Teresa Santos-Silva, PhD (PI)

I finished my undergraduate studies in 2001 in Organic Chemistry and completed my PhD in 2006 in Protein Crystallography at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. I have been involved in the study of molybdenum containing enzymes, chaperones, transporting systems and enzymatic mechanisms.

The main focus of my research is the structural characterization of drug-target complexes, namely organometallic molecules with biological activity. In these studies, I use X-ray diffraction and Small-Angle Scattering.

Jayaraman Muthukumaran, PhD (Post-Doc)

I have completed my undergraduate studies in Bio-Chemistry and Post-graduate studies in Bioinformatics in Indo-American College, University of Madras, India. After the completion of my Post-graduation, I was a Lecturer in the Department of Bioinformatics in Sree-Amman Arts and Science College, Erode, India (2005-2006). and at K.S.R College of Arts and Science, Tiruchengode, India (2006-2007), the Department of Bioinformatics.  During my teaching periods, I have completed my MPhil degree in Bio-Technology in Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India through distance education.  After that, I was a Junior Research Fellow (2007-2011) in the Department of Information Technology, New Delhi.  I was awarded Senior Research Fellowship (2011-2012) by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India. During that time, I  completed my Doctoral Studies in Bioinformatics in Pondicherry Central University, Puducherry, India (2014). 

Since 2014 I am working as a Post-doct funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia - Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal under the guidance of Dr. Teresa Santos Silva and Prof. Maria Joao Romao

I am interested in Computational sequence analysis, Identification of neural and disease-related variants for several disease-causing genes, Molecular Modeling, Database & Tool Development and X-ray Crystallography. 

Ana Rita Otrelo--Cardoso, MSc (PhD student)

I’m currently a Ph.D student at Faculdade de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa under the guidance of Dr. Teresa Santos Silva and Prof. Maria Joao Romao. I have a degree in Applied Chemistry (finished in 2010) and a Master’s in Biotechnology (finished in 2012) granted by FCT/UNL.

The major objective of my work is clarifying the insertion mechanism of the molybdenum cofactor (Moco) into apo-molybdoenzymes from a structural point of view. I have been working with different chaperones and ABC (ATP binding cassette)-type transporters, in collaboration with Prof. Silke Leimkühler from University of Potsdam (Germany) and Dr. Maria Gabriela Rivas from Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Argentina).Since 2014, I’m member of the PhD student committee of NOVA’s Doctoral School.

Francisco Leisico, MSc (PhD student)

I started my academic path in the University of Aveiro in 2008 where I took the undergraduate degree in Biotechnology (2011) and the Master Degree in Molecular Biotechnology (2011-2013). I arrived to the Protein Crystallography Group in 2013 to work under the supervision of Dr. Teresa Santos-Silva. In 2015 I started my PhD in Structural Biochemistry under the Doctoral Program in Molecular Biosciences (

My scientific interests are related to the structural characterization of unexplored new proteins or protein-ligand complexes with pharmaceutical application. I’m currently working in a variety of proteins such a bacterial sugar transporter component, a protein complex involved in Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan formation and others protein models complexed with potential drugs.  The main methodologies I’m interested in are X-ray crystallography, BioSAXS and methods to study protein-ligand interactions like ITC, STD-NMR and differential scanning fluorometry. I’m also interested in molecular docking and dynamics.

During the weekends and holidays I like to be with my friends and family, play football, support Sport  Lisboa Benfica e enjoy the Portuguese beaches.

João Ramos (MSc student)

I graduated in Biochemistry in 2016, at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia - Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL). My Bachelor involved an experimental project, with a semester's duration, in which I studied the use of Gold nanoparticles in protein crystallization, supported by the Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory and the Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, at FCT-UNL. Later, I pursued a related work, this time regarding the application of Selenium nanoparticles for protein’s structure solution in X-ray crystallography. Following my bachelor, I started the master’s in Biochemistry, at FCT-UNL. Presently, I’m working on my master’s thesis about “Structure based drug design for the discovery of promising anti-cancerous small molecules”, which comprises different structural and biophysical techniques, such as X-ray crystallography, Saturation Transfer Difference - NMR and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry.

Rita Mendes, MSc (Bolseira Investigação)

Marino Santos, PhD Currently at FCT - NOVA, Portugal 
Filipe Freire, PhD  Currently at IBET, Oeiras, Portugal
Marta Vieira, MSc
Ana Rita Oliveira, Msc Currently at FCT - NOVA, Portugal 
Catia Silva, Msc
Hugo Correia, MSc forever in our hearts!