Helena Coelho, currently a junior post-doctoral researcher at the (Bio)molecular Structure & Interactions by NMR Lab at UCIBIO, was recognized in March 2020 with the Best 2019 Doctoral Thesis award in Carbohydrates field, granted by the Carbohydrate Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (GE-HIC-RSEQ).
Her thesis entitled “NMR and molecular recognition of compounds related to the immune system", was carried out under the supervision of Filipa Marcelo, FCT Investigator at the (Bio)molecular Structure & Interactions by NMR Lab (led by Eurico Cabrita), and Jesús Jiménez-Barbero, leader of the Chemical Glycobiology Lab, through a joint PhD degree between NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA) in Portugal and University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Spain.
This work focused on the application of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy methods to understand key glycan-protein molecular recognition features in systems with biomedical relevance for cancer and bacterial infections. This award recognizes not only the quality of the thesis presented, but also the candidate's scientific trajectory, as well as the merits derived from this work in the Carbohydrate field. Helena Coelho is currently a junior post-doctoral researcher hired through the project “Advances in MUC1 Glycan Cancer Antigens: From structure to function in the fight against cancer” (PTDC/BIA-MIB/31028/2017, PI: Filipa Marcelo).
The winner will present an Invited oral communication on her thesis work at the Carbohydrate Symposium, in San Sebastián (Spain), at October 2020, as well as a monetary prize of 1000 euros.