Where Ideas grow

7th Molecular and Cell Biology Symposium | Science Must Go On
29th January 2021 | Virtual event via Zoom


The 7th edition of the Molecular and Cell Biology Symposium is an event organized by the class of 2020 of the Doctoral Program in Molecular and Cell Biology. This edition is a manifest that even though times are uncertain, science must go on. This event will count with the presence of the PhD students of the MCBiology program that keep making their path through difficulties. We also intend to address an important question that became even more important during this peculiar year: how can we communicate science to the public?

This symposium will bring together three speakers in molecular and cell biology and one keynote speaker in science communication, lectures from PhD students of the MCBiology doctoral program and poster sessions selected from the submitted abstracts.

This edition of the MCBiology Symposium intends to show that science is part of the community and must always go on.

Join us in pushing science forward!



Ana Filipa Azevedo Castro (Genetics of Cognitive Dysfunction)
Ana Catarina de Sousa Costa (Nerve Regeneration)
Ana Catarina Macedo Eufrásio (Vertebrate Development and Regeneration)
Ana Rita Noutel Lorga Gomes (Stem Cells in Regenerative Biology and Repair)
Ana Isabel Carneiro Gouveia da Silva (Addiction Biology)
Bárbara Catarina Gonçalves Correia (Neurolipid Biology)
Cátia Filipa Vieira de Carvalho (Cell Division Mechanisms)
Diogo Fonseca Silvério (Immune Regulation)
Filipa Isabel Pereira Dias (Molecular Parasitology)
Joana Maria Abreu Carvalho Pereira (Cell Biology of Bacterial Infections)
Laura Isabel Guedes de Sousa (Thymus Development and Function)
Luís Francisco Silva Medeiros Teves (UnIGENe)
Pedro Miguel Barros Duque (Phenotypic Evolution)
Teresa Pires de Matos Alves Leão (Molecular Parasitology)
Vanessa Maria Alves Teixeira (Cell Division Mechanisms)


Claudio Sunkel - Program Director (i3S/IBMC/ ICBAS)
Vítor Costa
Paula Tamagnini
João Cabral
Sandra Macedo-Ribeiro
Alexandra Moreira
Didier Cabanes
Anna Olsson



* Currently Western European Time (WET), UTC +0)


9.00-9.15h | Welcome Session
Chair: Professor Cláudio Sunkel & Pedro Duque

9.15-10.50h | SESSION I 
Chair: Diogo Silvério & Filipa Dias

9.15h Sónia Henriques (Cell Activation & Gene Expression)
Dissecting the multiprotein complex behind CD6-mediated inhibition of T cell activation

9.30h Marcos Cardoso (Cell Activation & Gene Expression)
SRCR proteins as microorganism pattern recognition receptors

9.45h Carolina Barroso (Iron & Innate Immunity)
The multiple functions of piscidins in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)


Professor Nicholas Proudfoot | University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Nascent transcription and coupled RNA processing across the human genome

10.50h | Coffee Break


11.15-12.50h | SESSION II 
Chair: Ana Catarina Costa & Filipa Terceiro

11.15h Ana Isabel Nascimento (Nerve Regeneration)
Dorsal root ganglion neurons assemble an axon initial segment which initiates spontaneous activity in neuropathic pain

11.30h Camila Oliveira (Glial Cell Biology)
Cdc25 phosphatases modulate tau toxicity in vivo

11.45h José Leite (Bioengineering & Synthetic Microbiology)
Insights on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Aβ1-40 peptide amyloid formation and clearance by neprilysin


Henrique Veiga Fernandes | Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Portugal
Neuronal regulation of immune fitness

12.50 Lunch 


14.00-15.30h | SESSION III 
Chair: Cátia Carvalho & Vanessa Teixeira

Lukas Kapitein | Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Expanding our understanding of the neuronal transport

14.45h Monika Vilares (Ageing and Aneuploidy)
Small-molecule inhibition of aging-associated chromosomal instability delays cellular senescence

15.00h Joana Teixeira (Vertebrate Development and Regeneration)
Uncovering the tumorigenic potential of genes targeted by pancreatic non-coding risk alleles

