Gonçalo grew up in the small coastal town of Torres Vedras, Portugal. He graduated in chemistry from the University of Lisbon in 2004 and moved to the University of Oxford, UK 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. Then, he was awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship for his 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), Gonçalo moved to the ETH, Zürich to join the group of Prof. Dario Neri. At ETH, and as an EMBO Fellow, he developed new vascular targeting antibody-drug conjugates for cancer therapy.
Gonçalo was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2013 and started his independent group at Cambridge. He was appointed as a University Lecturer in June 2018, promoted to Reader in June 2019, and promoted to Full Professor in October 2022.
Gonçalo founded and was Director of the pioneering Chemical Biology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Unit at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon from 2013 to 2022, and he is now Head of Translational Chemical Biology. Gonçalo’s research uses chemistry principles to tackle challenging biological problems to understand and fight human disease. e. Gonçalo is also a Fellow at Trinity Hall.
Gonçalo has published over 180 papers and 20 patents. His publications have been cited >13,500 times, which results in an overall h-index of 55. He has been the recipient of numerous awards during his career, such as the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry Young Investigator Award in Academia (2013), the European Young Chemist Award Silver Medal and the European Prize in Chemical Biology by RSEQ (both 2014), the Chem Soc Rev Emerging Investigator Lectureship and the Royal Society of Chemistry Harrison–Meldola Memorial Prize (both 2016) and the MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship (2018). More recently, he was awarded the 2020 Young Chemical Biologist Award from the International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS), he was a Finalist in Chemistry of the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientist in the UK 2022 and just recently he won the 2023 EFMC-WuXi AppTec Award for Excellence in Chemical Biology. For his efforts in translational research, Gonçalo has been recognized by the Ministry of Health of Portugal for relevant services to Public Health and Medicine and he has received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council. For more light-hearted information about Gonçalo, take a look at his light-hearted author profile published in Angewandte Chemie.
To realise the translational potential of his research discoveries, Gonçalo has co-founded TargTex, a compant that is developing a highly-targeted therapy for the treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme, and more recently he co-founded and acts as the CTO at Proteotype Diagnostics, an early-stage new company developing a first-in-class, low cost, liquid biopsy solution which is based on amino acid concentration signatures. In addition, Gonçalo serves on the SABs and/or is an advisor of several companies. Finally, he is a Senior Fellow at the largest global venture incubator – FlashipPioneering, which generated Moderna.