Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology

Group Leader

João Gonçalves

PhD (1996) in Pharmacy (Microbiology), Universidade de Lisboa
Postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School and Scripps Research Institute, USA
Associate Professor, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa
Program Area Leader, Drug Discovery at iMed.ULisboa

The Research

Our aim is to investigate at the molecular level,the microbial and viral properties that are associated with infectious diseases and pathogenesis, drug resistance and microbial evolution, and use this knowledge to develop innovative biotechnological methods to control infection.  Our expertise covers molecular biology and genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, protein engineering, genomics and computational analysis to study basic functions of microbial pathogens, in particular, bacteriophage-cell and HIV-cell interactions, biofilms, sensing environmental changes, secretion systems, cell wall biogenesis, transcription regulation and microbial diversity and evolution, and develop novel molecular strategies to tackle these processes. We envision that the detailed elucidation of microbial pathogenicity mechanisms and their control could assist in attempts to the identification of new targets for therapeutic, prevention and to the design of new strategies to tackle infectious diseases.


General representation of group research activities and goals.

Ongoing Projects

Source: FCT (PTDC/SAU-FAR/119173/2010)
Title: ArmAb: Antibody strategy of ADC to cancer therapy
PI: João Gonçalves
Period: 2012-2014

Source: FCT (PTDC/IMI-MIC/0694/2012)
Title: Exploring the Mycobacteriophage lysis proteins to destroy the Mycobacteria Cell envelope
PI: Madalena Pimentel
Period: 2012-2014

Source: FCT (EXPL/BBB-EBI/0308/2012)
Title: PhageDuction: a new bacteriophage-based technology for efficient cell-targeted DNA delivery
PI: Carlos São José
Period: 2012-2014

Source: FCT (PTDC/BIA-MIC/66412/2006)
Title: Bacteriophage Genome Delivery to Gram-positive Bacteria: Virus and Host Cell Requirements for DNA traffic
PI: Carlos São José
Period: 2012-2014

Source: Bill and Melinda gates Foundation (OPP1035950)
Title: Nanotechnology against viral latency: Sensor strategies to eliminate HIV-1 infected cells Grand Challenges Explorations.
PI: João Gonçalves
Period: 2011-2013

Recent Most Relevant Publications

Catalão MJ, Gil F, Moniz-Pereira J, São-José C, Pimentel, M. Diversity in bacterial systems: bacteriophages show the way. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2013; 37: 554-571.

Perdigão J, Macedo R, Silva C, Machado D, Couto I, Viveiros M, Jordao L, Portugal I. From multidrug-resistant to extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in Lisbon, Portugal: the stepwise mode of resistance acquisition. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013; 68: 27-33.

Narciso A, Nunes F, Amores T, Lito L, Melo-Cristino J, Duarte A. Persistence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains in the host for long periods of time: relationship between phylogenetic groups and virulence factos. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012; 31: 1211-1217.

Vinga I, Baptista C, Auzat I, Petipas I, Lurz R, Tavares P, Santos MA, São-José C. Role of bacteriophage SPP1 tail spike protein gp21 on host cell receptor binding and trigger of phage DNA ejection. Mol Microbiol. 2012; 83: 289-303.

Cadima-Couto I, Oliveira S, Santos AC, Goncalves J. HIV-1 Vif Interaction with APOBEC3 deaminases and its characterization by a new sensitive assay. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2011; 23: 453-466.

Group Members


  • Ana Eusébio
  • Ana Rita Macedo
  • Carla Silva
  • Hugo Silva
  • Joana Sotero
  • Nuno Santos
  • Sandra Silva
  • Sofia Pires de Oliveira Pombo