Cellular Function and Therapeutic Targeting

Group Leader

Cecília Maria Pereira Rodrigues

PhD (1996) in Pharmacy (Biochemistry), Universidade de Lisboa
Postdoctoral research at University of Minnesota, USA
Full Professor, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa
Coordinator, iMed.ULisboa


The Research

Our goal is to identify novel mechanism-based molecular targets for therapeutic intervention, by focusing on the discovery and regulation of signalling pathways involved in cell death, differentiation and proliferation. We use experimental models of liver, gut and brain disorders involving inflammation, degeneration and regeneration, and test therapeutic strategies at the preclinical level that may influence disease progression. We have developed bile acids as a group of promising endogenous modulators of cell death/survival, protected by patents and licensed by spin-off pharmaceuticals.

We pursue these goals within two core areas of discovery: 1) Molecular targets of protection and repair; and 2) Novel therapeutic strategies




General representation of research activities

Ongoing Projects

Source: FCT (Harvard-Portugal Program, HMSP-ICT/0018/2011)
Title: Treat liver diseases by targeting hepatocyte necroptosis
PI: Cecília M. P. Rodrigues
Period: 2013-2016

Source: AstraZeneca, UK
Title: High throughput screening with AstraZeneca’s compound library
PI: CMP Rodrigues
Period: 2015-2016

Source: Gilead Sciences International
Title: Role of mitofusin 2 in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and targeting by microRNAs
PI: Rui E. Castro
Period: 2015-2017

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

Recent Most Relevant Publications

Morgado AL, Rodrigues CMP, Solá S. MicroRNA-145 regulates neural stem cell differentiation through the Sox2-Lin28/let-7 signaling pathway. Stem Cells. 2016 Feb 6. doi: 10.1002/stem.2309. [Epub ahead of print]

Moutinho M, Nunes MJ, Gama MJ, Rodrigues CMP, Gomes AQ, Rodrigues E. Cholesterol 24-hydroxylase overexpression inhibits the LXR pathway by activating sGTPases in neuronal cells. Mol Neurobiol. 2015; 51: 1489-1503.

Simões AES, Pereira DM, Gomes SE, Caridade M, Carvalho T, Castro RE, Steer CJ, Thibodeau SN, Rodrigues CMP, Borralho PM. Aberrant MEK5/ERK5 signalling contributes to human colon cancer progression via NF-KB activation. Cell Death and Disease 2015; 6: e1718.

Castro RE, Ferreira DMS, Borralho PM, Machado MV, Cortez-Pinto H, Rodrigues CMP. miR-34a/SIRT1/p53 is suppressed by ursodeoxycholic acid in rat liver and activated by disease severity in human non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Hepatol. 2013; 58: 119-125.

Rodrigues CMP, Solá S, Nan Z, Castro RE, Ribeiro PS, Low WC, Steer CJ. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid reduces apoptosis and protects against neurologic injury after acute hemorrhagic stroke in rats. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003; 100: 6087-6092.