The University of Porto (UPORTO), located in the city of Porto, has 32 000 students, 2 400 teaching and research staff along with 1 600 administrative staff within its 15 schools and 60 scientific research units, spread across 3 university campi located in the city of Porto. The largest school of UPORTO is the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), with about 8500 students, 580 teaching and research staff across 9 departments.
Within FEUP, the Department of Chemical Engineering (DEQ) hosts the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy (LEPABE), a research centre belonging to the national network of R&D units, rated as Excellent in international evaluations carried out by the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT). Its biofilm-related research group (BEL-Biofilm Engineering Lab) is composed by 4 lead scientists, 15 PhD students and 3 postdoctoral fellows, focusing on biofilms in industry, environment and health.
BEL (Biofilm Engineering lab): Target Application Fields
– Biofilms and abiotic fouling in cooling water, drinking water and marine systems.
– Biofilm associated Infections, their interactions with implants and catheters.
– Microbial contamination and abiotic fouling in food processing (pre- and post-production food safety).
– Beneficial biofilms in bioreactors (wastewater treatment and microbial fuel cells).
Details of persons involved in the project:
Dr. Luís Melo
Luís Melo is a Chemical Engineering Professor at the University of Porto, Faculty of Engineering. He received his PhD from the University of Minho, Portugal.
He has over 30 years’ experience in working with biofilm science and technology applied to cooling, drinking and process water, as well as to wastewater treatment.
He was coordinator of two European projects (BioToBio 1997-2001 and Modsteel 2000-2004) and leader of the portuguese team in 3 other European funded projects: SAFER (2002-2006), SECUREAU (2009-2013) and SUSCLEAN (2012-2014). He is the coordinator of a new European project POMACEA, under the INDIGO program (cooperation with India).
He is the Head of the Biofilm Engineering Laboratory (BEL) at FEUP-LEPABE. From 2001 to 2013, he was the Head of the Research Unit LEPAE (Laboratory for Process, Environmental and Energy Engineering) and from 2008 to 2013 the Director of the Bioengineering Teaching Program at the Faculty of Engineering. He was the director of two international Advanced Study Institutes on Fouling of Heat Exchangers (1988) and on Biofilms (1992), vice-president of the Portuguese National Board for Science and Technology (presently named Science and Technology Foundation-FCT) in 1994-96 and the chairman of the IWA (International Water Association) specialized conference on Biofilm Monitoring (2002). He is the author or co-author of about 100 papers in refereed journals and 15 invited chapters in international books, as well as the editor or co-editor of three books.
His research interests include mainly the fields of Biofilm Science and Engineering, Heat Exchanger Fouling, Biological Wastewater Treatment Reactors and Drinking Water Systems.
Dr. Filipe Mergulhão
Filipe Mergulhão graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1998 from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon, Portugal). In 2002 he obtained is PhD in Biotechnology from the same institution having spent part of is research time in the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden).
Since 2005, Filipe Mergulhão has been involved in 6 national funded projects and he acted as the responsible researcher at FEUP for 4 of these projects in biofilm research and protein expression. He is also involved in one EU-funded project addressing the salad washing industry (SUSCLEAN, 2012-2014). His main research area is biofilm research, particularly the study of physical interactions (surfaces and hydrodynamics) as well as cell physiology (protein expression and plasmid effects). He has co-authored more than 30 ISI publications, has made several presentations in international conferences and co-authored and edited several book chapters and one book. He is involved in of the Cost action TD1305 – iPROMEDAI: Improved Protection of Medical Devices Against Infection.
Dr. Manuel Simões
Manuel Simões is graduated in Biological Engineering (2001) and received a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005). Since 2008 he is Assistant Professor and member of the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy (LEPABE) in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. Since 2008, he has been involved in 7 national projects (3 as responsible researcher) and 4 European projects. He is member of the management committee of the Cost action FA 1202 – A European Network for Mitigating Bacterial Colonisation and Persistence on Foods and Food Processing Environments and substitute management committee member of the Cost action TD1305 – iPROMEDAI: Improved Protection of Medical Devices Against Infection. Manuel Simões has more than 80 papers published in journals indexed in JCR, 2 books (1 as author and 1 as editor) and more than 20 book chapters. He is member of the editorial board of Biofouling – The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research and Review Editor of Frontiers in Microbiology.
Dr. Nuno F. Azevedo
Nuno F. Azevedo obtained his degree in Biological Engineering in 2001 and finished his PhD on Chemical and Microbial Technology in 2005 at the University of Minho in Portugal. He started a Faculty Research Fellow position at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto in June 2009. During his research career he has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, more than 15 book chapters, 5 patents and given more than 20 oral presentations in international conferences and workshops. His main research interests are to explore the potential of peptide nucleic acids and other nucleic acid mimics for the detection and location of microorganisms. This interest has led to the development of fluorescence in situ hybridization and other molecular biology methods for the detection of pathogens in clinical, environmental and food samples. He has also a large experience in microscopy, flow cytometry, biological reactors and biofilms.
Nuno Azevedo was the co-founder of the spin-off Biomode SA, a company that develops novel methods for the identification and localization of microorganisms and that has recently raised 1.7 million€ in capital venture funds. He has been involved in 7 national (2 of which as a PI) and 2 European/International projects. He is also part of the management committee of the Cost Action TD1004 on theragnostics.
Dr. Idalina Machado
Idalina Machado graduated in Biological Engineering from the University of Minho, Portugal in 2003. She then received her Master degree in Environmental Management from the University of Minho in 2006. Idalina received her PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Minho in 2011. During the PhD she trained national and international students during their Master and PhD programs in biofilm and proteomics scientific area. Throughout her scientific career she has published 14 peer-reviewed articles and participated in several international conferences as well as in National and International Projects. Her contribution to science and technology is focused on biofilm development and control, including biofilm resistance to antimicrobial treatments.