Ciências Biológicas


Biological Sciences is an exciting and rapidly developing scientific area. The explosion of available genetic and genomic information and the development of a number of post-genomic technologies and 'omics' approaches have enabled an extraordinary increase in capacity for analysis of the complexity of living systems and the molecular responses to changes in their environment and their genes. Systems Biology is an integrated interdisciplinary approach to obtain a 'global' view of the physiology of a cell that relies on the simultaneous identification and quantification of thousands of different molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, metabolites….) and on the use of predictive and explanatory computer models. The ability to manipulate life is today the promise of Synthetic Biology. Recent advances of modern Biology, including Synthetic and Systems Biology, would not have been possible without the use of model microorganisms. Microorganisms are also a truly inexhaustible source of renewable resources. Microbiology is therefore essential to understand and exploit their biotechnological potential as well as to prevent or control their negative effects. The understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of life and all the new developments have carried biological science into applications not even thought possible a decade ago, in human health, industrial biotechnology, environmental restoration and energy production.

The scientific area of Biological Sciences at DBE is dedicated to providing contemporary quality education at the undergraduate and at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels, covering a wide range of disciplines, in particular, Biochemistry, Molecular e Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Microbial Physiology, Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics. The structure of our programs ensures that students are exposed to courses that will prepare them for professional activities in the field of modern biology. The high-standard experimental teaching in the well-equipped modern laboratory of Biological Sciences and the opportunity to use the high quality facilities of the contiguous research laboratories in the area is another mark of the IST education in Biological Sciences. The students are taught by committed teachers who are actively engaged in internationally recognised research activities. This fact allows the student access to the latest advances and technologies in biological science and provides opportunities to participate directly in cutting edge research. The Biological Sciences team is also involved and coordinates at IST the European MSc euSYSBIO in Systems Biology.

Academic staff

Senior Researchers

Isabel Sá-Correia Molecular Systems Biology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae response to chemical stress
Regulation of gene and genomic expression under stress
Drug:H+ antiporters and the multidrug resistance phenomenon in the yeast model
Tolerance to acetic acid in S. cerevisiae and in the food spoilage yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii
Epidemiology, antibiotic resistance and Pathogenomics of Burkholderia cepacia complex(Bcc) bacteria involved in respiratory infections of cystic fibrosis patients
Arsénio Mendes Fialho Microbial-based therapy of cancer: bacterial protein azurin as a novel anticancer agent
Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering of bacterial exopolysaccharide biosynthesis:
i) Gellan gum: a multi-functional commercial gelling agent produced by Sphingomonas elodea ATCC31461
ii) Cepacian: the exopolysaccharide produced by clinical strains belonging to the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc)
Identification of noval virulence factors in Burkholderia cenocepacia.
i) Comparative Pathogenomics of Burkholderia species
ii) Novel adherence factors of pathogenic Burkholderia cenocepacia: mechanisms of action and their role in virulence
Cristina Anjinho Viegas Studies on the biodegradation and toxicity of herbicides (e.g. atrazine) and degradation products in soil microcosms.
Yeast-based bioassays for the assessment of the toxicity of environmental pollutants (e.g. pesticides, synthetic dyes)
Responses and underlying mechanisms to environmental stress in the eukaryotic model Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Jorge Gomes Leitão Genetics, Biochemistry and Physiology of Bacterial Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis
Molecular Typing of Bacterial Isolates of Clinical Interest
Caenorhabditis elegans as an infection model to reveal new virulence factors of Burkholderia cepacia complex
Molecular characterization of microbial populations from sludge bed reactors for wastewater treatment
Leonilde Morais Moreira Genetic and Physiology of Bacterial Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis
Miguel Cacho Teixeira Yeast physiology and Molecular Biology
Environmental stress response
Transcriptomics and transcriptional regulatory networks


Research centers

Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IBB)