I have been a scientist ever since I remember, spending most of my professional life in academia studying basic biological problems based on genomics and bioinformatics. After many years in academia, I have become increasingly interested in the generation of value from science, of translating knowledge to society, and I am now involved in a series of projects aiming at generating value to society from biomedical science. These and other past and present projects are detailed in my projects page. Below you can find a summary of my CV.
- I founded in 2015 a start up dedicated to developing precision oncology solutions. As CEO, I deal with the everyday management of a company that brings innovation to the clinical market, including managing human resources, budgets, quality, management of an IP portfolio, negotiations with clients and partnerships with industrial players (pharma, devices), etc.
- As scientific director of the business incubator Healthcare City since From 2018 to the end of 2018, I participate in the selection of new start ups from multiple countries evaluating their technical feasibility and business model; I follow and mentor these companies and lecture at the acceleration program “11 Health Market Program”, a program that I co-designed.
- I previously led other innovation projects: i) in pharma, where I took results from my own research in the form of a new antimicrobial compound with application in biodefense, managing an IP portfolio developed around this compound and institucional negotiations about technology transfer ii) in the area of medical software where I deal with issues pertaining licensing and certification. I have been involved in other innovation projects, including in the areas of scientific education, marine resources, among others.
Internacional and in multiple contexts
I was a researcher at multiple and diverse institutions in several countries, which gives me a broad vision of how research an innovation is pursued and the role of basic and applied research in generating innovation and economic and social value.
- 2006-2017 – Principal Investigator – Computational Genomics Laboratory – Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (PT)
- 2004-2005 – Career Development Fellow – MRC – Laboratory of Molecular Biology (UK)
- 2004 – Post Doctoral Fellow – MRC – Laboratory of Molecular Biology (UK)
- 2002-2003 – Post Doctoral Fellow – EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute
Beyond my research work, I managed a technological core of a research institution and participated in the development of national and international scientific infrastructures.
- 2013-Present -I was the coordinator of the original proposal and I am the current president of the board of BioData.pt, the Portuguese biological information infrastructure
- 2008-2013 – I represented Portugal in the workgroup that established the ESFRI ELIXIR, a distributed infrastructure for biological information, and participated in the preparation of its first funding proposal to the Horizon 2020; I was Portugal’s first Head of Node.
- 2006-2014 – Head of the Bioinformatics Core of the Institute Gulbenkian de Ciência
In thesecontexts I participated in multiple funding exercises, with individual and consortia funding resulting millions of Euros that I managed or co-managed. Funding bodies included national and international scientific funding agencies, innovation funding, H2020, EEA program, etc.
My research work and my focus in Bioinformatics and Computational approaches to Biology allowed me to work in several areas of knowledge, including what is currently termed Big Data in Biology, the development of novel computational methods for data analyses, and to help develop a new(wish) research area – Evolutionary Cell Biology. I conducted research in several applied contexts to human health (blindness, cancer, infectious diseases), Biodefense (new drugs), Marine Biotech (micro-organism with biotechnological and/or environmental risk potential), as well as in characterising species of interest for AgroForestry. Finally, during my first foray into research, for about two years I married research in (Eco)Toxicology with optimisation of Nuclear/Analytical Chemistry at the Portuguese Nuclear Reactor.
Education & Training
- I was fortunate to participate in the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics – “ADVANCED PROGRAM IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION MANAGEMENT .” I would strongly recommend it to anyone thinking of making the move from Academia to the Business World as it was a real eye opener!
- I was a PhD student under the pioneering Gulbenkian PhD Program in Biology and Medicine(class of 1995), which gave me the opportunity to work under the supervision of Professor Miguel C. Seabra in two outstanding institutions in the UK and USA. I presented my thesis at the University of Porto in 2001, obtaining the title of DOCTOR IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES.
- I graduated in BIOCHEMISTRY, still in the older format of the Licenciatura, where we had four years of courses, followed by a one year dissertation. My dissertation work was a mixture of toxicology of heavy metals using animal models, and methodological development, working with Neutron Activation Analysis.
Supervision and Teaching
Supervised 8 PhD students, of which 6 have already graduated*, including MDs, both in academia and in a company setting; I supervised 3 MSc students.
Selected teaching experience – Coordination of modules in Graduate Programs
- 2014 – 2017 – Coordinated the “Hypothesis-driven research” module in the PhD program “Integrative Biosciences” at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência.
- 2010 – 2015— Coordinated the “Research in Bioinformatics” module of the MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program.
- 2012 – 2014 – Coordinated the “Bioinformatics” module of the PhD Program Science for Development
- 2008 – 2011 – Coordinated the “Genomics and Bioinformatics” module of the Advanced Medical Training Program (a PhD program for MDs)
- 2010 – 2011 – Coordinated the “Structural Biology” module of the Advanced Medical Training Program (a PhD program for MDs)
- 2005-2008 – Coordinated the “Protein interaction networks” module in the PhD Program in Computational Biology
Selected teaching experience – International Summer Schools
- 2015 – Faculty of the Summer Program in Evolutionary Cell Biology, part of the Quantitative Biology Program of the Kavli Institute In Theoretical Physics, in Santa Barbara, USA
- 2013 – Faculty do Physiology Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, USA
- 2011 – Co-organiser of the International summer School in Genome Biology and Evolution at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal (VW European Campus of Excellence)