Research Grant from the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID)


Raquel Portela, a researcher at UCIBIO-NOVA, was recently awarded a research grant from the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) to develop the project “Characterization and Application of a New Bacteriocin System of Staphylococcus aureus”. Raquel Portela is among 28 scientists from Europe funded by ESCMID. These awards, worth 20 thousand euros for one year, have the main objective of supporting young European scientists who are carrying out excellent research in the fields of clinical microbiology and infectious diseases.

The project “Characterization and Application of a New Bacteriocin System of Staphylococcus aureus” aims to unveil the features of a newly identified system of S. aureus with the potential to kill bacterial pathogens. This research work will consist in the characterization of this system and unveil its relationship with the mechanism of competence, which is the main mechanism of acquisition of genetic material by bacteria. 

“In this project we will also start the application of a potential therapeutic drug in wound dressings using nanocellulose as a delivery matrix”, explains Raquel Portela, who obtained the preliminary results on which this project is grounded during her PhD work at the MolMicro of Bacterial Pathogens research lab at UCIBIO-NOVA, headed by Rita Sobral, where Raquel will lead this project.

The UCIBIO awardee believes that the results obtained within this project will impact from the perspectives of the fundamental and of the applied research. The first, by contributing to the current knowledge on the strategies of S. aureus competition and on its mechanisms to generate genetic diversity. The second, through the deep characterization of a new genetic system with potential application as a new antimicrobial therapeutic approach with efficacy against several pathogens.

For Raquel Portela, currently a researcher at the Microbial Stress research lab at UCIBIO, “to receive this funding is personally an honor, meaning to be included in a set of young researchers whose ideas were considered outstanding by a renowned institution with a panel of experts in this field. Professionally, this funding is of ultimate importance to perform research and at a same time a commitment to enhance the trajectory of deliver high quality outputs to the next demands of the field of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens.”


To know the Research Grant Awardees in 2022: here