Biotechnology College
of the Portuguese Catholic University

CBQF (Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina) was established in 1990, with the mission to steadily develop and disseminate, to the economic and social arena, knowledge and innovation in pivotal areas – Food and Nutrition, Environment and Health with key impacts on human health, well-being and the economy. CBQF has been merited with the Associate Laboratory status since 2004, being the only non-state-owned in Portugal.


CBQF has 215 researchers with competencies on biosciences, bioengineering, nutrition and analytical chemistry, applied to challenges on health and well-being and the competitiveness of the agri-food systems, hosting 7 advanced platforms serving research activities. In the past 5 years CBQF participated in +100 projects, publishing +650 papers.


Manuela Pintado

Associate Professor at ESB-UCP<br>Associate Director of ESB-UCP<br>Director of CBQF

PhD in Biotechnology (in the field of Food Science and Engineering, 1999). She leads the Bioproducts and Bioactives group at CBQF and her research can be summarized into: (i) development, compositional characterization and validation of bioactivity of functional ingredients (proteins and biopeptides, antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics and antimicrobials) and study applications on the development of novel functional foods and other added value applications (ii) by product upgrading through bioprocesses and extraction processes aiming to obtain molecules/extracts fully characterized in terms of composition, bioactivities, functionalities and safety to be explored as high-added value bioproducts in different high value fields (iii) application of the above research developments to other Biotechnological fields.

Marta Vasconcelos

Vice director of CBQF and head of the Plant Biotechnology for Sustainability lab - PlanTech

PhD by Universidade Nova de Lisboa and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, Philippines) on rice iron biofortification for Mozambique. She worked for eight years at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine (USA). Her passion is to understand how nutrients are taken up or synthesized in plant foods and to understand how to “trick” plants into storing more of these nutrients in their edible organs. She is currently vice director of CBQF and head of the Plant Biotechnology for Sustainability lab – PlanTech (http://plantechesb.weebly.com/), working towards creating innovation in the areas of Plant Nutrition, Physiology, and Health. She is a member of the International Plant Nutrition Council and of the Young Academy of Sciences (Lisbon).

Pedro Rodrigues

Pedro M. Rodrigues

Assistant Professor at ESB-UCP

Assistant Professor at ESB-UCP, and lectures signal processing, digital electronics and programming. He obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto. His doctoral work focused on the automatic early detection of Alzheimer’s disease through Electroencephalogram signals analysis by using signal processing time/frequency methods and machine learning tools.

Antonio C. Silva Ferreira

- Researcher at ESB-UCP<br>- Assistant Professor at ESB-UCP

PhD in Biological and Medical Sciences (University of Bordeaux II). His doctoral work focused on the identification and quantification of odorants associated with Port wine “quality”. Since then, he has been a researcher on flavour chemistry and lecturer instrumental methods at ESB-UCP and Flavour Chemistry at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His research focuses on: (i) the flavour chemistry of fermented beverages, with particular interest on the correlation of sensory and chemical data, in an attempt to define the correspondent “sensometabolome”; (ii) Study of the most important non-enzymatic mechanisms responsible for the compositional changes occurring during shelf-life of beverages; (iii) “Metabolomics” focusing on the development of a pipeline required for detecting ” biomarkers ” in complex matrices.

João Marques Cortez

Research and Innovation Funding Advisor at CBQF/ESB

Graduated in Chemistry at the University of Coimbra and obtained his PhD in Applied Biotechnology in 1999 at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. His post-doctoral work was carried out at the Nottingham Trent University, where he became Senior Research Fellow between 2006-2008. In 2008 he started a Ciencia 2007 position at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in nanotechnology applications in biosensors and in textiles. Since graduation, he worked at Renova SA (Portugal) and Precision Processes Textiles (UK). His research involved collaborations with industry both in the UK and in Portugal, and the development of products and processes in the textile area, resulting in three patents. In May 2012, he became Head of INEB’s Technology Transfer Office, with responsibilities as International Projects Officer, and coordinated the Research Funding Office at i3S between 2017-2019, where he coordinated the RESOLVE Programme. Since May 2019 he is the Research and Innovation Funding Advisor at CBQF/ESB. He has considerable experience both as a researcher and as manager of European projects, having participated in European projects since FP5.

María Emilia Brassesco

Junior Researcher at the Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF -UCP)

Maria Emilia Brassesco is a Junior Researcher at the Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF -UCP), Porto, Portugal, with experience in Chemistry, Biotechnological Processes and Food Sciences. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology and her Ph.D. in Chemical Sciences at the National University of Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, with the support of the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), Braga, Portugal. Her work bases on the isolation, purification of proteins, enzymatic activity and production and characterization of polymeric materials. Currently, in addition to being a part of the STARGATE project, she is working on three others projects related to the valorisation of agroforestry and fishing by-products, obtaining bioactive compounds through green processes as well as the development of new functional food products using biotechnological solutions.


The Consortium.


Universidade Católica Portuguesa


The French National Institute for Agricultural Research


Wageningen University and Wageningen Research


Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research