Iola Melissa Fernandes Duarte
  Principal Researcher  
  phone: 234 401 418  
  extension: 24 918  
  department: Chemistry  
  office: 29.3.31  
  group: 5 - biomedical and biomimetic materials
  line: 3 - sustainability
  direct url:  
Short CV

Iola F. Duarte (born 1975) is a Principal Researcher at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro (UA), since April 2015. She has a first degree in Biochemistry & Food Chemistry (1997), and a PhD in Chemistry (2003) from the University of Aveiro, having worked as a post-doctoral fellow in joint projects between CICECO/UA and Imperial College of London (2003-2006) / Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra (2006-2007). In 2007, Duarte was awarded the Prize L’Oréal PT for Women in Science and, in 2010, she was the recipient of the Portuguese League Against Cancer grant. Since 2007, she was awarded 4 research positions within competitive international calls (2 as Principal Researcher).

Duarte’s major domain of specialization is in the use of advanced analytical techniques for the comprehensive metabolic profiling (metabolomics) of biological samples (cells, tissues and biofluids) and the study of metabolism changes as a function of external stimuli or pathophysiological alteration. Presently, her main research interests comprise i) metabolic rewiring and modulation of innate immune cells in the context of chronic inflammation; ii) tumour metabolism and metabolic interactions in the tumour microenvironment; iii) anti-cancer and immunomodulatory activity of phytochemicals and nanomaterials.

I.F. Duarte published more than 80 papers, 75% in Q1 Journals, with > 2900 citations (h-index 32, source: Scopus). She is also (co)author of 10 book chapters and over 140 conference abstracts. Additionally, I.F. Duarte has delivered 23 talks by invitation, 8 at International conferences and 15 at National meetings, and 10 oral communications (call for participation) at International meetings. She has coordinated 6 research projects with competitive funding (1 ongoing) and has participated as team member in 10 other projects (4 ongoing). She is a UA representative in a Collaboration Agreement with Bruker BioSpin and in two European Inter-Laboratory Comparisons (2014, 2016). I.F. Duarte has supervised 3 post-doctoral researchers, 11 PhD students (6 ongoing), 14 MSc students (2 ongoing), 19 undergraduates (1 ongoing) and 5 Scientific Initiation grantees. She has also hosted 4 researchers/students from foreign Universities within the Erasmus+ Programme and she has been awarded an Invited Professor position at the University of Bari to teach a Metabolomics Course (Oct-Nov 2019). Additionally, I.F. Duarte has been active in organizing scientific events, participating in Juris and evaluation panels, acting as Guest Editor, Editorial Board member and Reviewer for several Journals and promoting science dissemination.

In regard to teaching experience, Duarte has been Invited Assistant Professor at the Health Sciences Department (UA) between 2007 and 2010, and, since 2011, she has collaborated in the teaching of several curricular units at the Chemistry Department (UA), to both undergraduate and post-graduate students, mainly in the fields of Biochemistry, Macromolecular Chemistry and Metabolomics.

Scientific Interests

- Metabolic rewiring and modulation of innate immune cells in the context of chronic inflammation.

- Tumour metabolism and metabolic interactions in the tumour microenvironment.

- Anti-cancer and immunomodulatory activity of phytochemicals and nanomaterials. 

- NMR spectroscopy and metabolomics.

Present Research Group

PhD students: Ana Sofia Dias, Beatriz Ferreira, Gustavo Silva, Luís Mendes, Matias Cardoso, Tatiana Silva

MSc students: Carlota Silva, Gonçalo Amador


Teaching Activity

Biomoléculas, First Degree in Biomedical Sciences, Department of Medical Sciences, UA.

Bioquímica I, First Degrees in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry, UA.

Química Macromolecular, MSc Course in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, UA.

Proteómica e Metabolómica, MSc Courses in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, UA.

Nutrição e Dietética, First Degree in Gerontology, Health School, UA.

Laboratório MH1, First Degree in Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences Department, UA.

R&D projects

Principal Investigator (PI)

- ATHEROFIT: Phytochemical-based metabolic immunomodulation to prevent/attenuate particulate matter-mediated atherosclerosis, Ref. OHM-Estarreja/2019-2128, 2019-2021, financing: LabEx DRIIHM, Device for Interdisciplinary Research on Human-Environments Interactions.

- Impact of silk-based nanomedicines on the cellular metabolome, Ref. 12101 DD1720 RDF Grant 1715, 2016-2018, financing: Research and Development Grant from the University of Strathclyde.

- Metabolic profiling: a novel tool for evaluation of the toxicological and biological effects of nanomaterials, Ref. PTDC/SAU-TOX/120953/2010, 2012-2015, financing: FCT.

- Metabolomic study of lung cancer: metabolic signatures in tissues and biofluids, Ref. CIMAGO 04/12, 2013-2015, financing: CIMAGO, Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra (FMUC), PT.

- Metabolic profiling and biochemical differentiation of human lung tumours by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) methods, Ref. PTDC/QUI/68017/2006, 2008-2011, financing: FCT.

- Biochemical characterisation of stomach, endometrial and lung tumour tissues by High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Ref. CIMAGO 14/06, 2006-2009, financing: CIMAGO (FMUC), PT.

Team member

-  BIOIMPLANT: A Metabolomics-guided Bioreactor for Improved Bone Engineered Implants, Ref. POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031498, 2018-2021, financing: FCT.

- HOTsPOT: Novel upconversion nanoparticles for multimodal therapy of melanoma: photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy, Ref. POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031794, 2018-2021, financing: FCT.

- REFINECYANO: Using biorefinery to value cyanobateria pigments, Ref. POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030914, 2018-2021, financing: FCT.

- Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine, Ref. SCT-2011-02-030-4872, 2013-2015, financing: PORC-MaisCentro.

- New Valorization Strategies for Eucalyptus spp. Bark Extracts, Ref. PTDC/AGR-FOR/3187/2012, 2013-2015, financing: FCT.

- Search for new markers of therapy response in lung cancer, Ref. CIMAGO 03/12, 2013-2015, funding CIMAGO (FMUC), PT.

- Future asthma management helped by non-invasive sampling:  contributes for the definition of a rapid and non-invasive diagnostic tool, Ref. PTDC/QUI-QUI/117803/2010, 2012-2015, financing: FCT.

- A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)-based metabonomic study of health disorders of fetus and mother during pregnancy: towards biochemical characterisation and early diagnostics, Ref. PTDC/QUI/66523/2006, 2008-2011, financing: FCT.

- Implantable scaffolds for local osteossarcoma chemotherapy, Ref. PTDC/SAU-BEB/66896/2006, 2007-2010, financing: FCT.

Selected Publications

Calmeiro J, Mendes L, Duarte IF, Leitão C, Tavares AR, Ferreira DA, Gomes C, Serra J, Falcão A, Cruz MT, Carrascal MA, Neves BM. In-Depth Analysis of the Impact of Different Serum-Free Media on the Production of Clinical Grade Dendritic Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy. Frontiers in Immunology 2021, 11:593363.

Guerra ÂR, Soares BIG, Freire CSR, Silvestre AJD, Duarte MF, Duarte IF. Metabolic Effects of a Eucalyptus Bark Lipophilic Extract on Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Nontumor Breast Epithelial Cells. Journal of Proteome Research 2021, 20(1):565-575.

Guerra ÂR, Paulino AF, Castro MM, Oliveira H, Duarte MF, Duarte IF. Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Breast Epithelial Cells Differentially Reprogram Glucose and Lipid Metabolism upon Treatment with Triterpenic Acids. Biomolecules 2020, 10(8):1163.

Conde TA, Mendes L, Gaspar VM, Mano JF, Melo T, Domingues MR, Duarte IF. Differential Modulation of the Phospholipidome of Proinflammatory Human Macrophages by the Flavonoids Quercetin, Naringin and Naringenin. Molecules 2020, 25(15):3460.

Cicuéndez M, Fernandes M, Ayán-Varela M, Oliveira H, Feito MJ, Diez-Orejas R, Paredes JI, Villar-Rodil S, Vila M, Portolés MT, Duarte IF. Macrophage inflammatory and metabolic responses to graphene-based nanomaterials differing in size and functionalization. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2020, 186:110709.

Mendes LF, Gaspar VM, Conde TA, Mano JF, Duarte IF. Flavonoid-mediated immunomodulation of human macrophages involves key metabolites and metabolic pathways. Scientific Reports 2019, 9(1):14906.

Totten J, Wongpinyochit T, Carrola J, Duarte IF, Seib FP. PEGylation-dependent metabolic rewiring of macrophages with silk fibroin nanoparticles. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2019, 11(16):14515-14525.

Dias AS, Almeida CR, Helguero LA, Duarte IF. Metabolic crosstalk in the breast cancer microenvironment. European Journal of Cancer 2019, 121:154-171.

Cicuéndez M, Flores J, Oliveira H, Portolés MT, Vallet-Regí M, Vila M, Duarte IF. Metabolomic response of osteosarcoma cells to nanographene oxide-mediated hyperthermia. Materials Science and Engineering: C 2018, 91:340-348.

Carrola J, Pinto RJB, Nasirpour M, Freire CSR, Gil AM, Santos C, Oliveira H, Duarte IF. NMR metabolomics reveals metabolism-mediated protective effects in liver (HepG2) cells exposed to subtoxic levels of silver nanoparticles. Journal of Proteome Research 2018, 17:1636-1646.

Guerra AR, Duarte MF, Duarte IF. Targeting tumor metabolism with plant-derived natural products: emerging trends in cancer therapy. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2018, 41, 10663-10685.

Arminan A, Mendes L, Carrola J, Movellan J, Vicent MJ, Duarte IF. HIF-1a inhibition by diethylstilbestrol and its polyacetal conjugate in hypoxic prostate tumour cells: Insights from NMR metabolomics. Journal of Drug Targeting 2017, 25, 845-855.

Jarak I, Carrola J, Barros AS, Gil AM, Pereira ML, Corvo ML, Duarte IF. Metabolism modulation in different organs by silver nanoparticles: an NMR metabolomics study of a mouse model. Toxicological Sciences 2017, 159:422–435. 

Saborano R, Wongpinyochit T, Totten JD, Johnston BF, Seib FP, Duarte IF. Metabolic reprogramming of macrophages exposed to silk, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and silica nanoparticles. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2017, 6:1601240.

Carrola J, Bastos V, Jarak I, Oliveira-Silva R, Malheiro E, Daniel-da-Silva AL, Oliveira H, Santos C, Gil AM, Duarte IF. Metabolomics of silver nanoparticles toxicity in HaCaT cells: structure–activity relationships and role of ionic silver and oxidative stress. Nanotoxicology 2016, 10:1105-1117.


main active international collaborations

- Ciro Leonardo Pierri, Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy.

- Elena Ciani, Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy.

- Eneida de Paula, Department of Biochemistry and Tissue Biology, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brasil.

- Flaminia Cesare Marincola, Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.

- Gustavo Goldman, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil.

- María Teresa Portolés, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

- Peter Hoet, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Belgium.

- Philipp Seib, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.

- Raquel Moral Cabrera, Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

- Winfried Neuhaus, Center Health & Bioresources, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria.

ongoing scientific supervisions