Iola Melissa Fernandes Duarte

Investigador Principal

Perfil biográfico

Iola F. Duarte is currently a Principal Researcher in the field of cell metabolism and metabolomics at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro (UA). She studied Biochemistry & Food Chemistry at the University of Aveiro, and received her Ph.D degree in Chemistry from the same University in 2003. After working as a post-doctoral fellow in joint projects between CICECO-UA and Imperial College London (2003-2006) / Faculty of Medicine-University of Coimbra (2006-2007), she became assistant researcher at CICECO-UA, under the FCT program Ciência 2007. Since 2015, she has held the position of Principal Researcher at the same institution, under the programs Investigador FCT 2014 (IF/01439/2014) and CEEC Individual 2018 scientific employment stimulus (CEECIND/02387/2018), having been awarded a permanent contract at UA in 2020. 

I.F. Duarte published over 95 papers, 75% in Q1 Journals, with > 3800 citations (h-index 37, source: Scopus). She is also (co)author of 10 book chapters and over 150 conference abstracts (of which 17 were published in SCI Journals). Additionally, I.F. Duarte has delivered 25 talks by invitation, 10 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 and has participated as team member in 13 other projects. She has been 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, 10 PhD students (4 ongoing), 21 MSc students (4 ongoing), 19 undergraduates and 5 Scientific Initiation grantees. She has also hosted 8 researchers/students from foreign Universities (e.g., 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 2021, she has been honored in the 3rd edition of the book 'Mulheres na Ciência' (Women in Science) by 'Ciência Viva', the national agency for scientific and technological culture.

Interesses científicos

- 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.

Grupo de Investigação

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

MSc students: Bruna Vasques, Cristiana Tomaz, Diogo Lopes, Kalie Koroma


Actividade pedagógica

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

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

Bioquímica e Biofísica, First Degree in Nursing, ESSUA, 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.


Projectos financiados

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.

Publicações seleccionadas

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

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

- 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.

- 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.

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

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

Supervisões em Curso


Análise de perfis metabólicos: uma nova metodologia para avaliação dos efeitos toxicológicos e biológicos de nanomateriais (PTDC/SAU-TOX/120953/2010)

CoordenadorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
perfil metabólico e metabonómica nanopartículas de prata efeitos toxicológicos e biológicos nanotoxicologia

ASTHMA - Gestão futura da asma apoiada por amostragem não invasiva: contributos para a definição de um meio diagnóstico rápido e não invasivo (PTDC/QUI-QUI/117803/2010)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Asthma Non-invasive sampling Chromatographic and 1H NMR-based methodologies Metabolomic patterns

Bioreactor para Engenharia de Tecido Osseo Conduzido por Metabolomica (BioImplant)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Caracterização bioquímica de tecidos tumorais de estômago, endométrio e pulmão por espectroscopia de ressonância magnética nuclear (RMN) de alta resolução com rotação segundo o ângulo mágico (HRMAS) (CIMAGO 14/06)

CoordenadorOther National

Caracterização metabólica e diferenciação bioquímica de tecidos tumorais de pulmão humano por métodos de Ressonância Magnética Nuclear (RMN) (PTDC/QUI/68017/2006)

CoordenadorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Cancro de pulmão Ressonância Magnética Nuclear (RMN) Caracterização metabólica Análise multivariada (MVA)

Estudo Metabonómico de desordens da grávida e do feto por espectroscopia de ressonância magnética nuclear (RMN): Caracterização bioquímica e métodos de diagnóstico (PTDC/QUI/66523/2006)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
biofluidos metabonómica espectroscopia de RMN gravidez

Estudo metabonómico do cancro do pulmão em estado cirúrgico: pesquisa de assinaturas metabólicas em tecidos e biofluidos (CIMAGO 04/12)

CoordenadorOther National

Eucalyptus triterpenic biological activity (PTDC/AGR-FOR/3187/2012)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Eucalyptus spp; Liquidos Iónicos; Actividade antitumoral; Metabolómica

HOTsPOT: Novas nanopartículas de conversão ascendente para terapia multimodal do melanoma - terapia fototérmica, terapia fotodinâmica e quimioterapia (HOTsPOT)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Motivação: O melanoma é a forma mais agressiva de cancro da pele, de difícil terapia, com crescente incidência e mau prognóstico em fase avançada. O tratamento clínico convencional do melanoma geralmente falha na erradicação completa do tumor, devido à baixa taxa de resposta para terapias simples, efeitos colaterais de quimioterapia e recalcitrâ...

