Human Health: Molecular Interventions and Regulation Mechanisms

Overview and Goals Key Publications Ongoing Projects Events

Overview and goals

This thematic line is coordinated by Rodrigo de Almeida

Promotion of a healthy life and an active ageing is a societal challenge in Europe, aiming at a better quality of life and providing social and economic benefits.

The synergies afforded by the multidisciplinary research team of CQB provide optimal conditions to be at the forefront of this research area.

Several chemistry oriented labs are proficient in synthesizing or obtaining from natural sources novel molecules with potential high-value bioactive properties. On the other hand, biochemists are conducting research on the biological mechanisms underpinning health and disease. The preventive and therapeutic properties of new molecules obtained by chemists can, therefore, be investigated in the framework of the most advanced and updated biochemical knowledge. The combined efforts of several labs in this thematic line will be directed towards the promotion of healthy habits in the general population and catalyzing novel collaborations with the business world.

In sum, with this thematic line we aim at providing key scientific contributions to a fast incorporation of chemical and biochemical knowledge into the society, thus effectively contributing to a healthier and more active life!

The aforementioned synergies are currently  being materialized in our Flagship Project.

Key Publications

European Commission Publications

An integrated nutritional approach as a sustainable tool to prevent malnutrition in older people and promote active and healthy ageing, Illario, A. S. Maione, M. R. Rusciano, E. Goessens, A. Rauter, N. Braz, H. Jager-Wittenaar, C. Di Somma, M. Soprano, L. Vuolo, P. Campiglia, M. A. Succi, H. Griffiths, T. Hartman, A. Colao, R. Roller-Wirnsberger, The EIP on AHA Nutrition Action Group, Advances in Public Health, 2016, in press, Open access. (PDF).

The molecules of Life: the Carbohydrate Chemistry Group on the contribution of sugars to health and nutrition” in: online edition PAN EUROPEAN NETWORKS: Horizon 2020 projects, issue 10, April 2016 (PDF).

Prevention of Functional Decline Program” in: A Compilation of Good Practices, 1st Ed., European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing – Prevention and Early Diagnosis of Frailty and Functional Decline, both Physical and Cognitive, in Older People, Action Group A3, 2014, pp. 152-154 (PDF).

Nutrition Program” in: A Compilation of Good Practices, 1st Ed., European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing – Prevention and Early Diagnosis of Frailty and Functional Decline, both Physical and Cognitive, in Older People, Action Group A3, 2014, pp. 214-217 (PDF).


Scientific Papers
The Publications below illustrate the expertise, tools and collaborative research within CQB, relevant in the context of the Healthy Ageing challenge.


Differential targeting of membrane lipid domains by caffeic acid and its ester derivatives, H. A. L.  Filipe, C. Sousa, J. T. Marquês, D. Vila-Viçosa, A. G. Flor, A. S. Viana, M. S. C. S.  Santos, M. Machuqueiro, R. F. M. de Almeida, 2018. Biol. Med., Vol. 115, 232-245​; DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.12.002​.



VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptor opposed modulation of GABA release from hippocampal nerve terminals involves multiple signalling pathways, D. Cunha-Reis, J.A. Ribeiro, R.F.M. de Almeida and A.M Sebastião,2017British Journal of Pharmacology, doi: 10.1111/bph.14051.

The molecular mechanism of Nystatin action is dependent on the membrane biophysical properties and lipid composition, A.G. dos Santos,  J. T. Marquês,  A. C. Carreira,  I. R. Castro,  A. S. Viana,  M.-P. Mingeot-Leclercq, R. F. M. de Almeida and  L. C. Silva Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Advance Article,   DOI: 10.1039/C7CP05353C

Antiparasitic activity of diterpenoids  against Trypanosoma cruzi, Azucena González-Coloma, Rafael A. Martínez-Díaz, . Sergio Alegre-Gómez, Paula Sainz, M. Fátima Simões, Patrícia Rijo, Cristina Moiteiro. Planta Medica, 83 (2017) 306-311

Development of lysosome-mimicking vesicles to study the effect of abnormal accumulation of sphingosine on membrane properties. A.C. Carreira, R.F.M. de Almeida, L.C. Silva. Scientific Reports 7(1):3949. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04125-6.

