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Ongoing Research Projects

MITP-TB/ECE/0013/2013 – CARDIOSTEM – Engineered cardiac tissues and stem cell-based therapies for cardiovascular applications. From September 2014 to August 2017 (extended to May 2018). Partners: CNBC/UC; IST-ID; Cell2B; CHLC; Hosp. Santa Marta; Crioestaminal; FMV-ULisboa; IBET; INEB Porto. PI: Lino da Silva Ferreira (CNBC/UC). FCT Funding: 976,549 €.

The project’s objective is to test the therapeutic potential of 2 cellular-based therapies (i) mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) isolated from bone marrow/umbilical cord matrix and (ii) cardiomyocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells - and 1 non-cellular based therapy- exosomes isolated from cordblood mononuclear cells or mesenchymal stem cells- in pre-clinical models according to EMA/FDA guidelines. Bioengineering platforms for the in vitro expansion/controlled differentiation of stem cells and targeting of exosomes to the heart will be covered in this project.

Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Espanha. (PI16/00719) - Retinal iron uptake through TIM2: implication in diabetic macular oedema. Principal investigator: Jesús Ruberte. CIISA/FMV/ULisboa. Beginning: 1/03/2016; Duration: 36 months. Funding 102729 €

PTDC/CVT-EPI/3638/2014: “Molecular evaluation of HER2 and Topoisomerases in feline mammary carcinoma - Developing rational strategies for effective diagnosis and cancer chemoimmunotherapy”. Principal investigator: Fernando Ferreira. CIISA/FMV/ULisboa. Duration: from 01-05-2016 to 30-04-2019. Funding: 174.760€.


Concluded Research Projects

EXPL/BIM-MED/1970/2013 – CARDIOSAFER – Development of a safer and more effective mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC)-based therapy for myocardial regeneration. From April 2014 to March 2015. Partners: IST-ID; FMV-ULisboa; CHLC, Hosp. Santa Marta. PI: Cláudia Lobato (IST-ID). FCT Funding 49,800 €.

Real-time assessment of coronary microcirculation after mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) administration and novel technologies for cell production will be developed, which will allow the translation of MSC therapeutic potential from the research bench side to the clinical bedside. The success will provide a grounded basis to conduct a Phase I/II clinical trial, which is expected to boost the treatment of acute myocardial infarction

PTDC/CVT-EPI/3460/2012 - Let´s make them fall: A genomic, proteomic and immuno-histologic approach on the involution of tick aggregation cement. Partners: IICT; FMV; IHMT; Biocant; Inst. Nacional Saúde. PI: L. Alfaro Cardoso. FCT Funding: 165,000 €.

This project aims at studying the involution of tick cement composition occurring on the final “feeding” stages of this parasite upon its host leading to the synthesis of a “antibody” or a vaccine introduced in the host, capable of inhibiting or decreasing cement preservation and inducing tick precocious fall out interrupting it’s life cycle, thus severely impairing its survival and reproduction.

PTDC/CVT/118566/2010 - Regulatory immune response in dogs at various clinical stages of leishmaniasis and undergoing different therapeutic protocols. PI: Isabel Pereira Fonseca. Partners: CIISA/FMV/UL and IHMT/UNL. Duration: 2012-2015. FCT Funding: 146,267 €.

The objectives of this project are the comparison and evaluation of the regulatory immune response in dogs under one of the three most common treatment protocols for canine leishmaniosis according to clinical stage, clinical and pathological signs and parasitic load. 

PTDC/SAU-ONC/121742/2010 - Investigation on the effect of Dll4FC anti-angiogenic tumour therapy on metastatic dissemination. PI: Alexandre Trindade (FMV/UTL). Duration: 2012-2015. FCT Funding: 149,505 €.

Current approved anti-angiogenic drugs extend disease-free progression time but fail to increase overall survival in cancer patients. Induction of more malignant progression of the disease is a main concern. Our approach is based on targeting Dll4 that strongly limits primary tumour metastatic dissemination where competing approaches act otherwise. The aim of this project is to study the impact of Dll4-based therapy on all the phases of the metastatic process.

PTDC/SAU-ONC/116164/2009 - Characterization of the Jagged1 ligand endothelial role in the regulation of tumoral neo-angiogenesis. Duration: 2011-2014. PI: Alexandre Trindade (FMV/UTL). FCT Funding: 115,090 €.

Vessel growth modulators are becoming important components of cancer and other angiogenesis-associated disease managements. The Notch ligands, Delta-like 4 (Dll4) and Jagged 1 (Jag1) were shown to be absolutely required for vascular morphogenesis. In contrast to the progress of Dll4 research, the postnatal Jag1 functions remain largely unstudied. Therefore, we present a proposal for a project that is likely to ascertain the role of Jag1 in pathological (tumour) adult mouse neo-angiogenesis.

PTDC/SAU-ORG/110856/2009 - Analysis of a new pathway to import iron into the retina: role of ferritin as iron carrier and implications in radical detoxification. PI: Jesús Ruberte. Partners: CIISA/FMV/ULisboa, Autónoma de Barcelona. Beginning: 1/03/2011; Duration: 36 months. FCT Funding 170,000 €.

The main goal of this project is to analyze and characterize a new pathway of iron importation into the retina through the influx of serum H-ferritin by TIM2 binding. Ferritin reacts with Fe(II) and induces its oxidation. This reaction sequesters Fe(II) from Fenton-like reactions that transform innocuous reactive oxygen species into highly toxic radicals, which induce cellular apoptosis.

Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Espanha (PI12/00605) - Analysis of SIRT1 effects in vascular microaneurysm formation during aging. PI: Jesús Ruberte. Beginning: 30/06/2012; duration: 36 months