Teresa Santos-Silva team

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 current 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. In 2007 I completed my MPhil degree in Bio-Technology in Bharathidasan University, while lecturing at different colleges in India.  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. in 2014 I  completed my PhD in Bioinformatics in Pondicherry Central University, Puducherry, India.  Since 2014 I am working as a Postdoc  funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation.

I am interested in Bioinformatics, Computational sequence analysis, Identification of neural and disease-related variants for several disease-causing genes, Molecular Modeling.

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.

Rita Mendes, MSc (Bolseira Investigação)

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa (finished in 2014). Then, I took a master’s degree in Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where I also developed my thesis based on gold nanoparticles for cancer treatment. Currently, I am a team member on the project “Carbon monoxide guided shuttles (COGSs) to fight Rheumatoid Arthritis”, which involves a collaboration between Structure-Based Drug Design and Nanomedicine Groups at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Bruno Carneiro (MSc student)

II left Chaves at the end of my high school to pursuit my dream and study biochemistry at Aveiro University. There I developed deeply my knowledge about chemistry and living systems, but I took the opportunity of developing my groupwork and organizing skills, being the coach of a feminine futsal team and a member of the chemistry students association of Aveiro. After finishing my bachelor degree, I attended a german intensive curse at Munich, funded by DAAD and getting C1 level. After, I decided to do a gapyear through South America, hitchhiking, doing volunteer and work-exchange, having the craziest and most adventurous year of my life. In September 2016, I enrolled in the Bioorganic Chemistry Master at the New University of Lisbon and during my first year of master, I had the opportunity to learn more about medicinal chemistry and having a solid base of biochemistry, gained during my bachelor degree, I chose to do my thesis on structural biochemistry.At the moment, I am interested in cell and structural biology.

In my free time, I work as a scientific-party animator for children and I like to travel, play futsal and being with my friends.

Joana Gonçalves (MSc student)

My journey in science started in 2008, at Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, with a degree on Technological Chemistry. While studying, I maintained a part-time job and was a volunteer at Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa as a paramedic. I also started a non-profitable association “Eleva-te”, that promoted workshops and lectures of various topics, offering to the community the opportunity of free education in whatever subject they liked.

In 2013, I attended classes of the MSc in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry in Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa, and discovered my passion in medicinal applications of biochemistry. Currently, I am student of the MSc degree in Bioorganic Chemistry at FCT-NOVA, applying biophysical techniques such as thermal shift assays, isothermal titration calorimetry, surface plasma resonance and microscale thermophoresis, molecular docking and X-ray crystallography to understand protein-ligand interacitons.


Andreia Marinho (MSc student)

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