Research Lab

Blue Biotechnology & Biomedicine


Lab Members

Lab leader

Independent researcher

PhD students

Master Students

Research Interests

Our research focuses on the discovery of bioactive marine natural products as lead-like agents for drug discovery and the development of biotechnological applications. In particular, small molecules with antimicrobial, antibiofilm, antifouling and anticancer activities from marine-derived actinomycete sources collected off the Atlantic Macaronesia ecoregion and Portugal mainland. Our lab uses a multidisciplinary bioprospecting approach to Blue Biotechnology and Biomedical research combining Marine Natural Products Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Metabolomics, Genomics, Chemo and Bioinformatics, Chemical Ecology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Material Sciences. Simultaneously, we fill the knowledge gap on the Atlantic actinomycete biodiversity and biogeography.

Research Highlights
Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Joint XVI International Symposium on Marine Natural Products (MANAPRO) & XI European Conference on Marine Natural Products (ECMNP)

The XVI International Symposium on Marine Natural Products and XV European Congress on Marine Natural Products joint meeting, was held in Peniche, Portugal, from September 1-5, 2019 (Pedrosa et al, MARINE DRUGS, 2020). .

Targeting actinomycetes from marine sediments for the discovery of drug lead-like compounds

Pioneers in the study of actinomycetes from Portuguese oceanic sediments (10-1300 m depth) as a source for the discovery of bioactive natural product scaffolds.

To date, we have built a collection of over 400 taxonomic characterized marine-derived actinomycetes. These were used to generate small molecule libraries that were screened against bacterial pathogens and cancer cell lines. In particular, the chemistry, diversity and biogeographical patterns of marine actinomycete taxa from Portugal mainland, the Madeira and Azores Archipelagos are being tackled. The diversity of chemically rich marine actinomycete groups like MAR4 and MAR1 was broadened by the recovery of novel phylotypes.

Our research highlights the importance of bioprospecting efforts at unexplored regions of the ocean in order to recover strains belonging to distinct marine groups that produce novel and interesting chemistry (Prieto-Davó et al, FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 2016; Bauermeister et al, ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 2019).

Bioprospecting marine natural products for therapeutic and biotechnological applications

We have performed drug-lead dereplication using MS/MS networking and structure elucidation through 1D, 2D NMR spectroscopic techniques and HR-MS spectrometry, repurposing napyradiomycins and antibiofilm agents (Bauermeister et al, FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, 2018; Bauermeister et al, ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 2019).

Identified metabolites have been object of a multidisciplinary biotechnological R&D strategy focused the development of novel and innovative marine-derived biotechnological applications through its incorporation into polymeric matrices of different nature, such as antimicrobial and anti-biofilm wound dressings and marine antifouling paints and coatings (Florbela et al, MARINE DRUGS, 2020).


Representative Projects

  • "European Transdisciplinary Networking Platform for Marine Biotechnology". COST Action CA18238. National Management Committee Member, WG Leader and STSM Committe Member: Susana P. Gaudêncio (PI).: Susana Gaudêncio
  • "Ocean bioprospecting: targeting marine actinomycetes as a source for lead-like drug discovery", FCT funding, FCT-MCTES, IF/00700/2014, Total funding: €221,300, Unit funding: €221,300, Susana P. Gaudêncio (PI).
  • “Ocean Treasures: Ocean Sediments from Madeira Archipelago - a new source of innovative and bioactive compounds”, FCT-MCTES, PTDC/QUIQUI/119116/2010, Total funding: €120,994, Unit funding: €110,797, Susana P. Gaudêncio (PI).
  • “Marine Bacteria as a Novel Resource for Drug Discovery”, Marie Curie Co-fund Welcome II-DFRH/WIIA/102/2011, EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement PCOFUND-GA- 2009-246542, Total funding: €249,000, Unit funding: €249,000, Susana P. Gaudêncio (PI).
  • “Marine actinomycetes proteomics to synthetic biology – targeting Madeira Archipelago biodiversity”, EU funding Instruct project PID: 1153, Total funding: €6,000, Unit funding: €6,000, Susana P. Gaudêncio (PI).

Selected Publications

Rotter, A; Bacu, A; Barbier, M; Bertoni, F; Bones, A; Cancela, ML; Carlsson, J; Carvalho, MF; Ceglowska, M; Dalay, MC; Dailianis, T; Deniz, I; Drakulovi, D; Dubnika, A; Einarsson, H; Erdogan, A; Eroldogan, OT; Ezra, D; Fazi, S; FitzGerald, RJ; Gargan, LM; Gaudencio, SP; DeNardis, NI; Joksimovic, D; Katarzyte, M; Kotta, J; Mandalakis, M; Matijosyte, I; Mazur-Marzec, H; Massa-Gallucci, A; Mohamed, M; Nielsen, SL; Novoveska, L; Overlinge, D; Portman, ME; Pyrc, K; Rebours, C; Reinsch, T; Reyes, F; Rinkevich, B; Robbens, J; Rudovica, V; Sabotic, J; Safarik, I; Talve, S; Tasdemir, D; Schneider, XT; Thomas, OP; Torunska-Sitarz, A; Varese, GC; Vasquez, MI. 2020. A New Network for the Advancement of Marine Biotechnology in Europe and Beyond. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00278
Rui Pedrosa; Susana P. Gaudêncio; Vitor Vasconcelos. 2020. XVI International Symposium on Marine Natural Products|XI European Conference on Marine Natural Products. Marine Drugs, DOI: 10.3390/md18010040
Oliveira, J; Belchior, A; da Silva, VD; Rotter, A; Petrovski, Z; Almeida, PL; Lourenco, ND; Gaudencio, SP. 2020. Marine Environmental Plastic Pollution: Mitigation by Microorganism Degradation and Recycling Valorization. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.567126
Barreca, M; Spane, V; Montalbano, A; Cueto, M; Marrero, ARD; Deniz, I; Erdogan, A; Bilela, LL; Moulin, C; Taffin-de-Givenchy, E; Spriano, F; Perale, G; Mehiri, M; Rotter, A; Thomas, OP; Barraja, P; Gaudencio, SP; Bertoni, F. 2020. Marine Anticancer Agents: An Overview with a Particular Focus on Their Chemical Classes. Marine Drugs, 18, DOI: 10.3390/md18120619
Gaudencio, SP; Pereira, F. 2020. A Computer-Aided Drug Design Approach to Predict Marine Drug-Like Leads for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibition. Marine Drugs, 18, DOI: 10.3390/md18120633