Located between
Cambridge and Lisbon,
our laboratory works
at the interface of Chemistry
and Biology, with a focus
on protein chemistry and
targeted cancer therapeutics.

LATEST NEWS

June 2022

Congratulations to Gonçalo who has been promoted to Full Professor at the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge.
Gonçalo is very grateful for the talent and hard-work of all of the undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and collaborators that he has worked with, and for the support from his family. Excellent news!

LATEST NEWS

January 2022

Many congratulations to Gonçalo who has been named as a finalist for the 2022 Blavatnik Awards UK. The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists celebrate the achievements and potential of young faculty and their innovative research. Gonçalo's work in the area of ‘bench-to-clinic’ bioorthogonal chemistry is recognised in this award. Full details about the award and this years’ winners can be found here.

ABOUT OUR WORK

about our work

Nature has produced an intricate machinery to covalently diversify the structure of proteins after their synthesis in the ribosome. At the core of our research and in an attempt to mimic nature, we are engineering reactions that allow for post-expression modification of proteins at selected sites. We use such reactions to selectively install particular modifications on proteins for many biological and therapeutic applications. For example, we are developing strategies for site-selective protein labelling in live cells by combining the introduction of small-sized non-proteinogenic tagged amino acids with very rapid chemoselective reactions. We aim to apply these to label and monitor disease-associated proteins under native conditions without interfere with the protein’s innate structure, function, activity and localisation as well as cellular functions.
Another important aspect of protein modification is for example the conjugation of cytotoxic molecules to antibodies to improve efficacy and reduce side effects of cancer treatments. Gonçalo’s laboratory is engineering new reactions that can be performed site-selectively on native antibodies, i.e. without the need for sequence engineering.
These are two examples among other lines of research in our lab that have in common the use of synthetic aqueous chemistry to address challenges in biology and medicine. Our ultimate goal is to see the widespread use of our findings and methodologies by other laboratories around the world and to directly assist in the design and discovery of new drugs with improved selectivity and efficacy for treating cancer.

ABOUT OUR WORK

about our work

Nature has produced an intricate machinery to covalently diversify the structure of proteins after their synthesis in the ribosome. At the core of our research and in an attempt to mimic nature, we are engineering reactions that allow for post-expression modification of proteins at selected sites. We use such reactions to selectively install particular modifications on proteins for many biological and therapeutic applications. For example, we are developing strategies for site-selective protein labelling in live cells by combining the introduction of small-sized non-proteinogenic tagged amino acids with very rapid chemoselective reactions. We aim to apply these to label and monitor disease-associated proteins under native conditions without interfere with the protein’s innate structure, function, activity and localisation as well as cellular functions.
Another important aspect of protein modification is for example the conjugation of cytotoxic molecules to antibodies to improve efficacy and reduce side effects of cancer treatments. Gonçalo’s laboratory is engineering new reactions that can be performed site-selectively on native antibodies, i.e. without the need for sequence engineering.
These are two examples among other lines of research in our lab that have in common the use of synthetic aqueous chemistry to address challenges in biology and medicine. Our ultimate goal is to see the widespread use of our findings and methodologies by other laboratories around the world and to directly assist in the design and discovery of new drugs with improved selectivity and efficacy for treating cancer.

University of Cambridge
Department of Chemistry
Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1223336305
gb453@cam.ac.uk

Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa
Av. Prof. Egas Moniz - 1649-028 Lisboa
Portugal
gbernardes@medicina.ulisboa.pt

University of Cambridge
Department of Chemistry

Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1223336305
gb453@cam.ac.uk

Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa

Av. Prof. Egas Moniz - 1649-028 Lisboa
Portugal

gbernardes@medicina.ulisboa.pt