The researchers in this group come from three different main backgrounds: immunology, metabolism and pharmaceutical science. We are joining efforts around the development of novel therapeutic strategies for chronic inflammatory diseases.
All projects to be developed by the ImmunoMetabolic Pharmacology group (IMPg) are divided in packages spanning three areas: immunology, metabolism and pharmacology. The group has one coordinating PI for each of the scientific areas. These coordinating PIs have as their main tasks: ensure the timely achievement of the milestones proposed for the project package in the area under his/her responsibility; decide on backup strategies to solve potential dead-end situations of technical and/or experimental nature; guarantee the success of the PhD and MSc theses; interact with the directing bodies of CNC.IBILI and the different Faculties.
Each area is subdivided in different teams headed either by the coordinators themselves or by the integrated researchers. Team-leaders are responsible for reporting to the coordinators at least once monthly about the advances and/or problems concerning their project packages. Meetings between coordinators and team-leaders will be held quarterly. An annual group meeting is equally planned.
The group’s high standard publication record (a total of 121 Q1 papers in their areas of expertise, during the period 2008-13), the solid critical mass built of scientists at different career stages (7 PhD senior researchers; 5 Post-Docs; 12 PhD students; 5 MSc students and 7 BSc students), the strong collaboration network within Portugal and abroad, as well as its capacity to attract national and international financing, safe-guard our goal of becoming important stakeholders in the field of new drugs development against chronic inflammation. Furthermore, the group’s integration in the Metabolism, Ageing and Disease strand of the CNC.IBILI will provide an additional pool to exchange ideas and critically comment our projects and results, which will enable us to achieve added excellence in the field.
Finally, the group has longstanding collaborations with clinical teams of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Coimbra, the Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação as well as from other hospitals in Portugal, which secure both a smooth access to human samples and a discussion platform to effectively translate the group’s findings into the clinical reality.
In terms of laboratory space the IMPg is currently installed at three distinct locations: i) Immunology Laboratory – Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra; ii) Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory- Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra; and iii) Organic Chemistry Laboratory- Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra. Furthermore, the group has access to core state-of-the-art facilities at the University of Coimbra (microscopy, NMR, flow cytometry, proteomics, genomics and animal housing), which guarantees the technical requirements to accomplish the group’s scientific endeavors.
The IMPg envisions securing its future funding mainly through applications to competitive international grants, as well as through partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry. This has been the strategy the different integrated members have followed hitherto to successfully finance their past research projects. Moreover, the policy of the group concerning future junior team-leaders determines that they will have to guarantee the financing for the projects they will be developing within the scope of the group’s main research areas.
Currently the IMPg has an even gender distribution at all hierarchical levels. Equally, the group includes several foreign senior staff, students and post-doctoral fellows. As a future recruitment policy, the group foresees to keep the even gender distribution, increase the number of foreign members -particularly in the senior positions- and avoid inbreeding by releasing international announcements for positions.