Universidade do Minho  

Mapa do Site

O Departamento de Biologia organiza seminários quinzenais onde cientistas convidados falam de ciência e dão a conhecer os seus trabalhos de investigação, na área da Biologia / The Biology Department organizes biweekly seminars in which invited scientists will talk about science and their research work.
12 h  ::  Videoconferência


17 de janeiro

Elena Baena-Gonzalez - "Regulation of plant growth by SnRK1 kinases
Department of Biology, University of Oxford

12:00 h |
 videoconf link


Adverse environmental conditions trigger responses in plants that promote stress tolerance and survival at the expense of growth. However, little is known of how stress signaling pathways interact with each other and with growth regulatory components to balance growth and stress responses.In this seminar, I will show that plant growth is largely regulated by the interplay between the evolutionarily conserved energy sensing AMPK/SnRK1 kinase and the ABA phytohormone pathway, through an unexpected dual function of the main drivers of ABA signaling, the SnRK2 kinases. Coupling the ABA-SnRK2 module to the evolutionarily conserved SnRK1-TOR axis confers plants the capacity to regulate growth in response to water availability and may have been crucial for the establishment of terrestrial life.

25 de janeiro

Raúl Machado - "Materiais biotecnológicos multifuncionais inspirados na Natureza
CBMA, Universidade do Minho

12:00 h |


O desenvolvimento de novos materiais de origem biológica é uma área de investigação emergente. Face à atual consciência ambiental e a transição para uma sociedade assente na bioeconomia, existe a necessidade de desenvolver novos materiais sustentáveis e de baixo impacto ambiental. Na natureza, é possível encontrar uma série de materiais com características comparáveis aos atuais polímeros sintéticos. Proteínas fibrosas/estruturais como colagénio, seda e elastina, possuem propriedades únicas (e.g. biológicas e mecânicas) que as tornam extremamente apelativas para o desenvolvimento de novos materiais. Com os avanços na biologia sintética de proteínas e a aplicação de ferramentas de biotecnologia, atualmente é possível desenhar e desenvolver proteínas personalizadas com recurso a tecnologia de DNA recombinante. Neste contexto, o desenvolvimento de polímeros proteicos usando proteínas naturais como “blueprint”, representa um marco no desenvolvimento de novos biomateriais sustentáveis, com elevado potencial para diversos setores industriais. Neste seminário, serão abordados aspetos gerais no desenvolvimento de proteínas recombinantes bioinspiradas na Natureza e os avanços do grupo de investigação na criação de novos materiais multifuncionais.

31 de janeiro

Cristina Vieira - "Invasive species and the dark side of the genome
Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive (U. Lyon)

12:00 h |


The general theme of my work concerns the analysis of the evolutionary impact of transposable elements (TE)on genomes, conducted with a population, genetic and bioinformatic approach. The research project developed more recently has integrated the role of epigenetic mechanisms in gene regulation but also the aspects of invasive species and rapid adaptation.

Transposable elements and invasive species
We have shown that the invasion dynamics of TE are linked to variations in genome size, and we have shown an association between genome size and the amount of TEs, but also an association between this variation and the colonisation history of species. These results raise the question of the evolutionary impact of TEs in colonisation processes. Thus, a project on the link between TE and invasive species has been initiated, with two model species: Aedes albopictus and Drosophila suzukii. The aim is to distinguish between the genetic basis of adaptation and phenotypic plasticity.
Transposable elements and genome stability
TEs represent a remarkable evolutionary force, mainly because of the speed of transposition and their indirect effect on host genomes (epigenome change). The effects of the environment on the mobility of TEs have been known for a long time, and scientific advances in recent years have led to an understanding of the involvement of epigenetic processes. I am particularly interested in the effects of various environmental factors on the different components of this regulation.

14 de fevereiro

Edgar Gomes - "Mechanisms of nuclear positioning during skeletal muscle formation"  
iMM (Instituto de medicina molecular)

12:00 h |



Nuclear movements are important for multiple cellular functions and are driven by polarized forces generated by motor proteins and cytoskeleton. During skeletal myofiber formation or regeneration, nuclei move from the center to the periphery of the myofiber for proper muscle function. Centrally located nuclei are also found in different muscle disorders. Using theoretical and experimental approaches, we demonstrate that nuclear movement to the periphery of myofibers is mediated by centripetal forces around the nucleus. These forces arise from myofibril contraction and cross-linking that “zip” around the nucleus in combination with tight regulation of nuclear stiffness by lamin A/C. Our work reveals that centripetal forces exerted by myofibrils squeeze the nucleus to the periphery of myofibers.

