Cristina Carvalho

Toxicology, Biomarkers & Risk Assessment

Our lab works on exposure assessment and environmental occurrence of xenobiotics that are considered worldwide concerns to Environment and Public Health. We study the toxicants and drugs’ mode of action to identify new biomarkers to support Human and Environmental Risk Assessment processes and develop innovative technologies and therapies.

We have been involved in Environmental and Human Risk Assessment resulting from exposure to xenobiotics that are considered worldwide issues. Development of mitigation strategies, Regulation and Risk communication accrue from the probability and severity of adverse effects.

Based on the xenobiotics and drugs’ mode of action, we also quantify and identify new biomarkers of the predictive effect of toxicity. Additionally, new technologies are being implemented and optimized to screen new contaminants, followed by two approaches: pre-treatment or quantifying methods. Regarding this last issue, the focus is the analysis of microplastics in environmental and biota matrices.

Our objectives include the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of toxicity involving redox systems with an emphasis on the thioredoxin system. In this context, the selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase appears as a central target to electrophilic agents. Our group first discovered its involvement on the mercury’s Neurotoxicity. Now we are using that knowledge to evaluate the repurposing of thimerosal (ethylmercury thiosalicilate) and derivatives as a therapeutic option in Oncology. Different approaches are being tested to specifically target cancer cells and these include Innovative technologies.

Barboza LGA, Vieira LR, Branco V, Figueiredo N, Carvalho F, Carvalho C, Guilhermino L. Microplastics cause neurotoxicity, oxidative damage and energy-related changes and interact with the bioaccumulation of mercury in the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax (Linnaeus, 1758) Aquatic Toxicology; 2018, 195: 49-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.12.008
Ren X, Zou L, Zhang X, Branco V, Wang J, Carvalho C, Holmgren A, Lu J. Redox signaling mediated by the thioredoxin and glutathione systems in the central nervous system. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling; 2017, 27: 989-1010. DOI:10.1089/ars.2016.6925
Branco V, Caito S, Farina M, Rocha JT, Aschner M, Carvalho C. Biomarkers of mercury toxicity: Past, present and future trends. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, Crit Rev; 2017, 20 (3): 119-154. DOI: 10.1080/10937404.2017.1289834.
Gaffney V, Mota-Filipe H, Pinto RA, Thiemermann C, Loureiro M, Cardoso VV, Benoliel MJ, Almeida CMM. Chemical and biochemical characterization and in vivo safety evaluation of pharmaceuticals in drinking water. Environ Toxicol Chem; 2016, 35(11), 2674–2682. DOI: 10.1002/etc.3451.
Gaffney V, Almeida CMM, Rodrigues A, Ferreira E, Benoliel MJ, Cardoso VV. Occurrence of pharmaceuticals in a water supply system and related human health risk assessment. Water Research, 2015; 72: 199-208. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.10.027.

Cristina Carvalho

Group Leader


Phone: (+351) 217946400 (Ext: 14344 or 14200)

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

Phone | +351 217 946 400
Fax | +351 217 946 470
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