THE TEAM IN NANOMEDICINE 2021
João Conde, PhD
João Conde is an Assistant Professor and Group Leader at NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, ToxOmics, CEDOC. He received his PhD in Biology, specialty in NanoBiotechnology from the NOVA University and Universidad de Zaragoza in 2014, under the FP7 European Consortium NanoScieE+ – NANOTRUCK for the development of multifunctional gold nanoparticles for gene silencing. After, he was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard-MIT Division for Health Sciences and Technology and in School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London. From 2017 to 2019 he was a Junior Investigator at Instituto de Medicina Molecular. In 2019, he won an ERC Starting Grant to build a genetic biobarcode to profile breast cancer heterogeneity. He is also co-founder of the biotech company TargTex, Targeted Therapeutics for Glioblastoma Multiforme. Since 2020, he is also part of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Consortium from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington.
The main aspects related to the recognition and diffusion of his early contributions are: more than 80 articles in journals of Cancer Therapy, Oncology, Nanotechnology/Materials Science and NanoMedicine (The Lancet, Nature Materials, The Lancet Oncology, Nature Nanotechnology, JAMA Oncology, Nature Communications, PNAS, Accounts of Chemical Research, Progress in Materials Science, ACS Nano, Advanced Materials, JACS, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Functional Materials, Trends in Cancer, Trends in Biotechnology, Biomaterials, etc.), more than 30 articles are as 1st author and more than 40 articles as corresponding author and cited more than 5600 times (h-index 38). Several of them have been selected as cover page of journals such as Nature Nanotechnology (COVID-19 Special Issue), The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, ACS Nano, Adv. Functional Materials, Trends in Cancer, JACS, Angewandte Chemie, ACS Central Science, ACS Sensors, Biomaterials Science, ACS Applied Bio Mat, Adv. Healthcare Materials, Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry and BioTechniques. Moreover, 6 international patents were submitted and approved, all with relevant developments in nanomaterials-based platforms for cancer therapy and diagnosis. He was also awarded with several international awards, including the Nanomaterials 2020 Young Investigator Award, the 2021 Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigator, the Top2% Most cited in Nanoscience/Nanotechnology from PLOS Biology, the Wellcome Image Awards 2017, the Nano-Micro Letters Researcher Award, and the National Cancer Institute Image award.
Bárbara B. Mendes, PhD
Bárbara B. Mendes has a PhD in Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells, from University of Minho (Portugal) in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (USA). She is the first-author and co-author of 9 full length papers published in international scientific journals (plus 1 under revision), 3 book chapters, 8 oral communications and 19 poster presentations. In addition, she is inventor of 1 international patent. She has an h-index of 9 according to Google Scholar, and 8 for Scopus, and her work was cited more than 250 times.
For nearly five years, she has been researching and engineering intrinsically bioactive systems as mimics of the native extracellular matrix that find multiple research and clinical applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering field. She is conducting research work in a multidisciplinary ground, from biomaterials, drug delivery to gene therapy.
João Conniot, PhD
João Conniot has a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Lisbon (Faculty of Pharmacy). He obtained his PhD in Pharmacy in 2018, from the same University, under the supervision of Prof. Florindo from iMed.ULisboa, with a PhD scholarship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. During his PhD studies João Conniot designed and optimized delivery systems for the co-entrapment of tumor-associated antigens and small nucleotide sequences as cancer nano-vaccines. After his PhD, João has focused on developing immune-oncology and immune-engineering approaches to improve the clinical outcomes of cancer immunotherapies. In the project GelGeneCircuit he is studying the immune cell profile within the tumor microenvironment with multicolor miRNA circuits to assess cancer therapeutic outcomes.
Diana Sousa, MSc
Diana Sousa graduated in Biochemistry and obtained a Master degree in Biochemistry for Health at NOVA School of Science and Technology of the NOVA University. She worked for three years as a research fellow in different labs in the fields of Medical and Health Sciences with emphasis on Immunology, Cell Biology, Glycobiology and Cancer Therapeutics and acquired experience in antibody development and characterization, cell line manipulation and immune cell isolation/differentiation, focusing on immunomodulatory processes. She is also interested in the development of anti-cancer targeted therapeutics and diagnosis tools using nanobiomaterials and is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedicine at the Conde Lab working on the ERC project "Cancer heterogeneity and therapy profiling using bioresponsive nanohydrogels for the delivery of multicolor logic genetic circuits".
Jhenifer Oliveira, MSc
Jhenifer Oliveira graduated in Biochemistry at NOVA School of Science and Technology – UNL in 2018. She obtained her Master's degree in Biochemistry for Health at ITQB/FCT – UNL in 2021. Her dissertation project consisted of implementing and optimizing a 3D hepatic cell model and was performed at the Advanced Cell Models laboratory – iBET, under the supervision of Doctor Catarina Brito. During this project, she acquired experience in cell culture, 3D cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, image analysis and flow cytometry data analysis. Recently, she joined Conde Lab as a PhD student in Biomedicine and will be working on the synthesis and characterization of hybrid nanoparticles and hydrogels for local therapy of breast cancer, as well as on the evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy and the profiling of tumour heterogeneity.
Joana Amorim, BSc
Joana Amorim graduated in Health Sciences at the University of Lisbon in 2020. Currently, she is pursuing her master's degree in Biomedical Research with a specialization in oncobiology at NOVA Medical School of NOVA University. Joana has acquired a great interest in precision medicine for cancer treatment. For her thesis project, she will be focusing on the development of polymeric nanoparticles for the delivery of miRNA cassettes as part of the ERC project " Cancer heterogeneity and therapy profiling using bioresponsive nanohydrogels for the delivery of multicolor logic genetic circuits".
João Ravasco, MSc
João M. Ravasco received his M. Pharma from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon (FFUL). He is currently finishing his PhD student at iMed.ULisboa under the supervision of Prof. Carlos A. M. Afonso and Dr. Alexandre Trindade. During his PhD, João has been studying the reactivity profile and designing controllable bioorthogonal tools for bioconjugation and controlled drug delivery. For such purpose, he has also established comprehensive multivariate AI models predicting the efficacy of gold-standard bioorthogonal cycloadditions in biological systems. Currently, he is interested in developing multifunctional systems for cancer therapy and profiling.
Rajendra Prasad, PhD
Rajendra Prasad has a PhD at the Department of Catalysis & Inorganic Chemistry AcSIR, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, India about ‘Multifunctional hybrid nanomaterials for cancer theranostics.’ After the PhD Rajendra did a Postdoctoral training at the Institute Postdoctoral (IPD) Fellow NanoBios Laboratory and Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (India). on functional materials design and their bio-engineering. So far, he has published 20 peer reviewed articles in top tier journals and more than 15 patents and trademarks as an inventor/co-inventor. In the past, he designed and conceptualized novel approaches for engineering safe nanocontrast agents and participate in developing methodologies for localized and early stage diagnosis of cancer cells/tumor with Conde NanoLab. Hence, based on his expertise and experience in functional nano(bio)materials design is a valuable asset for the group.