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Tools for Discovery and Preclinical Research


Tools for Discovery and Preclinical Research

Catarina Brito

The main objective of this curricular unit is to provide the student knowledge on the wide variety of tools and technologies available for the Discovery and Preclinical stages of drug development, from biopharmaceutical design to preclinical evaluation phases.


  • The Drug Discovery and Development Process; Drug Modalities. 
  • Novel technologies in Biopharmaceutical Discovery & Design: in silico and ultra-high-throughput platforms; in vitro display technology, such as phage, ribosome and mRNA display; RNA interference technology, etc.
  • In vitro models, from cell-free protein assays to cell-based assays, complex cell models and multi-organ systems.
  • In vivo models in Preclinical Development: genetic engineered animal models, humanized animal models.

The evaluation will be based on the student performance during lectures and tutorials and on a written presentation in which the student will have elaborate on approaches and methodologies employed in the drug discovery & development and propose alternatives or follow-up studies towards advancing in the process.

Main Bibliography
  • “Pharmaceutical biotechnology: drug discovery and clinical applications, 2nd edition” Edited by O. Hayser, H. Varzecha, Wiley-VCH, 2012.

  • “Advancing Disease Modeling in Animal-Based Research in Support of Precision Medicine: Proceedings of a Workshop”. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2018 May 30.

  • Review papers in the main topics covered as well as research articles related with the case studies presented.



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