Dr. Rita Guedes is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon (Portugal), where she head the Computational Medicinal Chemistry Research Group . She graduated from the Chemistry Department, University of Lisbon in 1997 and received her PhD at the same university in 2003. She then was awarded an Excellence Grant from the Portuguese National Science Foundation (FCT) in 2003 a postdoctoral research fellowship to work with Prof. Leif Eriksson in in silico development of Photodynamic Therapy photosensitizers at Uppsala University (the group moved to Örebro University in 2004), Sweden. In 2005 she moved to Lisbon to became a Lecturer at the University of Lisbon.
As an independent group leader, she has focused on the discovery and optimization of small molecules to target proteins involved in inflammation, cancer, infectious, and neurodegenerative diseases. Her research group uses accurate and efficient computational methods like molecular (and reverse) docking, virtual screening, homology modelling, pharmacophore modelling, de novo design, molecular dynamics simulations, quantum mechanics calculations and cheminformatics for drug design campaigns. Recently, highly potent and selective inhibitors of human elastase, as well as novel antimalarials, EZH2, RIP1, PD-L1 and proteasome inhibitors were discovered and optimized by her group. She secured funding in highly competitive calls, including national and international grants by the Pharma Industry (AstraZeneca, Hovione), the ERA-NET EuroNanoMed-II, and the FCT (Portuguese Science foundation) and published >100 peer-review papers in journals with high-impact factor including Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of computational information and modeling, and WIREs Comput Mol Sci.