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1st ITQB Phd Students' Meeting - 21/22 October 2010

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International Keynote


Dr. Hilal A. Lashuel, EPFL

Assistant Professor of Life Sciences
Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Neuroproteomics
Brain Mind Institute
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland

hilal_lashuel.jpgDr. Hilal A. Lashuel is a native of Yemen and received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from the City University of New York in 1994 and completed his doctoral studies at Texas A&M University and the Scripps Research Institute in 1999. After obtaining his  doctoral degree, he became a research fellow at the Picower Institute for Medical Research. In 2001, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Peter Lansbury at Harvard Medical School as a research fellow and was later promoted to an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure (2001-2004) in the Lansbury Lab his work focused on understanding the mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation and elucidating the structural basis of amyloid toxicity. In 2005, Dr. Lashuel moved to Switzerland to join the Brain Mind Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne as a tenure-track assistant professor in neuroscience. Currently, Dr. Lashuel is the director of the laboratory of molecular and chemical biology of neurodegeneration.Research efforts in the Lashuel’s laboratory cover the following topics: (1) Elucidating the structural basis of amyloid-associated toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease; (2) Understanding the role of quaternary structure in protein function and disease; (3) developing novel chemical and physical approaches and tools to monitor and control protein misfolding and aggregation in vitro and in vivo; (4) developing novel therapeutic strategies based on modulating protein aggregation and clearance.


National Keynotes

Dr. Mariana Sottomayor, IBMC


Mariana Sottomayor was born on January 18, 1964, in Porto, Portugal.
She has a degree in Biology and a PhD degree in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (FCUP), with part of the PhD project performed at the Department of Botany, University of Toronto, Canada, and most of it at the Department of Plant Physiology, University of Murcia, Spain.
Mariana Sottomayor is now “Professora Auxiliar” at FCUP, where she has been engaged in the creation of the MAP Joint Doctoral Program in Biology of Plants, BioPlant, promoted by the Universities of Minho, Aveiro and Porto (, and she leads a young and enthusiastic team of researchers with a strong collaborative and training ethos, the Laboratory of Plant Peroxidases and Secondary Metabolism (PSEC), which is part of the research group Molecular Biology of Nitrogen Assimilation, from IBMC – Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular.
Current lines of research include:
1-The improvement of the biotechnological potential of the highly valuable medicinal plant Catharanthus roseus, namely in what concerns unravelling the metabolism of their anticancer indole alkaloids through omic approaches, and the characterization of new bioactivities and respective phytochemical basis.
2-The investigation, both in Catharanthus roseus and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, of the roles and subcellular sorting of class III plant peroxidases, a group of enzymes involved in the metabolism of natural products and thus influencing plant bioactivities.

Dr. Nuno C. Santos, IMM


Nuno Correia Santos was born on July 17, 1972, in Lisbon, Portugal.
In July, 1995, he received his 5-years degree in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. From 1994 to 1999, he worked as a PhD student at the Technical University of Lisbon. During this time, he was also Teaching Assistant at Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (1995-1999), Visiting Researcher at Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (1997) and Assistant at Institute of Health Sciences (Lisbon) (1998-1999).
Nuno Santos received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, in November, 1999. Until 2000, he worked as Assistant at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon. That year, he became Assistant Professor in Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, becoming a Researcher of the Institute of Molecular Medicine upon its creation. Since 2008, Nuno Santos is Head of the Biomembranes Unit, Institute of Molecular Medicine. His research focuses on biochemical and biophysical processes occurring at the level of the membranes of human cells, as well as of their viral and bacterial pathogens

He is Associate Editor of Biopolymers – Peptide Science and Member of the Editorial Boards of Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery and Canal bq (Revista da Sociedade Portuguesa de Bioquímica). He was also Editor of the special issue of The Scientific World Journal entitled “Biochemical and biophysical mechanisms of viral fusion and assembly” (2010). He has referee duties for several international journals.
Nuno Santos has received several prizes including: 2001, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Prize in Biophysics; 2004, Dr. José Luís Champalimaud Prize on HIV Research (Basic Research area); and 2005 Dr. José Luís Champalimaud Prize on HIV Research (Applied Research and Technologies area).
Recently (June, 2010), Nuno Santos obtained the Habilitation in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon.




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