madrid, under the supervision of Teresa M Coque, Senior Researcher. The work performed during her PhD thesis sought to elucidate the molecular basis for the expansion of main multidrug resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens (especially Klebsiella pneumoniae) by a multidisciplinary approach including conventional genotypic, phenotypic, and molecular tools and some of the most cutting-edge high-throughput omics (genomics, metabolomics, proteomics) approaches. The main achievements included the development of an unmet quick and low-cost bacterial typing tool based on FT-IR spectroscopy with potential for routine application and commercialization as a diagnostic tool, and the understanding of the role of the K. pneumoniae capsule on the evolution, host adaptation and/or virulence of particular lineages. The results from the PhD work have been published in renowned journals, such as the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, International Journal of Medical Microbiology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Frontiers in Microbiology, amongst others.