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universidade lusófona

Natural Bioatives & Circular Economy Lab

Patricia Rijo

We explore natural products mainly from Plectranthus plants for antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticholinesterase, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. We also prepare semi-synthetic new diterpenes, using computational modeling to target drug resistance, and develop sustainable applications of ionic liquids.

Our Lab

 In the Bio.Natural lab (Natural Bioactives & Circular Economy), our research focuses on three main approaches:

Natural Bioactives: We investigate natural products from Plectranthus (Lamiaceae) plants, examining their antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticholinesterase, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Additionally, we prepare and characterize new semi-synthetic derivatives, studying their structure-activity relationships and biological activities, particularly against antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA and VRE) and targeting specific molecular mechanisms in cancer (such as protein kinase C and P-glycoprotein).

Computational Modeling: We employ computational tools to uncover disease mechanisms, aiming to develop novel molecules that reverse multidrug resistance in cancer (targeting P-glycoprotein, BCRP, MRP1), act on other cancer-related targets (PKC, p53-MDM2/MDMX, LOX/LOX-like 2), or correct protein misfolding in neglected diseases (cystic fibrosis, MCADD).

Ionic Liquids: We focus on the synthesis and innovative applications of ionic liquids, promoting sustainable practices and circular economy initiatives.

Research Areas
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Natural Products chemistry
  • Rational Drug Design
  • Antimicrobial
  • Computational chemistry
  • Ionic Liquids

Natural Products chemistry/isolation/purification/characterization and Chromatographic analysis. Development, implementation and validation HPLC-DAD, FTIR, GC-FID and Pure Essential Flash Chromatography System (BUCHI Chromatography)




BUCHI Cromatography

  • Screening Antimicrobial Activity via Wells Diffusion and Microdilution Methods Against Gram-Positive, Gram-Negative Bacteria, and Yeasts, Including Exploratory Studies on the Effects of Various Samples on Microorganism Growth Curves and Viability.
  • Scientific and Technological Platform for High throuput virtual screenin and Hit to lead development and early drug discovery research
  • Linux high throughput cluster and workstations with state-of-the-art NVIDIA GPUs: 3 workstations, 3 NVIDIA GPU, 56 core. Network Attached Storage (NAS) (6x4 TB disks in raid 6 (up to 2 disks to fail); total capacity of 16 TB) and CBIOS NAS (4x12 TB RAID1: mirrored; total capacity of 24 TB)
  • This state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory is dedicated to the comprehensive characterization of ionic liquids, and other materials utilizing cutting-edge techniques to explore their distinctive properties. The laboratory is equipped with a sophisticated viscometer and a Karl Fischer titrator, among other instruments.

Karl Fisher