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

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.


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. Ana then pursued her PhD degree in Sustainable Chemistry, being awarded a PhD grant from the highly competitive Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics Doctoral Programme. Her thesis, focused in the development of innovative strategies for wound healing, delivered many relevant outputs, including several original research articles and a patent submitted to the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property. In recognition of her outstanding research work, Ana has been recently awarded a Junior Researcher Position by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, through the highly competitive Individual Call to Scientific Employment Stimulus programme.


Renato has a PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences - Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy Speciality (2019) from the University of Porto, Faculty of Pharmacy (FFUP). His research interests focus natural products chemistry and the assessment of their biological properties, with special emphasis on antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities. To date, his research career has resulted in 40+ peer-reviewed papers, 1 book chapter, 1 international patent, and participation in 7 funded national and 2 international projects, 1 as Co-Principal Investigator, 1 as research team member and 7 as research fellow.

PhD students


Pedro as a Master degree in Bioengineering, with a Dissertation titled "High-throughput cell-in-gel microarray platform for the analysis of cell behaviour in 3D matrices". Pedro has worked as a Research Assistant 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. Pedro was next awarded a PhD grant to work on his Thesis titled "", supervised by Cristina MARTINS, Cristina BARRIAS, and Paula GOMES, and which he will expectedly conclude by May 2024.


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 next returned to FCUP to carry out her PhD studies, under the guidance of Profs. Paula Gameiro and Paula GOMES, where she has explored new derivatives of antimicrobial peptides as an alternative therapeutic strategy against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Rita is about to conclude her PhD Thesis, and embrace new challenges.

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 next pursued her MSc degree in Chemistry, where she started working on the establishment and optimization of a synthetic route towards 4,9-disubstituted acridines as potential multi-target antimalarials. After being awarded a PhD grant, she continued her investigations within this research topic, and is now about to conclude her PhD Thesis.

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 next pursued her MSc degree in Chemistry, devoted to the synthesis and study of ionic liquids derived from antimalarial drugs. After being awarded a PhD grant by the Portuguese Chemistry Society, SPQ, Ana Teresa has been devoted to the synthesis and study of surface-active ionic liquids derived from antimalarials and amphipathic lipids. She is now about to conclude her PhD Thesis.