Electrochemical studies and potential anticancer activity in Ferrocene derivativesSara Realista, Susana Quintal, Paulo N. Martinho, Ana I. Melato, Adrià Gil, Teresa Esteves, Maria de Deus Carvalho, Liliana P. Ferreira, Pedro D. Vaz, Maria José Calhorda. Journal of Coordination Chemistry, 70, 2 (2017) 314–327

Targeting Type 2 Diabetes with C-Glucosyl Dihydrochalcones as Selective Sodium Glucose Co-Transporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation; A.R. Jesus, D. Vila-Viçosa, M. Machuqueiro, A. P. Marques, T. M. Dore, A. P. Rauter, J. Med. Chem., 2017, 60(2),568-579, DOI:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01134


m-cresol affects the lipid bilayer in membrane models and living neurons; T. M. O. Paiva, A. E. P. Bastos, J. T. Marquês, A. S. Viana, P. A. Lima, R. F. M. de Almeida, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 105699-105712, DOI:10.1039/C6RA20337J​
Saude 2015





The role of fibrinogen in ATTR: evidence for chaperone activity loss in disease; N.Fonseca, S. Gilberto, C. Ribeiro-Silva, R. Ribeiro, I. Guinote, S. Saraiva, R. A. Gomes, É. Mateus, A. S. Viana, E. Barroso, A. Ponces Freire, P. Freire, C. Cordeiro, G. da Costa, Biochemical J.,2016, 473 (14): 2225, DOI:10.1042/BCJ20160290

Saude 2015

Hydrogen peroxide regulates cell adhesion through the redox sensor RPSA; F. Vilas-Boas, A. Bagulho, R. Tenente, V.H. Teixeira, G. Martins, G. da Costa, A. Jerónimo, C. Cordeiro, M. Machuqueiro, C. Real, Free Radic. Biol. Med, 2016, 90:145-57.




Synthesis of glucopyranos-6ʹ-yl purine and pyrimidine isonucleosides as potential cholinesterase inhibitors. Access to pyrimidine-linked pseudodisaccharides through Mitsunobu reaction Batista, S. Schwarz, A. Loesche, Re. Csuk, Paulo J. Costa, M. Conceição Oliveira, Nuno M. Xavier, Pure Appl. Chem, 2016, accepted.


Saude 2015

New antitumor 6-chloropurine nucleosides inducing apoptosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest; S. Schwarz, B. Siewert, , R. Csuk, A. P. Rauter; Eur. J. Med. Chem.,  2015, 90: 595-602



Saude 2015
Transthyretin Amyloidosis: Chaperone Concentration Changes and Increased Proteolysis in the Pathway to Disease; G. da Costa, C. Ribeiro-Silva, R. Ribeiro, S. Gilberto, R.A. Gomes, A. Ferreira, É. Mateus, E. Barroso, A.V. Coelho, A.P. Freire, C. Cordeiro; PLoS One; 2015,6; 10(7):e0125392


 Saude 2015Larvicidal Activity Against Aedes aegypti of Foeniculum vulgare Essential Oils from Portugal and Cape Verde; D. K. Rocha, O. Matos, M. T. Nóvoa, A. C. Figueiredo, M. Delgado, C. Moiteiro; Nat. Prod. Commun.; 2015, 10, 677-682
Saude 2015The extracellular matrix modulates H2O2 degradation and redox signaling in endothelial cells; Ana Bagulho, Filipe Vilas-Boas, Andreia Pena, Catarina Peneda, Filipa C. Santos, Ana Jerónimo, Rodrigo F.M. de Almeida, Carla Real; Redox Biology; 2015, 6: 454
 Saude 2015Raising awareness of new psychoactive substances: chemical analysis and in vitro toxicity screening of “legal high” packages contaning synthetic cathinones; A.M. Araújo, M. J. Valente, M. Carvalho, D. D. Silva, H. Gaspar, F. Carvalho, M. L. Bastos, P. G. Pinho; Arch. Toxicol.; 2015, 89, 757–771


Saude 2014 0 TOCExploiting the Therapeutic Potential of 8-β-D-Glucopyranosylgenistein: Synthesis, Antidiabetic Activity and Molecular Interaction with Islet Amyloid Polypeptide and Amyloid β-Peptide (1-42); A. R. Jesus, C. Dias, A. M. Matos, R. F. M. de Almeida, A. S. Viana, F. Macedo, R. T. Ribeiro, M. P. Macedo, C. Airoldi, F. Nicotra, A. Martins, E. J. Cabrita, J. Jiménez-Barbero, and A. P. Rauter; J. Med. Chem.; 2014, 30: 9463



