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I obtained a M.Sc in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Universtiy of Lisbon in 2009. After I worked with Dr. Carlos Fontes at Technical University of Lisbon, studying the mechanisms of protein-carbohydrate interactions. Between 2013 and 2017 I moved to Newcastle University (UK) to do my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Harry Gilbert. During this time I studied the mechanisms behind pectin degradation and utilization by the gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. I’m currently a PostDoc mentored by Prof. Gunnar C. Hansson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Eric C. Martens (University of Michigan, USA). My research is focused on functional and structural characterization of enzymes and carbohydrate-binding modules. I'm currently interested in understanding the mechanisms behind mucin degradation by gut bacteria and its implications in inflammatory bowel disease.
I contributed to structural-functional characterization of:
- CBM65 from Eubacterium cellulosolvens (Family First) 
- CBM77 from Ruminococcus flavefaciens (Family First) 
- GH106 BT0986 and BT4145 from Bacteorides thetaiotaomicron (Family First structure and mechanism of catalysis description) [3, 4]
- GH103 BT1003 from Bacteorides thetaiotaomicron (first report of an aceric acidase enzyme) ;
- PL9 BT4170 Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (first rhamnogalacturonan lyase inside PL9 family) ;
- Luís AS, Venditto I, Temple MJ, Rogowski A, Baslé A, Xue J, Knox JP, Prates JA, Ferreira LM, Fontes CM, Najmudin S, and Gilbert HJ. Understanding how noncatalytic carbohydrate binding modules can display specificity for xyloglucan. J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 15;288(7):4799-809. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.432781 |
- Venditto I, Luis AS, Rydahl M, Schückel J, Fernandes VO, Vidal-Melgosa S, Bule P, Goyal A, Pires VM, Dourado CG, Ferreira LM, Coutinho PM, Henrissat B, Knox JP, Baslé A, Najmudin S, Gilbert HJ, Willats WG, and Fontes CM. Complexity of the Ruminococcus flavefaciens cellulosome reflects an expansion in glycan recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 28;113(26):7136-41. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1601558113 |
- Ndeh D, Rogowski A, Cartmell A, Luis AS, Baslé A, Gray J, Venditto I, Briggs J, Zhang X, Labourel A, Terrapon N, Buffetto F, Nepogodiev S, Xiao Y, Field RA, Zhu Y, O'Neil MA, Urbanowicz BR, York WS, Davies GJ, Abbott DW, Ralet MC, Martens EC, Henrissat B, and Gilbert HJ. Complex pectin metabolism by gut bacteria reveals novel catalytic functions. Nature. 2017 Apr 6;544(7648):65-70. DOI:10.1038/nature21725 |
- Luis AS, Briggs J, Zhang X, Farnell B, Ndeh D, Labourel A, Baslé A, Cartmell A, Terrapon N, Stott K, Lowe EC, McLean R, Shearer K, Schückel J, Venditto I, Ralet MC, Henrissat B, Martens EC, Mosimann SC, Abbott DW, and Gilbert HJ. Dietary pectic glycans are degraded by coordinated enzyme pathways in human colonic Bacteroides. Nat Microbiol. 2018 Feb;3(2):210-219. DOI:10.1038/s41564-017-0079-1 |