Biodiscovery and Biorefinery

With an overall goal of providing a sustainable access to the chemical diversity from our oceans, CIIMAR has developed a platform for navigating from biological material to pure compounds.

CIIMAR provides large-scale microalgae culture and biomass processing facilities as well as last-generation photobioreactors, a collection of fractionated extracts from marine microorganisms and a growing library of pure compounds.

A series of diverse biological assays that can assist biodiscovery efforts can be conducted safely at CIIMAR including cancer cell line cytotoxicity, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory assays, as well as ecologically-relevant bioassays to test for anti-microfouling, anti-macrofouling and anti-algal activities.

In addition, CIIMAR’s Biodiscovery and Biorefinery Platform has the ability to carry out natural products isolation in the mg scale, structural characterisation (using HRMS as well as NMR) and medicinal chemistry iterations.

Principal Investigator
Team Leader

Pedro Leão is Principal Investigator and ERA Chair Holder in Blue Biotechnology and Bioengineering at CIIMAR, where he leads the Research Line in Marine Biotechnology and is the head of the Research Group “Cyanobacterial Natural Products”. He graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Porto in 2005 and went on to receive his MSc (2006) and PhD (2010) degrees from the same university. He undertook postdoctoral studies at CIIMAR, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Harvard University. He became an “FCT Investigator” in 2015 and started his group at CIIMAR in 2018 after receiving an ERC Starting Grant. His research focuses on the chemistry, biosynthesis and chemical ecology of cyanobacterial natural products.

Access to Ecosystems
Analytical Chemistry
Aquaculture and Animal Experimentation
Blue Business Development
Culture Collections
Genomics and Proteomics
Hazardous and Noxious Substances