Publication date
Virus SARS-CoV-2

The COVID-19 pandemic, due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has been responsible for the disruption of universities and research institutes across the world. However, these institutions were the ones that immediately reorganized their resources and expertise to help. UCIBIO researchers have been very active and and promptly volunteered and mobilized efforts to fight COVID-19 in different ways.


Project "Research 4 COVID-19" - GLYCOVID-19

Paula Videira, leader of the Glycoimmunology Lab at UCIBIO - FCT NOVA, has been awarded €30K for the research project “GLYCOVID-19 Testing existing glycan-based drugs to neutralize SARS-CoV- 2”, in the scope of the “Research 4 COVID-19” funding call launched by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT). In this project researchers will test glycan nutraceuticals, humanized anti-glycan antibodies and convalescent plasma, already developed by the team, for their potential to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 entry during infection. The tests will take less than 3 months to implement, and effective compounds may be easily suggested for clinical trials by the National Health Service.



Research project for COVID-19 - Eco2Covid 

Maria Reis, leader of the Biochemical Engineering Lab at UCIBIO-NOVA, integrates a consortium that has been awarded €483K, for 6 months, to develop a project aiming to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. The project “Eco2Covid - Desenvolvimento de plataformas de deteção e monitorização em águas do Coronavírus” by ANI - National Innovation Agency and the consortium includes CENIMAT-NOVA, Tejo Atlântico, University of Coimbra, and INOVA+. The project aims “to create an innovative platform based on nanotechnology for detecting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in wastewater, boosting the existing knowledge of the various partners of the consortium in the field of wastewater pretreatment and the development of biosensors”, explains Maria Reis, coordinator of the research activities of this project at UCIBIO and principal investigator of various European Research Projects in industrial and environmental biotechnology.



SARS-CoV-2 tests

UCIBIO researchers implemented CoVID-19 diagnostic tests at the UCIBIO research labs in FCT NOVA, being currently involved in the National roadmap. A team of 26 UCIBIO researchers started performing diagnostic tests for the molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 in samples from care homes in southern Portugal. Alexandra Fernandes, leader of the Human Genetics and Cancer Therapeutics Lab at UCIBIO - FCT NOVA, is coordinating this action at UCIBIO that involves UCIBIO researchers from the Life Sciences and Chemistry Departments at FCT NOVA. Tests are certified by the National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge and UCIBIO researchers are highly trained and qualified to perform the tests.



Production of hand sanitiser gel

UCIBIO researchers produced 300 litres of hand sanitiser gel that was delivered to hospitals in the Lisbon region. Eurico Cabrita, leader of the (Bio)molecular Structure and Interactions by NMR Lab, Aldino Viegas and Micael Silva, researchers in the same lab, produced the gel with the reagents provided by various research labs. This action was coordinated by Maria João Romão, UCIBIO director, and Eurico Cabrita.



Production of transport media of biological samples of SARS-CoV-2

UCIBIO researchers from the BacT_Drugs Lab, the Biochemistry Lab and the Toxicology Lab at Faculdade de Farmácia of University of Porto have been involved in the preparation of the transport media of biological samples to be collected for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals.

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Production of swabs to collect samples for COVID-19 testing

UCIBIO researchers from XTAL - Macromolecular Crystallography Lab and Biochemical Engineering Lab have been involved in the hand made production of Dacron swabs, the best type of swabs to test for Covid-19. This action was coordinated by Maria João Romão, UCIBIO director, and developed in collaboration with researchers from UNIDEMI at FCT NOVA. We had the support of Electro Portugal with the donation of aluminum wire, Miguel Gama with the donation of 3 meters of dacron and Leroy Merlin with the donation of heat guns.

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In the news:

Project "Research 4 COVID-19"- GLYCOVID-19

Cientistas portugueses querem "evitar a entrada" do SARS-CoV-2, Observador 

Universidade Nova de Lisboa vai testar bloqueadores do vírus da Covid-19, Exame Informática

Sexta às 9 (minute 05:41), RTP1


Research project for COVID-19 - Eco2Covid

Teste inovador para detetar covid nos esgotos avança, Expresso

Eco2Covid: Projeto português para detetar o coronavírus nos esgotos, pplware


SARS-CoV-2 tests

Funcionários dos lares do concelho de Setúbal vão fazer testes à COVID-19, New in Town

"COVID-19: Funcionários de Lares testados para COVID-19", Som da Baixa- Setúbal 

"Programa destinado a toda a Península de Setúbal : Funcionários de estruturas residenciais para idosos vão ser testados para infeção da Covid-19",  Rostos

Visita ao Centro de Testes à infecção pelo Covid-19”,  Setúbalmais

"Funcionários dos lares são testados”, Notícias de Loures


Production of hand sanitiser gel

"Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa produz equipamento de proteção", SIC

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia produz máscaras e gel desinfetante, SIC

"FCT NOVA produz 300 litros de gel desinfetante e 400 máscaras", Dinheiro Vivo

Covid-19: FCT NOVA produz máscaras e gel desinfetante para entregar a hospitais, Exame Informática

"Universidade Nova produziu 300 litros de desinfetante e 400 máscaras", NIT


Preparation of the transport media of biological samples

UPorto produz líquido para tubos onde se colocam zaragatoas, RTP Notícias

Faculdade de Farmacia do Porto produz 3.000 meios de transporte de zaragatoas por dia, Sic Notícias