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Microbial & Enzyme Technology Lab





we want to contribute to the creation of a knowledge-based society, and a sustainable, circular, and inclusive economy




The research activities in our lab are in the interface of Protein Science and Protein Technology

The focus is on the discovery of new enzymes, in their thorough biochemical and structural characterization, engineering towards improved properties, and the design of eco-friendly and cost-effective bioprocesses for Industrial Biotechnology.

Biomass has emerged as a desirable renewable source of chemicals, materials, and fuels. It is widely believed that their mere abundance can facilitate the switch to bioprocesses to replace the petrol-based industry that we have relied upon in the near past. However, the full development of sustainable biorefineries is critically dependent on the development of robust and efficient enzymes.

We aim to enlarge the toolbox of enzymes (biocatalysts) for the synthesis, degradation, and valorization of natural and xeno-aromatic compounds, supporting the bio-based economy vision of the XXI century

On the fundamental side, our goals are to contribute to answering the long-standing question in protein science of “how function and structure are related”  and investigating the molecular mechanisms of enzyme evolution.

A multidisciplinary approach is followed to investigate oxidoreductive enzymes from the bacterial origin, laccases, metallo-oxidases, azo/quinone reductases, DyP ligninolytic peroxidases, pyranose 2-oxidases, and more recently isoeugenol monooxygenases, combining Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Structural Biology.


Principal Investigator: Lígia O. Martins 

tel: +351 214 469 534, e-mail:

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