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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).

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.