28 de fevereiro

Gustavo H. Goldman - "How a fungus protects itself when producing a toxic secondary metabolite"  
Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (Universidade de S. Paulo

12:00 h |



Aspergillus fumigatus causes a range of human and animal diseases collectively known as aspergillosis. A. fumigatus possesses and expresses a range of genetic determinants of virulence, which facilitate colonisation and disease progression, including the secretion of mycotoxins. Gliotoxin (GT) is the best studied A. fumigatus mycotoxin with a wide range of known toxic effects that impair human immune cell function. GT is also highly toxic to A. fumigatus and this fungus has evolved self-protection mechanisms that include (i) the GT efflux pump GliA, (ii) the GT neutralising enzyme GliT, and (iii) the negative regulation of GT biosynthesis by the bis-thiomethyltransferase GtmA. The transcription factor (TF) RglT is the main regulator of GliT and this GT protection mechanism also occurs in the non-GT producing fungus A. nidulans. However, the A. nidulans genome does not encode GtmA and GliA. This work aimed at analysing the transcriptional response to exogenous GT in A. fumigatus and A. nidulans, two distantly related Aspergillus species, and to identify additional components required for GT protection. RNA-sequencing shows a highly different transcriptional response to exogenous GT with the RglT-dependent regulon also significantly differing between A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. However, we were able to observe homologs whose expression pattern was similar in both species (43 RglT-independent and 11 RglT-dependent). Based on this approach, we identified a novel RglT-dependent methyltranferase, MtrA, involved in GT protection. Taking into consideration the occurrence of RglT-independent modulated genes, we screened an A. fumigatus deletion library of 484 transcription factors (TFs) for sensitivity to GT and identified 15 TFs important for GT self-protection. Of these, the TF KojR, which is essential for kojic acid biosynthesis in Aspergillus oryzae, was also essential for virulence and GT biosynthesis in A. fumigatus, and for GT protection in A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, and A. oryzae. KojR regulates rglT, gliT, gliJ expression and sulfur metabolism in Aspergillus species. Together, this study identified conserved components required for GT protection in Aspergillus species.

09 de março

Tópico: Mestrado de Biofísica e Bionanossistemas: exemplos de estudos realizados em 10 anos de supervisão

Palestrante: Marlene Lúcio, Investigadora Auxiliar do CF-UM-UP e do CBMA, Universidade do Minho


= intervalo entre 11h15 e 11h30 =

Tópico: A importância da miniaturização na biomedicina e o seu papel na sociedade

Palestrante: Vanessa Cardoso, Investigadora Auxiliar do CMEMS, Universidade do Minho


14 de março

Mathew Holt - "Understanding the order of the brain: adventures with single cell technologies"  
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S) 

12:00 h |



Understanding the order of the brain: adventures with single cell technologies’?

The brain is an immensely complicated multi-cellular organ. Historically, neurons have been thought to be the computational units of the brain. Neurons are organized into circuits responsible for information processing and generating the functional outputs which characterize behavior. Within circuits, neurons communicate with each other at specialist communication points called synapses. While the core mechanisms of synaptic communication have been long established (and won several Nobel Prizes), new technologies, such as single cell sequencing, are refining our views and revealing a previously unsuspected degree of specialization to neurons and neural circuits. This lecture will give an overview of our current understanding of the field.

28 de março

Cristina Branco - "Microvasculature as the gate for metastasis:hypoxia, endotelial cells and treatments". Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research (Northern Ireland, UK)

12:00 h |



 Metastatic breast cancer accounts for the overwhelming majority of cancer associated mortality in this patient cohort. The location of secondary tumours can also be associated with a sharp decline in life expectancy, and is typically associated with increased morbidity and loss of quality of life. There are no targeted treatments for metastasis. Most cancer research aims to develop therapeutic strategies to  eliminate the cancer cells, with a focus on their intrinsic vulnerabilities. However  it has become increasingly apparent that the role of non-tumour cells, particularly at metastatic sites, play a defining role in their colonisation by disseminated tumour cells. My group has investigated the contribution of endothelial cells to metastasis in breast cancer, and we have found that shifts in their activation status has dramatic implications in organ microenvironment, such as vascularisation and inflammatory landscape, as a result of changes in morphology, adhesion and secretory profiles. We have also seen that these changes are mostly organ-specific., which may underlie the fact that some organs are more likely to develop metastasis than others. With this work we aim to provide a shift in the approach to treatment that includes a strategy to protect the integrity of the metastatic organ concomitantly with the chase to eliminate the tumour cells.

26 de setembro

Diogo Henrique Félix Costa  - "Enhancing the protein engineering toolbox: In vivo recombination in E. coli for multi-site-directed mutagenesis". Departamento de Biologia.

12:30 h | Sala 0.17 (Edi1)

 27 de setembro

Paola Ovando - "Forest management and natural capital with na application to Mediterranean silvopastoral systems". Institute of Public Goods and Policies. Spanish National Research Council

12:00 h | Anfiteatro DB

Short bio:
Paola Ovando is an Associate Research Professor working at the Institute of Public Goods and Policies of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She holds  a PhD in Economics from Alcalá University (Madrid). She is an experienced interdisciplinary researcher in applied environmental economics, whose research experience and interest focus on: (i) the economic valuation of ecosystem services and natural capital, and their integration into ecosystem accounting and decision making frameworks;  (ii) the development of integrated economic and environmental models to better understand land use and management decisions; and  (iii) the potential and policy implications of forest carbon and other environmental markets for supporting decarbonization and sustainability aspirations.

 3 de outubro

Filipas Pereira - "Metabolic engineering of Streptomyces for improved production of antiviral compouds ". Institute of Public Goods and Policies. Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, USA

12:30 h | sala 0.17 (Ed.1)


  © 2023 Universidade do Minho  - Termos Legais  - actualizado por Biologia Símbolo de Acessibilidade na Web D.