Saude 2014 1 TOC“A Biomimetic Platform to Study the Interactions of Bioelectroactive Molecules With Lipid Nanodomains”; J. T. Marquês, A. S. Viana, and R. F. M. Almeida; Langmuir; 2014, 30: 12627
Saude 2014 2 TOC“Cellular polarity in aging: role of redox regulation and nutrition”; H. Soares, H. S. Marinho, C. Real, F. Antunes; Genes Nutr.; 2014, 9: 371
Saude 2014 3 TOC“Marketed Marine Natural Products in the Pharmaceutical and Cosmeceutical Industries: Tips for Success”; A. Martins, H. Vieira, H. Gaspar, S. Santos.; Mar. Drugs; 2014, 12: 1066
Saude 2014 4 TOC
“Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Isoniazid Derivatives with Potent Antitubercular Activity”; F. Martins, S. Santos, C.Ventura, R. Elvas-Leitão, L. Santos, S. Vitorino, M. Reis, V. Miranda, H. F. Correia, J. Aires-de-Sousa, V. Kovalishyn, D. A. R. S. Latino, J. Ramos, M. Viveiros.; Eur. J. Med. Chem.; 2014, 81: 119
Saude 2014 5 TOC“Microwave-assisted synthesis of novel purine nucleosides as selective cholinesterase inhibitors”; S. Schwarz, R. Csuk, A. P. Rauter; Org. Biomol. Chem.; 2014, 12: 2446
Saude 2013 2 TOC“Molecular Recognition of Rosmarinic Acid from Salvia sclareoides Extracts by Acetylcholinesterase. A New Binding Site Detected by NMR”; F. Marcelo, C. Dias, A. Martins, P. J. Madeira, J. Jorge, M. H. Florêncio, F. J. Cañada, Eurico J. Cabrita, J. Jiménez-Barbero, A. P. Rauter; Chem. Eur J; 2013, 19: 6641
Saude 2013 1 TOC“Clay Based Materials for Storage and Therapeutic Release of Nitric Oxide”; A. Fernandes, M. Pinto, F. Antunes, J. Pires; J. Mater. Chem. B; 2013,1: 3287
Saude 2013 3 TOC“Evaluation of cholesterol absorption and biosynthesis by decoctions of Annona cherimola leaves”; P. L. Falé, C. Ferreira, F. Maruzzella, M. H. Florêncio, F. N. Frazão, M. L. M. Serralheiro; J Ethnopharmacol.; 2013, 150: 718
Saude 2013 4 TOC“Activation of Nrf2 by H2O2: de novo synthesis versus nuclear translocation”; G. Covas, H. S. Marinho, L. Cyrne, F. Antunes; Method. Enzymol.; 2013, 528: 157

Ongoing Projects

Flagship Project: Disclosing phytochemicals common mechanisms of action underlying their health benefits

European Projects and Commitments

start: 2013/ end:2016
GA 610359 Personalised ICT Supported Service for Independent Living and Active Ageing
(Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP))
start: 2013/ end:2018
Proj. No. 612347 Diagnostic and Drug Discovery Initiative for Alzheimer’s Disease

FCT Project

SR&TD Project Grants
start: 2016/ end: 2019
PTDC/BBB-BQB/6071/2014 Sphingolipid organization in the plasma membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Implication in antifungal mode of action and fungal resistance
SR&TD Project Grants
start: 2016/ end: 2019
PTDC/QEQ-COM/5904/2014 CpHMD-L simulations of pHLIP peptides: design of new tumor-targeted drug delivery systems
SR&TD Project Grants
start: 2016/ end: 2019
PTDC/QEQ-SUP/4283/2014 Anion transmembrane transport promoted by drug-like molecules: building a library of anion carriers inspired in Ataluren (PTC124)


redeSAÚDE| 4ª Conferência Anual | 4 de Maio 2017
Abstracts deadline February 28
3ª Semana da Inovação da ULisboa, 3-9 Maio de 2017, Flyer

CQB Presentations

Centro de Química e Bioquímica activities towards Human Health: from fundamental research to applications and outreach, Ana Mourato, Session 1: Ageing and Development diseases (11h00-13h00), Oral presentation.

The Potential of Natural Flavonoids and Synthetic Flavone Analogues against Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease, Ana Matos, Session 1: Ageing and Development diseases (11h00-13h00), Oral presentation.

Novel azide- and carboxamide-containing nucleosides displaying anticancer potency, Rita Gonçalves-Pereira, Session 3: Immunology, Infection and Inflammation  (11h00-13h00), Oral presentation.

Plant phenolic acids interact weakly with membrane models and human cells, despite their effect on cytoskeleton organization, Carla Sousa, António G. Flor, Hugo A. L. Filipe, Catarina Antunes, Helena Soares, H. Susana Marinho & Rodrigo F. M. de Almeida, Poster presentation.

Efficient degradation of paracetamol and caffeine catalysed by iron oxide nanoparticles,  Tiago A. Fernandes, Nuno R. Neng, José M. F. Nogueira, Maria Deus Carvalho, Olinda C. Monteiro, Poster presentation.

Design of new urea and thiourea-based receptors for anions, Sílvia Carvalho, Paulo Vieira, Cristina Moiteiro, Igor Marques, Vítor Félix

The aforementionedoned synergies are currently  being materialized in our Flagship Project:  “Disclosing phytochemicals common mechanisms of action underlying their health benefits”.


