Research Lab

Human Genetics and Cancer Therapeutics

Human Genetics and Cancer Therapeutics
Research Interests

Cancer diagnostics, biomarkers identification and validation using proteomic approaches. Drug screen and validation using in vitro and in vivo animal models; development of novel combinatorial cancer therapies.

Research Highlights
Validation and target delivery of novel antitumor compounds

Alexandra R. Fernandes*, João Jesus, Pedro Martins, Sara Figueiredo, Daniela Rosa, Luísa M.R.D.R.S. Martins, Maria Luísa Corvo, Manuela C. Carvalheiro, Pedro M. Costa, Pedro V. Baptista*. Multifunctional gold-nanoparticles: a nanovectorization tool for the targeted delivery of novel chemotherapeutic agents. Journal of Control Release 2017.;

Luisa Corvo, Ana Soraia Mendo, Sara Figueiredo, Miguel Larguinho, Rogério Gaspar, Pedro V. Baptista* and Alexandra R. Fernandes*. Liposomes as delivery system of a Sn(IV) compound for cancer therapy. Pharm Res. 2016 Jun;33(6):1351-8. doi: 10.1007/s11095-016-1876-6.


fig1Validation and Target delivery of novel antitumor compounds.


Startup in the nanodiagnostic field - Nano4 Global Lda.

Co-founder with Pedro Viana Baptista (FCT/UNL) and Filipe Assoreira. Since December 2015.


Representative Projects

  • “Cytotoxicity and photo-cytotoxicity of nitrosyl ruthenium anticancer drug in aqueous solution or incorporated in a drug delivery system. An innovative purpose for metal based drug”, FAPESP, Alexandra Fernandes (PI-FCT NOVA).
  • “Gold multifunctional nanoparticles for targeting cancer – Cetuximab”, Merck-Serono, Total and Unit funding: €72,000, Alexandra Fernandes (PI).
  • “Validation of the antitumor/antiin ammatory potential of novel plant extracts”, VITROBIO SA, Total and Unit funding: €5,400, Alexandra Fernandes (PI).
  • “RA Detect: One Platform- multiple biomarker detection of rheumatoid arthritis”, EC-H2020, Total Funding: €137,000. Unit Funding: €22,000, Alexandra Fernandes (Collaborator).
  • “Unveiling host speci city and host-pathogen interactions of Streptococcus”, FCT-MCTES, Total funding: €199,000, Unit funding: €99,700. Alexandra Fernandes (Collaborator).

Selected Publications

Das, K; Datta, A; Frontera, A; Wen, YS; Roma-Rodrigues, C; Raposo, LR; Fernandes, AR; Hung, CH. 2020. Zn(II) and Co(II) derivatives anchored with scorpionate precursor: Antiproliferative evaluation in human cancer cell lines. JOURNAL OF INORGANIC BIOCHEMISTRY, 202, DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2019.110881
Amendoeira, A; Garc?a, LR; Fernandes, AR; Baptista, PV. 2020. Light Irradiation of Gold Nanoparticles Toward Advanced Cancer Therapeutics. ADVANCED THERAPEUTICS, 3, DOI: 10.1002/adtp.201900153
Rodrigo, AP; Grosso, A; Baptista, PV; Fernandes, AR; Costa, PM. 2020. Toxins from an Unsuspected Invertebrate: A Poisonous Cocktail from a Jawless Predatory Polychaete. Marine Drugs, 18, DOI:
Martins, C; Rodrigo, AP; Madeira, C; D'Ambrosio, M; Goncalves, C; Parola, AJ; Grosso, AR; Baptista, PV; Fernandes, AR; Costa, PM. 2020. Porphyrin Pigments in Polychaeta: Explorations on the Evolution of Haem Metabolism in Marine Eumetazoans. Marine Drugs, 18, DOI:
Fialho, L; Araujo, D; Alves, VD; Roma-Rodrigues, C; Baptista, PV; Fernandes, AR; Freitas, F; Reis, MAM. 2020. Cation-mediated gelation of the fucose-rich polysaccharide FucoPol: preparation and characterization of hydrogel beads and their cytotoxicity assessment. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLYMERIC MATERIALS AND POLYMERIC BIOMATERIALS, DOI: 10.1080/00914037.2019.1695205