creating a
healthier future
Helena Sepúlveda Azevedo
Group leader

Helena has recently been appointed ERA Chair in Molecular Bioengineering at i3S where she is leading the Molecular Biomaterials Group. Before, she was a Reader in Biomedical Engineering & Biomaterials at the School of Engineering & Materials Science in Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) where she took different roles and responsibilities. She was the Programme Director of the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering (2016-2022) and was the Director of Operations of the Institute of Bioengineering at QMUL (2015-2017).

Outside academia, she acted as Associate Editor of the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (Wiley) from 2018 to 2021 and has been a Member of the Advisory Board of the RSC journal Molecular Systems Design & Engineering since 2016. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) since 2017, and was appointed Member of the Materials Chemistry Division Council (RSC) in 2021. In 2021 she also became Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Journal Peptide Science (Wiley).

Her work focuses on self-assembling biomaterial platforms for cell culture, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and biosensing. She is author of >100 publications, including papers in Science, Nat Chem, Nat Comm, Adv Funct Mater, Nano Lett, Adv Health Mater, and has edited 3 books on natural-based biomaterials, self-assembling biomaterials and soft matter for biomedical applications.

Selected Publications

Teng C., Li B., Lin C., Xing X., Huang F., Yang Y., Li Y., Azevedo H.S., He W.,
Targeted delivery of baicalein-p53 complex to smooth muscle cells reverses pulmonary hypertension. Journal of Controlled Release341:591-604, 2022. [Journal: Article] [CI: 21] [IF: 10,8]
DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.12.006 SCOPUS: 85121271577.


Shi Y., Wareham D.W., Yuan Y., Deng X., Mata A., Azevedo H.S.,
Polymyxin B-Triggered Assembly of Peptide Hydrogels for Localized and Sustained Release of Combined Antimicrobial Therapy. Advanced Healthcare Materials10(22):, 2021. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 11,1]
DOI: 10.1002/adhm.202101465 SCOPUS: 85114872883.


Shi Y., Summers P.A., Kuimova M.K., Azevedo H.S.,
Unravelling the Enzymatic Degradation Mechanism of Supramolecular Peptide Nanofibers and Its Correlation with Their Internal Viscosity. Nano Letters20(10):7375-7381, 2020. [Journal: Article] [CI: 12] [IF: 11,2]
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c02781 SCOPUS: 85092945146.


Lombardi L., Shi Y., Falanga A., Galdiero E., De Alteriis E., Franci G., Chourpa I., Azevedo H.S., Galdiero S.,
Enhancing the Potency of Antimicrobial Peptides through Molecular Engineering and Self-Assembly. Biomacromolecules20(3):1362-1374, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 68] [IF: 6,1]
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.8b01740 SCOPUS: 85062354310.


Shi Y., Hu Y., Ochbaum G., Lin R., Bitton R., Cui H., Azevedo H.S.,
Enzymatic activation of cell-penetrating peptides in self-assembled nanostructures triggers fibre-to-micelle morphological transition. Chemical Communications53(52):7037-7040, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 28] [IF: 6,3]
DOI: 10.1039/c7cc03512h SCOPUS: 85021757827.


Ribeiro S., Radvar E., Shi Y., Borges J., Pirraco R.P., Leonor I.B., Mano J.F., Reis R.L., Mata Á., Azevedo H.S.,
Nanostructured interfacial self-assembled peptide-polymer membranes for enhanced mineralization and cell adhesion. Nanoscale9(36):13670-13682, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 30] [IF: 7,2]
DOI: 10.1039/c7nr03410e SCOPUS: 85029881405.


Banerjee J., Shi Y., Azevedo H.S.,
In vitro blood–brain barrier models for drug research: state-of-the-art and new perspectives on reconstituting these models on artificial basement membrane platforms. Drug Discovery Today21(9):1367-1386, 2016. [Journal: Review] [CI: 48] [IF: 6,4]
DOI: 10.1016/j.drudis.2016.05.020 SCOPUS: 84988373818.


Inostroza-Brito K.E., Collin E., Siton-Mendelson O., Smith K.H., Monge-Marcet A., Ferreira D.S., Rodríguez R.P., Alonso M., Rodríguez-Cabello J.C., Reis R.L., Sagués F., Botto L., Bitton R., Azevedo H.S., Mata A.,
Co-Assembly, spatiotemporal control and morphogenesis of a hybrid protein-peptide system. Nature Chemistry7(11):897-904, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 128] [IF: 27,9]
DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2349 SCOPUS: 84945133514.


Mendes A.C., Smith K.H., Tejeda-Montes E., Engel E., Reis R.L., Azevedo H.S., Mata A.,
Co-assembled and microfabricated bioactive membranes. Advanced Functional Materials23(4):430-438, 2013. [Journal: Article] [CI: 46] [IF: 10,4]
DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201201065 SCOPUS: 84872420289.


Capito R.M., Azevedo H.S., Velichko Y.S., Mata A., Stupp S.I.,
Self-assembly of large and small molecules into hierarchically ordered sacs and membranes. Science319(5871):1812-1816, 2008. [Journal: Article] [CI: 534] [IF: 28,1]
DOI: 10.1126/science.1154586 SCOPUS: 41349096038.