Chemical Biology and Toxicology

Group Leader

Maria Henriques L. Ribeiro

PhD (1994) in Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Universidade de Lisboa
Associate Professor, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa


The Research


We perform state of-the-art research for the development of biotechnology-derived drugs and implementation of alternative cell-based methods for predictive toxicology and drug development purposes. Moreover, the identification and development of biomarkers for human risk assessment of xenobiotics (including drugs) and biochemical factors influence in health and disease are also within the aims of our group. The specific goals are to address the challenges associated with:

  • Cell and enzyme-based bioprocess: from bioengineering to downstream processing towards biotechnology-derived therapeutics;
  • Tailoring, formulation and biocompatibility studies of biomaterials and medical devices;
  • Development of 3D culture models for predictive toxicology of drugs;
  • Modulation of genotoxic stress in human cells;
  • Identification and validation of biomarkers for neurotoxicity and tumoral monitoring;
  • Risk-benefit analysis of the developed biomolecules using new strategies;
  • Human health risk (or benefit) assessment in different scenarios involving nutrition, therapeutics or contamination.


Development of biotechnology-derived drugs, and implementation of alternative methods (e.g. 3D culture models) for toxicological and drug development purposes toward biomarkers and human risk assessment.

Ongoing Projects

Source: Liga Portuguesa contra o Cancro (LPCC-NRS/Terry Fox)
Title: Triggering a specific immune response against cancer – a strategy for primary and metastatic tumor treatment
Team member: Joana Miranda
Period: 2015-2017

Source: FCT International Project (TUBITAK/003/2014)
Title: EXO-UCX®: The use of exosomes derived from umbilical cord tissue mesenchymal stromal cells (UCX®) for the treatment of open cutaneous wounds.
PI: Joana Miranda
Period: 2016-2019

Source: iMed.ULisboa 2016 Call: ”Academia-Industry Partnership for Collaborative Studies”
Title: The use of exosomes derived from hnMSCs for improving regeneration of cutaneous wounds
PI: Joana Miranda
Period: 2016-2017

Source: iMed.ULisboa 2016 Call: ”Academia-Industry Partnership for Collaborative Studies”
Title: Novel Glycolipid functionalized biomaterial as preventive approach for catheter-related infections
PI: Isabel Ribeiro
Period: 2016-2017

Source: FCT (EXPL/DTP-FTO/0308/2013)
Title: Priming of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from the Umbilical Cord Tissue (UCX®) as a Means of Incrementing Their Therapeutic Potency for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Team member: Joana Miranda
Period: 2016-2017


Recent Most Relevant Publications

Costa JG, Saraiva N, Guerreiro PS, Louro H, Silva MJ, Miranda JP, Castro M, Batinic-Haberle I, Fernandes AS, Oliveira NG. Ochratoxin A-induced cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and reactive oxygen species in kidney cells: An integrative approach of complementary endpoints. Food and Chem Toxicol: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 2015; 87: 65-76.

Ferreira IS, Bettencourt AF, Gonçalves LM, Kasper S, Bétrisey B, Kikhney J, Moter A, Trampuz A, Almeida AJ. Activity of daptomycin- and vancomycin-loaded poly-epsilon-caprolactone microparticles against mature staphylococcal biofilms. Int J Nanomed. 2015; 10: 4351-4366.

Nunes MAP, Rosa E, Fernandes PCB, Ribeiro MHL. Improved thermostable polyvinyl alcohol electrospun nanofibers with entangled naringinase used in a novel mini-packed bed reactor. Bioresource Technol. 2016; 213: 208-2015.

Ribeiro IAC, Faustino CMC, Guerreiro PS, Frade RF, Bronze MR, Castro MF, Ribeiro MHL. Development of novel sophorolipids with improved cytotoxic activity toward MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. J Mol Recogn. 2015; 28: 155-165

Santos JM, Camões SP, Filipe E, Cipriano M, Barcia RN, Filipe M, Teixeira M7, Simões S, Gaspar M, Mosqueira D, Nascimento DS, Pinto-do-Ó P, Cruz P, Cruz H, Castro M, Miranda JP. Three-dimensional spheroid cell culture of umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells leads to enhanced paracrine induction of wound healing. Stem Cell ResTher. 2015; 6: 90.

Group Members


  • Ana Conceição
  • Ana Coelho
  • Carla Mendes
  • Cássia Barbosa
  • Daniela Serrazina
  • Madalena Cota
  • Maxime Ferreira
  • Magda Ferreira
  • Mariana Anastácio
  • Rui Gomes
  • Susana Proença
  • Tiago Martins