Research areas

The main research areas:

1) Systems and Synthetic Biology.
2) Bioprocess Engineering
3) Bioentrepreneurship

My research focuses on applied systems biology, with applications in bioprocess engineering, culture media engineering, metabolic engineering and more recently synthetic biology. I could define my activity as the conjugation of systems biology fundaments into useful technological platforms to solve relevant biotechnological problems. I have developed systems biology projects applied to biotherapeutics production in mammalian and microbial cultures, to biopolymers production using microbial cultures and also to the optimization of environmental processes. Much of my work combines different types of experimental activities, including bench or pilot scale bioreactor studies and high-throughput “omic” technologies (metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics) with comprehensive mathematical modeling and computational analysis. Although the core activity is computational, I also develop experimental activities mainly with the yeast Pichia pastoris, which I have selected as model system to demonstrate the value added by the systems biology technological platforms developed by the group.

A very important aspect of my career is entrepreneurship directly supported by the scientific activities developed by the research group. Over the years I have increased considerably the time spent in entrepreneurial activities. I have organized the research group in a way to optimize value creation from knowledge and currently most of the PhDs are involved in entrepreneurial activities. I've contributed to the creation of 3 start-ups:


- MediaOmics is a spin-off from FCT/UNL dedicated to the engineering, formulation and production of cell culture media.
- MediaOmics uses a patented technology developed by the research group: PT no 105484 - "A cell functional enviromics method for the engineering of cell culture media”, May 2010, Inventors: Rui Oliveira, João Dias e Raquel Ferreira. International patent filling due soon.
- MediaOmics has entered the Act2Enhance program by COTEC in 2011 with 75,000 € funds
- MediaOmics has won the MIT-Portugal venture completion 2011 –life sciences track, and has been awarded with 100 000 € funds.


- Glyceropol Is a star-up founded by Filipe Aguiar, a former student at FCT/UNL.
- Glyceropol technology has been developed at FCT/UNL and IBET under several research contracts that originated three patents: WO 2008/127134 A1, WO 2010/013174 A2 , US 61/286,687
- Glyceropol has entered the Act2Prove program by COTEC in 2011 with 200,000 € funds

GoGreen Engineering

- The applicant is a co-founder and currently a manager of the company GoGreen engineering, Lda since 2007
- GoGreen is a company hosted at the Chemistry Department, FCT/UNL
- GoGreen is a company dedicated to the engineering of green technologies based on bioprocesses and membrane separation processes. GoGreen has a track record of 5 contracts with the industry (4 national and 2 international)