Impact of silk-based nanomedicines on the cellular metabolome (12101 DD1720 RDF - Grant 1715)

Coordenador LocalOther International

Materiais para medicina regenerativa (CENTRO-07-0924-FEDER-002030)

ParticipanteOther National

Metabolomics analyses for the identification of a set of biomarkers of apoptosis (H92H18000160006)

Coordenador LocalOther International

Pesquisa de novos marcadores de resposta à terapêutica no cancro do pulmão (CIMAGO 03/12)

Coordenador LocalOther National

Phytochemical-based metabolic immunomodulation to prevent/attenuate particulate matter-mediated atherosclerosis (ATHEROFIT)

CoordenadorOther International
Exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. ATHEROFIT aims at preventing and/or attenuating air pollution-mediated atherosclerosis via phytochemical-based metabolic immunomodulation. Samples of PM2.5 will be collected at Estarreja air quality station using reference gravimetr...

Suportes implantáveis para Quimioterapia localizada do Osteossarcoma (PTDC/SAU-BEB/66896/2006)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Osteo-sarcoma Suportes terapêuticos implantáveis Matrizes silicato-ciclodextrina Cápsulas moleculares

Valorização de pigmentos de cianobactérias pela aplicação do conceito de biorefinaria. (REFINECYANO)

ParticipanteFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia


Comparative Metabolomics Study of the Impact of Articaine and Lidocaine on the Metabolism of SH-SY5Y Neuronal Cells

da Silva, GHR; Mendes, LF; de Carvalho, FV; de Paula, E; Duarte, IF
2022, METABOLITES, 12, 7.

Endo- and Exometabolome Crosstalk in Mesenchymal Stem Cells Undergoing Osteogenic Differentiation

Bispo, DSC; Michalkova, L; Correia, M; Jesus, CSH; Duarte, IF; Goodfellow, BJ; Oliveira, MB; Mano, JF; Gil, AM
2022, CELLS, 11, 8.

H-1 NMR Profiling of Honey Bee Bodies Revealed Metabolic Differences between Summer and Winter Bees

Lee, S; Kalcic, F; Duarte, IF; Titera, D; Kamler, M; Mrna, P; Hyrsl, P; Danihlik, J; Dobes, P; Kunc, M; Pudlo, A; Havlik, J
2022, INSECTS, 13, 2.

Macrophage-targeted shikonin-loaded nanogels for modulation of inflammasome activation

Cardoso, M; Gaspar, VM; Ferreira, C; Silvestre, R; Duarte, IF; Mano, JF

Metabolic composition of the cyanobacterium Nostoc muscorum as a function of culture time: A 1H NMR metabolomics study

Macario, IPE; Veloso, T; Romao, J; Goncalves, FJM; Pereira, JL; Duarte, IF; Ventura, SPM

Metabolic dysregulations underlying the pulmonary toxicity of atmospheric fine particulate matter: focus on energy-producing pathways and lipid metabolism

Silva, TD; Alves, C; Oliveira, H; Duarte, IF
2022, AIR QUALITY ATMOSPHERE AND HEALTH, 15, 11, 2051-2065.

On the Relevance of Soft Tissue Sarcomas Metabolic Landscape Mapping

Esperanca-Martins, M; Duarte, IF; Rodrigues, M; do Brito, JS; Lopez-Presa, D; Costa, L; Fernandes, I; Dias, S

Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan-Based Nanosystems: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake on Breast Cancer Cells

Pinto, RJB; Lameirinhas, NS; Guedes, G; da Silva, GRH; Oskoei, P; Spirk, S; Oliveira, H; Duarte, IF; Vilela, C; Freire, CSR
2021, NANOMATERIALS, 11, 8.
ISBN: 2079-4991

Targeting PCSK9: a promising adjuvant strategy in cancer immunotherapy

Almeida, CR; Ferreira, BH; Duarte, IF
ISBN: 2059-3635

Organotypic 3D decellularized matrix tumor spheroids for high-throughput drug screening

Ferreira, LP; Gaspar, VM; Mendes, L; Duarte, IF; Mano, JF
2021, BIOMATERIALS, 275.
ISBN: 1878-5905

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