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Pilar and Bruno

The Fulbright Program grants are a unique opportunity for Portuguese students, researchers, and professors to study, teach or carry out research in the United States of America. Fulbright Portugal has announced the 2021 Portuguese and American recipients of the Fulbright Portugal Awards. Bruno Guerreiro and Pilar Portela are among the Portuguese grantees selected for the Fulbright Program in Portugal, funded by a Fulbright Grant for research with the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia support. Bruno Guerreiro, PhD student in the Biochemistry Doctoral Program, at the Biochemical Engineering Lab at UCIBIO-NOVA will go for six months to the University of California, Berkeley. Pilar Portela, PhD student at the Biochemistry and Bioenergetics of Heme Proteins Lab at UCIBIO-NOVA, will go for five months to the Yale University.


As read in the Fulbright website:

“Bruno Guerreiro is a Ph.D. student researching cryopreservation of biological systems. His thesis is titled “Cryobiophysics: structure-function-property-design interplay of biopolymers in crystal binding”. As a visiting student researcher at The University of California, Berkeley, Bruno is going to gain expertise on cutting-edge isochoric cryopreservation technology using biopolymeric cryoprotectants, under the supervision of Dr. Boris Rubinsky, with around 50 years of expertise in the field. His stay in the USA will greatly impact Bruno’s work by enabling collaboration with like-minded passionate individuals that nurture ideas from distinct schools of thought.” (link here)


“Pilar Portela is a PhD student in Biotechnology at NOVA School of Science and Technology | FCT NOVA. Her PhD research work focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which Geobacter bacteria transfer electrons to the exterior of the cell and produce electricity. As a visiting student researcher at Yale University, Pilar’s work will focus on the in vivo manipulation of Geobacter cultures to unveil the mechanisms by which electrons are transferred to the cell’s exterior through conductive protein filaments.” (link here)


This year, a total of 56 grantees, of which 41 Portuguese and 15 American, were selected for the Fulbright Program in Portugal. This outstanding group of students, researchers and professors reflects the diversity of both the U.S. and the Portuguese society. The Commission highlights the diversity of the grantees’ fields of study, from Anthropology to Biology to Aerospace Science, and of their regions of origin and placement.

For 75 years, the Fulbright Program has given worldwide hundreds of thousands of passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges.