Chemical Biology and Toxicology

Group Leader

Maria H. L. Ribeiro

PhD (1994) in Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Universidade de Lisboa
Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Therapeutics, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa


The Research

Chemical Biology and Toxicology 1

We perform state of-the-art research for the development of biotechnology-derived drugs and implementation of alternative cell-based methods for predictive toxicology and drug development purposes. Moreover, the identification and development of biomarkers for human risk assessment of xenobiotics (including drugs) and biochemical factors influence in health and disease are also within the aims of our group. The specific goals are to address the challenges associated with:

  • Cell and enzyme-based bioprocess: from bioengineering to downstream processing towards biotechnology-derived therapeutics;
  • Tailoring, formulation and biocompatibility studies of biomaterials and medical devices;
  • Development of 3D culture models for predictive toxicology of drugs;
  • Modulation of genotoxic stress in human cells;
  • Identification and validation of biomarkers for neurotoxicity and tumoral monitoring;
  • Risk-benefit analysis of the developed biomolecules using new strategies;
  • Human health risk (or benefit) assessment in different scenarios involving nutrition, therapeutics or contamination.

Chemical Biology and Toxicology 2

Ongoing Projects

Source: Liga Portuguesa contra o Cancro (LPCC-NRS/Terry Fox)
Title: Triggering a specific immune response against cancer – a strategy for primary and metastatic tumor treatment
Team member: Joana P. Miranda
Period: 2015-2017

Source: FCT International Project (TUBITAK/003/2014)
Title: EXO-UCX®: The use of exosomes derived from umbilical cord tissue mesenchymal stromal cells (UCX®) for the treatment of open cutaneous wounds.
PI: Joana P. Miranda
Period: 2016-2019

Source: iMed.ULisboa 2016 Call: ”Academia-Industry Partnership for Collaborative Studies”
Title: The use of exosomes derived from hnMSCs for improving regeneration of cutaneous wounds
PI: Joana P. Miranda
Period: 2016-2017

Source: iMed.ULisboa 2016 Call: ”Academia-Industry Partnership for Collaborative Studies”
Title: Novel Glycolipid functionalized biomaterial as preventive approach for catheter-related infections
PI: Isabel A. Ribeiro
Period: 2016-2017

Source: FCT (EXPL/DTP-FTO/0308/2013)
Title: Priming of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from the Umbilical Cord Tissue (UCX®) as a Means of Incrementing Their Therapeutic Potency for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Team member: Joana P. Miranda
Period: 2016-2017


Recent Most Relevant Publications

Branco V, Coppo L, Solá S, Lu J, Rodrigues CMP, Holmgren A, Carvalho C. Impaired cross-talk between the thioredoxin and glutathione systems is related to ASK-1 mediated apoptosis in neuronal cells exposed to mercury. Redox Biol 2017, 13: 278-287.

Cipriano M, Correia J, Camões S, Oliveira N, Cruz P, Cruz H, Castro M, Ruas J, Santos J, Miranda JP. The role of epigenetic modifiers in extended cultures of functional hepatocyte-like cells derived from human neonatal mesenchymal stem cells. Arch Toxicol 2017, 91: 2469-2489.

Cipriano M, Freyer N, Knöspel F, Oliveira NG, Barcia RN, Cruz H,Cruz P, Castro M, Santos JM, Zeilinger K, Miranda JP. Self-Assembled 3D Spheroids and Hollow-fibre Bioreactors improve MSC-Derived Hepatocyte-Like Cell Maturation In Vitro. Arch Toxicol 2017, 91: 1815-1832.

Nunes MAP, Martins S, Rosa ME, Gois P, Fernandes P, Ribeiro MH. Improved thermostable polyvinyl alcohol electrospun nanofibers with entangled naringinase used in a novel mini-packed bed reactor. Bioresource Technology 2016, 213: 208-215.

Ferreira, M, Rzhepishevska, O, Grenho, L, Malheiros, D, Gonçalves, L, Almeida, A, Jordão, L, Ribeiro, I, Ramstedt, M, Gomes P, Bettencourt, A. Levofloxacin-loaded bone cement delivery system: Highly effective against intracellular bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Int J Pharm 2017, 532:241-248.

Group Members


  • Ana Conceição
  • Ana Coelho
  • Carla Mendes
  • Cássia Barbosa
  • Daniela Serrazina
  • Madalena Cota
  • Maxime Ferreira
  • Magda Ferreira
  • Mariana Anastácio
  • Rui Gomes
  • Susana Proença
  • Tiago Martins