07 Jul 2020
PhD student CIIMAR in the Top 15 of Doctorates 4 COVID-19
Francisca Carvalhal member of CIIMAR’s Group of Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry, and PhD student at FFUP gets the 13th place in the batch of 50 candidates for the national PhD grants “DOCTORATES 4 COVID-19” from FCT. These grants aim to obtaining new knowledge that will allow the creation of skills to respond to Covid-19 and other pandemics. The team in which Francisca Carvalhal integrates includes the FFUP professors Marta Correia da Silva (supervisor), Emília Sousa (co-supervisor), both CIIMAR researchers, and Helena Vasconcelos (co-supervisor) from I3S.
This project's main objective is to generate broad spectrum antiviral compounds that can therefore be effective in various types of viruses. The solution presented is includes the synthesis of small molecules, inspired by the biodiversity of antivirals of marine origin, which “confuse” viruses by mimicking human cell sites that viruses use to cause infection. The project was considered by FCT as having the right potential to respond future pandemics.