15.15h Marco Cruz (Chromosome Instability & Dynamics)
Mitotic DNA damage induces chromosomal congression defects, SAC arrest and micronuclei formation


15.30-16.30h | POSTER SESSION

Chair: Ana Isabel Silva

David Marçal | Comunicador de Ciência, Portugal
Taking Science Communication Seriously


17.30h | Awards and Closing Session
Chair: Professor Paula Tamagnini & Teresa Leão


Professor Nicholas Proudfoot | University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Nick started his scientific career in 1973 at LMB Cambridge when much of its famous science was in progress. He worked on mRNA sequencing and discovered the AAUAAA poly(A) signal as a graduate student. As a postdoctoral fellow at LMB, he began a study to clone and sequence globin genes and this led him in 1979 to take a postdoc position in the USA with Tom Maniatis where he cloned and sequenced various globin genes, discovering globin pseudogenes. 
Nick started his lab at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford in 1981 as a Lecturer and then Professor. He was also a Fellow and Tutor in Biochemistry at Brasenose College from 1982-2003. His research initially focused on poly(A) signals, their genetics and biology. 
They were the first lab to discover intergenic transcription in a mammalian gene locus and also uncovered similar intergenic transcription in S. pombe that leads to cell cycle specific heterochromatin formation and Cohesin recruitment. More recently his lab has diverged into studies on the role of long noncoding RNA G4 and R-loop structures in immunoglobulin class switching, the association of mitochondrial derived dsRNA in human pathology and the role of R-loop structures as promoters of antisense transcription.



Henrique Veiga Fernandes | Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Portugal

Born in Viseu, Henrique Veiga-Fernandes went on to study Veterinary Medicine at Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal and at Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. In 2002, he obtained a PhD in Immunology from Université René Descartes, Paris, France, before moving to the National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK, as a postdoc.
In 2009, he returned to Portugal to set up his independent research group at Instituto de Medicina Molecular, where he became member of the direction team in 2014. In 2016, Henrique Veiga-Fernandes joined the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Portugal, where he is currently a Senior Group Leader.
Henrique Veiga-Fernandes was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 2015, and he was made Commander of the Order of Sant’Iago da Espada by Portugal in the same year. He secured several European Research Council (ERC) awards (2007, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and has previously won the senior research award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, USA (2014), the Innovator and Breakthrough Awards from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, USA (2013 and 2014), the National Blood Foundation Scholar, USA (2012), and he integrated the EMBO Young Investigator Programme in 2008. More recently, he was awarded with the 2020 Pfizer Prize for basic Science (also won in 2014 and 2016).


Lukas Kapitein | Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Lukas Kapitein studied Physics at the VU University in Amsterdam, where he also received his PhD in Biophysics in 2007. 
His postdoctoral training in Neurobiology was at the Erasmus Medical Center, funded by an ALW-VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and an Erasmus MC Fellowship. 
He started as group leader at Utrecht University in 2011 and became full professor in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics in 2018. In 2013, he received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and a VIDI fellowship from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2018, he received an ERC Consolidator Grant.




David Marçal | Comunicador de Ciência, Portugal

In 2008, David Marçal received a PhD in Biochemistry by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. For several years, he was a science journalist at Público newspaper and author of Inimigo Público. Science communication has always been a passionate subject and he is author of several theater shows and television programs on scientific topics. 
Co-author, with Carlos Fiolhais, of the books Darwin aos Tiros e Outras Histórias de Ciência (Gradiva, 2011) and Pipocas com Telemóvel e Outras Histórias de Falsa Ciência (Gradiva, 2012). Coordinator and co-author of the book Toda Ciência (Menos as Partes Chatas) (Gradiva, 2013). In 2010 he won the Químicos Jovens e Ideias Verdes awards.


Abstract Submission

Abstract submission

Abstract submission deadline: 15th January 2021


Poster (PDF format) submission: 22nd January 2021




Limited registrations. Registration is free but mandatory.

Registration deadline: 22nd January 2021