Gonçalo grew up in the small town of Torres Vedras, Portugal. He graduated in Chemistry from the University of Lisbon in 2004 and soon moved to the University of Oxford where he completed his D.Phil. in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. Ben Davis. At Oxford, he worked on reaction engineering for site-selective protein modification. He was then awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship to perform postdoctoral studies with Prof. Peter H. Seeberger. After a short period in Portugal working as a Group Leader at Alfama Lda. (a spin-out company dedicated to the development of Carbon Monoxide-Releasing Molecules, CO-RMs), Gonçalo moved to the ETH Zürich to join the lab of Prof. Dario Neri. At ETH,and as an EMBO Fellow he developed novel vascular targeting antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for cancer therapy.
Gonçalo started his independent research career in 2013 at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge after being awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Simultaneously, he founded a pioneering research unit in Chemical Pharmacology at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon. He now spends his time between his labs in Cambridge and Lisbon, directing a research program at the interface of chemistry and biology with a focus on the development of novel chemoselective reactions for the modification of biomolecules and their use to understand and influence human disease.
Despite his early age, Gonçalo has published >50 papers, with 22 as a senior or co-senior author, and 5 patents. His publications have been cited >2000 times resulting in an h-index of 25. He has picked many accolades during his short but successful research career; just to mention a few he won the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry – 2013 Young Investigator Award in Academia, in 2014 he was awarded both the European Young Chemist Award – Silver Medal and the European Prize in Chemical Biology of the RSEQ, and more recently he was awarded the Chem Soc Rev Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2016 and the RSC Harrison–Meldola Memorial Prize. For his efforts in translational research, Gonçalo was distinguished by the Portuguese Ministry of Health (MH) of Portugal for relevant services to Public Health and Medicine. Finally, he was recently awarded a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council.