Team CV synopsis

GlycOSELECT is coordinated by Angelina Palma, head of the Functional Glycobiology Lab at UCIBIO, since 2020. A Palma has a solid background in Biochemistry (PhD in 2007 from ITQB-NOVA) and an internationally recognized expertise in the Glycan Microarray technology (in particular, glycome-based microarrays). She has secured resources (molecular biology, high-throughput cloning & protein expression, and structural bioinformatics) and state-of-the-art equipment for glycan microarrays. A Palma is currently coordinating a research project (PTDC/BIA-MIB/31730/2017) that provided preliminary results for the development of GlycOSELECT.

The Structural Biology approach of A Palma has been growing from a fruitful collaboration with the co-PI, Ana Luísa Carvalho, Independent Researcher at the Macromolecular Crystallography (XTAL) Group of UCIBIO, headed by team member Maria João Romão. AL Carvalho’s research is focused in studying biological protein-carbohydrate interactions with potential biotechnological use. AL Carvalho has a strong expertise in X-ray Crystallography methods and has secured the state-of-the-art resources (e.g. automated protein crystallisation & X-ray diffraction facility, financed by projects PTDC/QUI-BIQ/100359/2008, RECI/BBB-BEP/0124/2012 and PTDC/BBB-BEP/0869/2014). With the PI A Palma, AL Carvalho co-supervises PhD students Viviana Correia, Raquel Costa and Filipa Trovão, whose PhD research work is directly linked to GlycOSELECT. AL Carvalho has also been dedicated to the study of the phenomena behind crystallisation and methods to improve it, which will be useful for the optimal crystallisation of the selected proteins, followed by 3D structure solution. In those cases where Crystallography fails to produce structural data, AL Carvalho will coordinate with team member Helena Coelho the necessary steps to obtain structural information by NMR. The PI and the other CoreCV members will share with AL Carvalho the Management of GlycOSELECT. 

Key member of the project, Benedita Pinheiro bridges the interaction between the PI and co-PI, as Senior Post-Doc researcher working at FCT-NOVA since 2010. B Pinheiro gathers expertise in molecular biology, structural bioinformatics, recombinant protein production & purification, mutagenesis, binding studies by MST and ITC, protein structural characterization by X-ray crystallography, and in the microarray technology, in particular protein microarrays, which she implemented in the PI’s Lab (FCT project EXPL/BBB-BEP/0506/2012).  B Pinheiro’s multi-disciplinary lab skills will be supported by the PhD students and the MSc fellow 1 to-be-hired, sharing the lab supervision with team member Márcia Correia, Lab Manager at XTAL. Together with the co-PI, as Ambassadors for Science Communication & Outreach of UCIBIO, B Pinheiro will coordinate the outreach activities. 

As Honorary Research Fellow of Imperial College London (IC), the PI has a strong collaborative connection to the Project Consultant Ten Feizi, Head of the Glycosciences Laboratory, to Wengang Chai, CoreCV of GlycOSELECT and to team member Yan Liu.  Together, they have set up the Wellcome Trust supported Carbohydrate Microarray Facility (presently coordinated by Y Liu), a unique international collaborative resource for the broad scientific community. W Chai, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, works at the interface of chemistry and biology and has a particular interest on understanding the roles of mucin O-glycan recognition systems of biological and biomedical importance. Y Liu current research is to develop novel glyco-based diagnostic, therapeutic and management strategies to combat infectious and non-infectious diseases. She has a focused research line to study vaginal microbiome. Y Liu is the oversea co-supervisor for Filipa Trovão, joint PhD student with A Palma and AL Carvalho. Relevant to the work to be developed at Imperial College London is the access to a natural source of mucin O-glycoproteins, being exploited for developing mucin/O-glycome microarrays.

Hugo Osório, also CoreCV, holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (2004) from the University of Porto, and works on the development and application of mass-spectrometry based proteomics approaches in biomedicine, with a focus on cancer proteomics and glycosylation profiling in close collaboration with Consultant Celso Reis. H Osório heads the i3S Proteomics Scientific Platform and is member of the board of the Portuguese Proteomics Association, managing the i3S node of the Portuguese Mass Spectrometry Network. H Osório will work in synergy with Ulrika Westerlind from Umeå University, Daniela Freitas a Junior researcher with a cell biology based-background who recently attracted competitive individual funding under CEEC FCT call, and the PhD researcher, to be hired by the i3S. This collaboration is essential to bridge the enzyme peptide selective studies at Umeå University with the cleavage essays and proteomic analysis at i3S. These activities will engage the training of MSc fellow 2. U Westerlind is Associate Professor at Umeå University, with expertise in chemical glycobiology and in the chemoenzymatic synthesis of carbohydrates, glycopeptides and semi-synthetic glycoproteins. Also relevant, U Westerlind is expert in the synthesis of mucin-type O-glycopeptides and in the development of glycopeptide microarrays.