Processes in Nutrition, Environment and Health, Advanced training course 6 ECTS | 2nd Semester 2016/2017 23 March – 25 May 2017 Thursday 14.00—19.00.

Registration open at FCUL Secretariat from 13/02/2017 to 13/03/2017



1st Annual Conference the Lisbon Living+ on 20th of February of 2017, at the Universidade de Lisboa – Reitoria (Salão Nobre).

The Lisbon Living+ consortium aims to develop innovative social and economic activities, based on knowledge transfer and valorization, as a significant contribution to the promotion of healthy living and active aging.


The Chemistry and Biochemistry Postgraduate Students Meeting of Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, will take place on 9th February 2017.


Ana Marta de Matos | Tuning C-Glucosyl Flavonoid Analogues into CNS-Targeted Molecules Against Aβ1-42-Induced Neurodegeneration

António Flor | Interaction of Plant Polyphenols with Lipid Bilayers: a Fluorescence Spectroscopy Characterization

André Bastos | Insights into the Involvment of Feeding Cycle in the Physiology of Hippocampal Na+ Channels 16.55 OC5 Daniel Olivença | A Mathmatical Mod


November 29th, 2016, Autumn CQB Seminar, 11h00
“Translational impact of lipid imaging by mass spectrometry techniques”
Gwendolyn Barceló-Coblijn

O Health Cluster Portugal realiza, a 23 de novembro de 2016, no Salão Nobre da Reitoria da Universidade de Lisboa, a sua VII Conferência Anual. Um painel alargado de especialistas nacionais e estrangeiros irá debater, entre si e com a audiência, os 5 P’s que estão a mudar os sistemas de saúde no mundo: Precisão, Predição, Prevenção, Participação e Pagamento por performance.


Produção e Consumo de Leguminosas: um Passado com Futuro? 1.ª Conferência Anual Colégio F3, 20 de outubro de 2016

colégio F3

Website da Conferência

From 4-6 of July, Ciência 2016: Encontro com a Ciência e Tecnologia em Portugal, sessão técnica de I&D: Química na Saúde e na Alimentação, no Centro de Congressos de Lisboa. Mais info em:

19th May 2016, 10h:30, room 8.2.38, Spring Seminar
Cell polarity a road map for cell functions and fate​
Dra. Helena Soares

4th March 2016, FFCUL and  Mercado da Ribeira, Festival Vida Saudável. Flyer

10th December 2015, 11h:00m, room 3.2.12., Autumn CQB Seminar
Following Amphiphilic Molecules on their Way through Lipid Membranes: Towards a Healthy Life
Dr. Hugo Filipe

27th November 2015, 10h:30m, room 8.2.39.
NUTRIAGEING workshop:Nutrition literacy for a healthy ageing

25th June 2015, Spring CQB Seminar, 11h00
“The Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering – research and application to breast cancer”
Prof. Pedro M. Almeida

23rd June 2015, Salão Nobre da Reitoria da ULisboa
CQB Participation on the AGEING Conference of the ULisboa Network HEALTH

  • Oral presentation – “Envelhecimento activo e saudável: nutrição, actividades física e cognitiva.”
    Amélia P. Rauter, Alice Martins, Marta S. Silva, António Ferreira, Luís Sousa, Kamil Turkman, Antónia Turkman, Marília Antunes, Helena S. Costa, Tânia Albuquerque, Ana Silva
  • Poster presentation – “Compounds from herbal infusions in the prevention of age-related diseases.”
    Pedro L. Falé, Maria Luísa Serralheiro
  • Poster presentation – “Multidisciplinary Approach to Predict the Risk for Incapacity on Senior Population and Define Prevention Strategies.”
    Teresa Tomás, Beatriz Fernandes, Bruno Carmona, Helena Soares

21st May 2015, Spring CQB Seminar, 15h30
“Treating cancer with LUZ(11)”
Prof. Luís G. Arnaut

19th March 2015, Winter CQB Seminar, 11h00
“Revealing Amyloid fibril formation through the ions of Mass spectrometry”
Dr. Gonçalo Costa, CQB Researcher

2nd February 2015
1st Conference of the ULisboa Network HEALTH
Salão Nobre da Reitoria da ULisboa

11th December, Autumn CQB Seminar 2014, 11h30
“Stem cell-derived products for cell therapy and 3D models for pre-clinical research: bioprocess challenges”
Prof. Paula Alves, CEO of IBET, Director of Animal Cell Technology Unit, ITQB; Associate Professor, FCT-UNL.

23th October, Autumn CQB Seminar 2014, 11h30
“Novel approach towards potential selective cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors targeting cancer”
Dr. Nuno Xavier, CQB Researcher

24th September 2014
WORKSHOP “Moving to a Healthy Life and an Active Ageing: Science and Policy towards Innovative Solutions”
Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa