Where Ideas Grow
Catarina C. Pacheco
Associate Researcher
Catarina C Pacheco graduated in Microbiology by the Catholic University (Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Porto) in 2000. Immediately after, she joined the Cellular and Applied Microbiology group, led by Prof. Pedro Moradas-Ferreira (IBMC), to work in the FP5-funded EU-project BOMBBE that aimed at exploring the potential of methylotrophic bacteria to be used in bioremediation and biotechnology. Subsequently, she was awarded a PhD in Biomedical Sciences working under the supervision of Prof. P Moradas-Ferreira and Dr. Paolo De Marco, presenting the thesis “Adaptive response of Escherichia coli K-12 strains to cadmium-induced oxidative stress” at ICBAS in 2009. In the meantime (2008), CC Pacheco became team member of the FP6-funded EU-project BioModularH2, which was pioneer in the synthetic biology field. Within this project, the researcher collaborated in the construction of a photoautotrophic chassis and of synthetic devices primarily designed for H2 production. She was also involved in a FCT-funded project related to the regulation and maturation of cyanobacterial hydrogenases. In the frame of the FP7-funded EU-project Cyanofactory, the researcher worked in the improvement of chassis robustness/ functionality and the development/characterization of SB tools, such as regulatory elements and plasmids. Within the framework of this project, the European Patent Request #16175360.3 was granted. CC Pacheco is currently an assistant researcher (CEECIND2017) in the MicroBioSyn group (led by Prof. Paula Tamagnini), and her research focus is the improvement of chassis robustness (namely halotolerance) through the production of compatible solutes. These molecules are also value-added compounds with interest for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. In these projects, the researcher has been involved in the supervision of undergraduate (including Erasmus) and master students.
CC Pacheco published 21 papers in international peer reviewed journals with 413 citations (h-index 13) and is also author in two book chapters, one on Synthetic Biology (ISBN 978-972-757-743-9) and the other on H2 production using cyanobacterial hydrogenases: from classical to synthetic biology approaches (ISBN-978-94-017-8553-2).
Since CC Pacheco changed her research focus to cyanobacteria and synthetic biology, she has been actively involved in science dissemination actions, and participated as an invited speaker in events of public communication of science such as "Encontro Nacional de Ciência” - Ciência 2009 & Ciência 2010. In 2011, the researcher was trainer in the post-graduation course “da Biologia Molecular à Biologia Sintética”, and in 2015 was invited speaker in the course “Biotecnologia às cores”, both meant for high school teachers. She is also part of “Embaixadores da Ciência”, a group of IBMC/INEB researchers engaged in the dissemination of science in schools. She has also been involved in seminars and workshops for students of the degree in Biology and the masters in Cell and Molecular Biology (Fac. of Sciences, Univ. of Porto) and Bioengineering (Fac. of Engineering/ICBAS, Univ. of Porto), and more recently in the Doctoral Program in Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC, ICBAS, Fac. of Sciences; Univ. of Porto).