creating a
healthier future
Pedro Curto
Junior Researcher

Pedro Curto graduated in Biochemistry in 2009 by the University of Coimbra and completed his masters in Biochemistry in 2011 by the University of Coimbra. Between 2011 and 2013, he worked on a FCT funded project in the Molecular Biotechnology unit at Biocant (Portugal). In 2013, Pedro Curto joined the laboratory of Dr. Juan J. Martinez at Louisiana State University (USA) to work as research assistant on a NIH founded project. In 2018, Pedro completed the PhD Programme in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB), having developed his research project in the Microbial and Molecular Biotechnology Group at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) and the Vector-Borne Diseases laboratories at LSU. After his PhD, he pursued his scientific activities as a post-doc in the laboratory of Dr. Simões (CNC). Recently, he moved to i3S (University of Porto) to work in a Merck-funded project, to measure cellular and humoral immunity generated by a pneumococcal polysaccharide 23-valent vaccine boost in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.

Since 2013, he has been focused on understanding the molecular determinants involved in the pathogenicity of rickettsial species. He has developed a deep understanding in host-pathogen interactions in rickettsioses and he has gained an extensive experience in manipulation of rickettsial species under biosafety level-3 laboratories. He is starting to establishing himself in the area of host-pathogen interactions, having published 8 peer-reviewed original papers in this scientific area (6 of which as first-author). 

List of publications:

  1. Matos AL, Curto P, Simões I. Moonlighting in Rickettsiales: Expanding Virulence Landscape. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2022 Feb 19;7(2). doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed7020032. Review.
  2. Curto P, Barro A, Almeida C, et al.The Retropepsin-Type Protease APRc as a Novel Ig-Binding Protein and Moonlighting Immune Evasion Factor of Rickettsia. mBio. 2021; 12(6), e0305921.doi:10.1128/mBio.03059-21
  3. Curto P, Santa C, Cortes L, et al. Spotted Fever Group RickettsiaTrigger Species-Specific Alterations in Macrophage Proteome Signatures with Different Impacts in Host Innate Inflammatory Responses. Microbiology spectrum, 2021; 9(3), e00814-21.
  4. Curto P, Riley SP, Simões I, Martinez JJ. Macrophages Infected by a Pathogen and a Non-pathogen Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia Reveal Differential Reprogramming Signatures Early in Infection. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019; 9:97. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2019.00097
  5. Curto P, Santa C, Allen P, Manadas B, Simões I, Martinez JJ. A Pathogen and a Non-pathogen Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia Trigger Differential Proteome Signatures in Macrophages. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019; 9:43. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2019.00043
  6. Curto P, Simões I, Riley SP, Martinez JJ. Differences in Intracellular Fate of Two Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiain Macrophage-Like Cells. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2016; 6:80. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2016.00080
  7. Li M, Gustchina A, Cruz R, et al. Structure of RC1339/APRc from Rickettsiaconorii, a retropepsin-like aspartic protease. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2015; 71(Pt 10):2109‐2118. doi:10.1107/S1399004715013905
  8. Curto P, Lufrano D, Pinto C, et al. Establishing the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis as an expression host for production of the saposin-like domain of the aspartic protease cirsin. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014; 80(1):86‐96. doi:10.1128/AEM.03151-13