NOVA University of Lisbon was founded in 1973, and is the youngest of Lisbon’s state universities. Integrated within a framework of expansion and diversification of higher education, the University adopted a new model within the Portuguese system that stressed interdisciplinary approaches and technological developments while, at the same time, safeguarding offerings in traditional academic domains including medicine, sciences and humanities. Research at NOVA has been growing and developing, both at quantitative and qualitative levels. NOVA hosts 40 Research and Development Units, 75% of which were considered “Exceptional”, “Excellent” or “Very Good” in an International evaluation promoted by the Portuguese Science Foundation - way above national standards.
Two research groups from different centers at NOVA participate in the ShikiFactory100 project:
ITQB NOVA's mission is to carry out scientific research and postgraduate teaching in chemistry, life sciences, and associated technologies, while serving the community and promoting science and technology. ITQB NOVA is one of the leading research centers for the chemical and life sciences in Portugal, and a major national and international resource for basic and applied research. Researchers benefit from first-rate equipment, research facilities, and support services to carry out competitive research projects (€3.0M competitive funding secured in 2016). Currently with 63 independent labs, ITQB NOVA had, in 2016: 247 papers in Web of Science journals and 13,259 citations. Currently, ITQB NOVA has 21 internationally funded projects running including ERC grants and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, amongst others.
Within ITQB NOVA, the research center working on ShikiFactory100 is the Molecular, Structural and Cellular Microbiology Unit (MOSTMICRO). This center studies biological processes and systems at the molecular scale to understand and manipulate microorganisms of all three life domains. Research groups in ShikiFactory100 will focus on protein modelling, protein engineering and metabolic engineering.
Founded in 1977, FCT NOVA is one of the most prestigious Portuguese public schools of science and engineering today, with a total enrollment of ca. 8000 students (Degree, MSc and PhD). Between 2010 and 2013, FCT NOVA published more than 2525 papers indexed in ISI Web of Science. The Chemoinformatics group at FCT NOVA is integrated in the Laboratório Associado para a Química Verde, the Portuguese Research Centre for Sustainable Chemistry, and develops new methodologies for the automatic processing of chemical data, namely: machine learning predictions of NMR spectra, dissociation energies, atomic charges and orbital energies from the molecular structure, data mining of chemical and biochemical databases, genome-scale classification of metabolic reactions, QSAR/QSPR modelling, and the exploration and edition of molecular structures by blind users. The research group has published over 50 articles in top international journals of chemistry, and has produced available software, namely the SPINUS program for the prediction of NMR spectra, the NavMol package for the processing of chemical structures by blind users, and web services for the fast estimation of DFT calculated molecular properties.
NOVA's key contributions to the ShikiFactory100 project include: overall technical management, computational design of new sweeteners and potency assays of new compounds, development of a structural bioinformatics platform for gene selection, and enzyme engineering. NOVA are leaders of Work Package 4: Gene Discovery and Protein Engineering, and key contributors to Work Package 3: Design and Chemical Synthesis of New Products, Work Package 5: In silico Metabolic Engineering, and Work Package 6: Rapid Prototyping and Screening.
The Principal Investigator for NOVA in the ShikiFactory100 project is Prof. Isabel Rocha, she is also the project's Scientific and Technology Manager.
Find out more about Universidade NOVA de Lisboa here.