Carlos Afonso

Bioorganic Chemistry

The Bioorganic Chemistry laboratory is focused on the interface of organic chemistry and biology, aiming at the discovery and process intensification of new more sustainable synthetic methodologies that, in collaboration with biomedical laboratories, can be further explored to tackle important biological problems related with infectious diseases, oncology and inflammation.

Emerging technologies

This synthetic organic chemistry laboratory is focus on the following research areas: Development of bio-inspired, efficient (non)catalyzed and sustainable synthetic methodologies, for the synthesis of complex/target molecules; Total synthesis of biologically active and chemically useful small molecules, based on the isolation/synthesis and chemical/biotechnology valorisation of natural resources; Process intensification via flow chemistry, including photocatalysis, high pressure and electrosynthesis.



Taking advantage of the novel synthetic methodologies developed within our group, diverse families of small molecules are screened for anticancer activity aiming at the identification of new scaffolds.


Metabolic diseases

We are focused on identifying lead compounds as necroptosis inhibitor derived from our structurally diverse synthesized molecules.


Infection diseases

The diversity of small molecules synthetized in our lab allows identification of new anti-bacterial and anti-malarial scaffolds.

Gomes RFA, Ravasco JMJM, Andrade KHS, Coelho JAS, Moreira R, Oliveira R, Nogueira F, Afonso CAM. Tandem Thio-Michael Addition/Remote Lactone Activation of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural-Derived δ-Lactone-Fused Cyclopentenones. ChemSusChem. 2022; e202102204. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.202102204.
Pereira JG, António JPM, Mendonça R, Gomes RFA, Afonso CAM. Rediscovering aminal chemistry: copper(II) catalysed formation under mild conditions. Green Chem., 2020, 22, 7484–7490. DOI: 10.1039/d0gc01977a
Ravasco JMJM, Monteiro CM, Siopa F, Trindade AF, Oble J, Poli G, Simeonov SP, Afonso CAM. Creating diversity from biomass: a tandem bio / metal-catalysis towards chemoselective synthesis of densely substituted furans. ChemSusChem, 2019, 12, 4629-4635. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201902051
Gomes RFA, Coelho JAS, Afonso CAM. Direct Conversion of Activated 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural into δ-Lactone-fused Cyclopentenones. ChemSusChem, 2019, 12, 420-425; DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201802537 (VIP Paper)
Gomes RFA, Mitrev YN, Simeonov SP, Afonso CAM. Going Beyond the Limits of the Biorenewable Platform: Sodium Dithionite-Promoted Stabilization of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural. ChemSusChem 2018, 11, 1612-1616. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201800297

Carlos Afonso

Group Leader


Phone: (+351) 217946400 (Ext. 14614)

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Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa | Av. Professor Gama Pinto
1649-003 Lisboa | Portugal

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