Advanced training

Plantas medicinais: desafios e oportunidades

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto

O curso visa promover a transmissão de conhecimento sobre a utilização de plantas medicinais, os seus efeitos benéficos, risco toxicológico e oportunidades de valorização num mercado cada vez mais exigente, potenciando a inovação e o empreendedorismo.
Especificamente, pretende dotar os formandos com o conhecimento e as competências necessárias para:

  1. realizar ensaios padronizados para o controlo de identidade e qualidade de plantas medicinais e produtos à base de plantas;
  2. preparar extratos de plantas e caracterizar o seu perfil químico, direcionado a classes específicas de compostos bioativos;
  3. realizar ensaios químicos, enzimáticos e celulares com o objetivo de avaliar a bioatividade de extratos obtidos de plantas medicinais, necessários para suportar o seu uso em saúde;
  4. conceber formulações objetivando a estabilidade dos compostos bioativos e a sua valorização no mercado

Membrane biophysics: impact of lipids on health, disease and therapy

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto

The course is focused on the role of membrane lipids on the biophysical properties of cell membranes, their involvement in various physiological and pathological processes, and their contribution to the rational development of new therapeutic strategies in an interdisciplinary environment. It brings together the theoretical concepts of membrane biophysics and its application to plan and perform experiments and critically analyze the data obtained with complementary biophysical techniques. 

Model organisms in human disease: the right organism for a specific question

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto

Model organisms such as baker’s yeast, bacteria, nematodes, fruit flies, zebrafish, and mice have become powerful tools in modern research, providing valuable information about human disease at multiple levels, from molecules to behavior. This course explores current models of human diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer. Our goal will be to understand what makes these organisms such excellent experimental models in medical research, as well as the strategies used to build appropriate models of human disease to address specific biological or medical questions. The course will discuss major discoveries made with these organisms, their advantages and disadvantages, and how the knowledge gained can be translated to other organisms, including humans. 

Protein-ligand interactions: From theory to practice

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto

Protein-ligand interactions are at the core of molecular recognition and have a fundamental role in many scientific areas. Additionally, they are responsible for the main mechanisms of action of many drugs, being important to the tissue distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs and bioactive compounds. The aim of this course is the study of protein-ligand binding assays, where ligands range from small organic and inorganic molecules to lipids, nucleic acids, peptides, and proteins. Different ligand-binding assays such as labelled, label-free, thermodynamic and structure-based will be explored. The course will be composed by complementary theoretical and hands-on components. The guidelines on bioanalytical method validation (for example the proposed by the European medicines agency) will be focused. Furthermore, experimental protocols will be elaborated and standard operating procedures (SOPs) created. 

In vitro models of biological barriers for Health Sciences Applications

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto

Biological barriers are indispensable for the integrity and function of many human organs. Moreover, most of the times, bioactive compounds pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics are affected by their interaction with the physiological barriers. The course will explore the molecular structure and function of biological barriers such as skin, lung, gastrointestinal and blood brain barriers. The most used in vitro models for each one of these barriers will be discussed regarding their advantages and disadvantages, and the limitations regarding the translation to the human body. The course will be composed by a theoretical and a significant hands-on component. 

AFM training workshop

Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto

This course is a training workshop aimed at any researcher or scientist, who wants to learn about AFM or increase their knowledge of the technique. Following the successful courses that have run since 2011, the course will includes several hours hands-on training in acquiring images with the atomic force microscope as well as AFM data processing. We also cover sample preparation, AFM modes, and applications in both biology and materials.