Peptide science Group @ UPorto

Current Team



Paula joined the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in 1993, where she has since been devoted to both Teaching and Research. She finished her M.Sc. Thesis in Organic Chemistry in 1996, in the same Department, and concluded her Ph.D. in Peptide Chemistry in 2000, in the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Barcelona, Spain. Since her return to the University of Porto, in 2001, Paula built her own research team, devoted to Peptide Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry.
Paula also coordinates the Peptide Synthesis Facility of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, and has been recently appointed Secretary of the European Peptide Society and the Portuguese national representative at Division VII - Chemistry and Human Health, of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

Research Associates


Luísa got her Chemistry Degree in 2012, having carried out both her Graduation and Master Thesis in our group at the DQB-FCUP. She stayed in the group to carry out her Doctoral Thesis devoted to the synthesis and evaluation of novel peptide-drug conjugates with potential interest against neglected tropical diseases (NTD), supervised by Paula, Nuno Vale and Marina Pinheiro, both from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto. Luísa concluded her PhD on the past 3rd of April 2019, and his now a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at PG's lab.

Maria João ARAÚJO

Maria João is a colleague of Paula's, being also a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Maria João collaborates with Paula in the field of antimalarial drug development, and runs an independent line of research devoted to the chemical synthesis of (i) Lysine-based anionic gemini surfactants, and (ii) drug derivatives for the preparation of molecularly-imprinted xerogels, in collaboration with another colleague from our Department, Prof. Manuel Azenha.

Ricardo FERRAZ

Ricardo is a professor at Escola Superior de Tecnologias de Saúde do Instituto Politécnico do Porto. He graduated in Chemistry in 2002 and received his Master degree in 2006 at Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto. He has worked, under Paula's supervision, in the study of the stereochemistry of imidazolidin-4-one ring closure in primaquine derivatives. He then carried out his PhD in Sustainable Chemistry at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, on the subject "Development of Novel Active Pharmaceutical Ionic Liquids". He is now a Research Associate of our group, where he co-supervises MSc and PhD students working in ionic liquids with potential biomedical interest. His scientific interests include peptide synthesis; development of new drugs; structural analysis of organic molecules; antibiotic resistance, and therapeutic applications of ionic liquids.


Cátia got her Chemistry degree in 2003 and her M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry in 2005, having carried out both her Graduation and Master Theses in Organic Synthetic Chemistry, at the DQB-FCUP. She then moved to France, to carry out her Ph.D. thesis in Computational Medicinal Chemistry at the highly reputed ITODYS research centre of the Université Paris 7 - Paris Diderot. In 2008, Cátia was awarded the L'Oreal France - Unesco 2008 prize for her excellent scientific skills and doctoral research work. Cátia has joined our group as a post-doctoral research fellow in 2009, being in charge of all computational studies of the team in the field of antimalarial drug development. Cátia has been supervisor or co-supervisor of PhD and MSc students in our lab. Cátia has been already awarded two research grants by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, namely, EXPL/QEQCOM/0927/2013 on antimalarial drug discovery, and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-31798, devoted to repurposing antimicrobial peptides towards applications in the agro-food industry. Presently, she is a Research Associate ("Investigador Auxiliar") in Gomes's team.

PhD students

Raquel COSTA

Raquel got her BSc (2013) and MSc (2015) Degrees in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra, and after being involved in several projects of biotechnological basis, she joined our group to pursue a PhD degree in Sustainable Chemistry. Raquel is supervised by Paula GOMES and Cátia TEIXEIRA.


Rita got her BSc (2009) and MSc (2011) Degrees in Biochemistry at FCUP. As part of her BSc project, she worked on the synthesis and in vivo testing of metal complexes with insulin-mimetic activity at the DQB-FCUP, under the supervision of Prof. Maria Conceição Rangel. As master student, she moved to Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica to work in the tissue regeneration field, where she optimized a fibrin hydrogel-based coculture system for transplantation of neural stem cells and endothelial cells for spinal cord injury repair, supervised by Profs. Ana Paula Pêgo and Isabel Amaral. Later, Rita collaborated as research assistant in two projects at i3S/INEB, in the field of nervous tissue (NanoBiomaterials for Targeted Therapies group) and bone tissue regeneration (Microenvironments for New Therapies group). Rita has now returned to FCUP to carry out her PhD studies, under the guidance of Profs. Paula Gameiro and Paula GOMES, where she aims to explore new derivatives of antimicrobial peptides as an alternative therapeutic strategy against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Joana has a Master degree in Applied Microbiology, and was recently enrolled in the Doctoral Programme in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Porto. Her doctoral thesis will be devoted to development of antifungal peptides and respective delivery nanosystems, for treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Joana is supervised by José das Neves and Bruno SARMENTO, from the Nanomedicines and Translational Drug Delivery group at i3S-INEB, and by Paula GOMES, at FCUP.


Ana got her Chemistry Degree in 2011, having carried out her Graduation Thesis in our Group at the DQB-FCUP. She has remained in the group to carry out her Master Thesis on the synthesis and in vitro evaluation of potential dual-action antimalarials, which she concluded in April 2013. She's now a PhD student of the Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics Doctoral Programme, and her thesis is focused in development of innovative strategies for wound healing. Ana is supervised by Paula GOMES, Cátia TEIXEIRA, and Ricardo FERRAZ.

MSc students and pre-doctoral research assistants


Pedro has recently concluded his Master degree in Bioengineering, with a Thesis titled "High-throughput cell-in-gel microarray platform for the analysis of cell behaviour in 3D matrices". Pedro is now a Research Assistant working in project ANTINFECT, in which the PI is Cristina MARTINS, leader of the Bioengineered Surfaces at i3s-INEB, and the co-PI is Paula GOMES.


Natália is a Brazilian Pharmaceutist who has recently concluded her MSc degree in Biochemistry. Natália has been working in the establishment and optimization of a synthetic route towards 4-substituted acridines as potential dual-action antimalarials.

Mélanie FONTE

Mélanie got her Chemistry Degree in 2016, having carried out her Graduation Thesis in our lab, devoted to the synthesis and characterization of derivatives of the antimalarial drug primaquine. Mélanie has recently concluded her MSc degree in Chemistry, having been devoted to establishment and optimization of a synthetic route towards 4,9-disubstituted acridines as potential multi-target antimalarials.

Ana Teresa SILVA

Ana Teresa got her Chemistry Degree in 2016, having carried out her Graduation Thesis in our lab, devoted to the synthesis and characterization of ionic liquids derived from betulinic acid. Ana Teresa has recently concluded her Master degree in Chemistry, devoted to the synthesis and study of ionic liquids derived from antimalarial drugs. Currently, she is a Research Assistant at PG's lab.