Medicinal Chemistry

Group Leader

Rui Moreira

PhD (1991) in Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Universidade de Lisboa
Full Professor, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa
Program Area Leader, Drug Design at iMed.ULisboa

The Research

The group Medicinal Chemistry applies principles and techniques of medicinal chemistry to understand biology and to identify novel and robust chemical starting points for chemical biology and lead optimization. Major objectives of the group include:

– Synthesis of focused chemical libraries for target- and phenotypic cell-based screenings to discover novel lead compounds for cancer and infectious diseases;

– Design and synthesis of selective covalent inhibitors for proteases as diagnostic and therapeutic tools, through modulation of intrinsic reactivity and molecular recognition of novel chemical scaffolds;

– Computational discovery of chemical tools in drug discovery. We develop technically advanced computer-aided drug refinement tools to streamline the hit generation process for cancer and malaria targets;

– Development of prodrugs as chemical drug delivery systems to address selectivity, permeability and chemical/metabolic stability issues commonly found in many drugs and drug candidates.



Recent achievements of the Medicinal Chemistry group at iMed.ULisboa.

Ongoing Projects

Source: FCT (PTDC/BBB-BEP/2463/2014)
Title: ProbeCOPD. Protease activity-based probes for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease diagnostics
PI: Rui Moreira
Period: 2016-2019

Source: FCT (PTDC/QEQ-MED/7042/2014)
Title: Small-molecule inhibitors of human proteasome: a step forward in anticancer drug discovery
PI: Rita Guedes
Period: 2016-2019

Source: FCT (PTDC/QEQ-MED/7097/2014)
Title: Exploring TOR/PI3K kinases as targets for treating protozoan neglected tropical diseases
PI: Ana Ressurreição
Period: 2016-2019

Source: ERANET and FCT (ENMed/0051/2016)
Title: Modulation of melanoma-stroma interactions using a rationally-designed nanomedicine combining BRAFi-, MEKi- and immune-therapies
PI: Helena Florindo
Period: 2017-2020

Source: FCT (PTDC/BIM-MEC/0895/2014)
Title: New Drugs to Treat Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver and Progression to Cancer
PI: Cecília M. P. Rodrigues
Period: 2016-2018

Source: COMPETE2020 and FCT (SAICTPAC/0019/2015)
Title: POINT4PAC – Precision Oncology by Innovative Therapies and Technologies
PI: Cecília M. P. Rodrigues
Period: 2017-2019

Source: FCT (PTDC/EEI-ESS/4923/2014)
Title: MIMED – Mining the Molecular Metric Space for Drug Design
PI at iMed.ULisboa: Rita Guedes
Period: 2016-2019

Source: FCT (PTDC/DTP-FTO/1981/2014)
Title: Targeting p53 family proteins: on the route to new anticancer agents
PI at iMed.ULisboa: Maria Santos
Period: 2015-2018



Recent Most Relevant Publications

Pinheiro R, Braga C, Santos G, Bronze MR, Perry MJ, Moreira R, Brites D, Falcão AS. Targeting gliomas: can a new alkylating hybrid compound make a difference? ACS Chem Neurosci 2017; 8: 50-59.

Soares J, Espadinha M, Raimundo L, Ramos H, Gomes AS, Gomes S, Loureiro JB, Inga A, Reis F, Gomes C, Santos MMM, Saraiva L. DIMP53-1: A novel small-molecule dual inhibitor of p53-MDM2/X interactions with multifunctional p53-dependent anticancer properties. Molecular Oncology 2017; 11: 612-27.

Bonito CA, Nunes J, Leandro J, Louro F, Leandro P, Ventura FV, Guedes RC. Unveiling the Pathogenic Molecular Mechanisms of the Most Common Variant (p.K329E) in Medium-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency by in Vitro and in Silico Approaches. Biochemistry 2016; 55: 7086-98

Lavrado J, Brito H, Borralho PM, Ohnmacht SA, Kim NS, Leitão C, Pisco S, Gunaratnam M, Rodrigues CMP, Moreira R, Neidle S, Paulo A. KRAS oncogene repression in colon cancer cell lines by G-quadruplex binding indolo[3,2-c]quinolines. Sc Rep 2015; 5: 9696.

Oliveira R, Guedes RC, Meireles P, Albuquerque IS, Gonçalves LM, Pires E, Bronze MR, Gut J, Rosenthal PJ, Prudêncio M, Moreira R, O’Neill PM, Lopes F. Tetraoxane-Pyrimidine Nitrile Hybrids as Dual Stage Antimalarials. J Med Chem. 2014; 57: 4916-23.

Group Members

PhD Students

  • Ana Rita Acúrcio
  • Ana Rita Duarte
  • André Campaniço
  • Cláudia Braga
  • Diogo Silva
  • Filipa Gomes
  • Gustavo Silva
  • Jorge Grilo
  • Luís Carvalho
  • Luís Sobral
  • Margarida Espadinha
  • Marianna Katz
  • Patrícia Serra
  • Romina Guedes
  • Samina Kausar
  • Sara Garcia
  • Sara Moreira
  • Sofia Domingos

Master Students

  • Andreia Figueiredo
  • Andreia Gonçalves
  • Daniela Coutinho
  • Dário Silva
  • Elizabeth Lopes
  • João Lopes
  • Joana Ribeiro


  • Ana Rita Felix
  • Lara Fidalgo
  • Pedro Fernandes
  • Valentina Barcherini