Cláudio Manuel Soares
The Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB) is a research institute of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa since 1992. Its main objective is to provide advanced training in an interdisciplinary environment through high quality research work in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering and associated areas. Research and teaching are part of the activities of the 50 existing laboratories, which have about 120 Ph.D. researchers and 250 graduated students. The majority of these graduated students are Ph.D. students.
ITQB is located, since 1996, in the Estação Agronómica Nacional (EAN) campus in Oeiras. The building is also used by a private non-profit institution, Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (IBET), a University-Industry interface. Some IBET associates are companies in different economic areas such as pharmaceuticals and health care, agroforestry, agroindustry and environment. Nearby, there is another research laboratory that has been a long time partner of ITQB in interdisciplinary research projects, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), with large relevance in the Biology and Biomedicine areas. This strong collaboration in complementary areas allows the sharing of infrastructures and scientific equipment. In November 2000, these three institutes, ITQB, the IBET and the IGC of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, have come together to jointly establish an Associate Laboratory (Laboratório Associado) with the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Laboratório Associado and its research workers are able to benefit from a multi-disciplinary environment in pursuing their research objectives. Together, ITQB, IBET, and IGC, constitute what is probably a unique combination of Institutes in Europe with the ability and scope not only to undertake high quality research in the Life sciences and related themes, but in addition to assist in technological transfer to industrial and economic environments.
- An open structure with the participation of researchers from various national and foreign institutions;
- A scientific programme based on the strong interaction between small groups of researchers in different scientific areas;
- A large network of services of high technology, some of which could, and should, become national facilities;
- A set of complementary skills that cover a wide area of the Life Sciences and related disciplines.
The areas of competence include; the structural and functional characterisation, design and production of biologically active molecules; micro-organism physiology and genetics; analysis and manipulation of complex biological systems; bioinformatics. Among others, the LA main objective is the creation of scientific employment and post graduated training, especially the improvement of future perspectives for the development of scientific careers.
Since 2003, ITQB has its own Ph.D. Program for the 1st year Ph.D. students, the ITQB PhD Program, with the topics Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Biomolecular Chemistry, Microbial Physiology and Pathogenesis, Cell and Developmental Biology e Biotechnology. Its main objective is to educate the students to approach scientific problems in an interdisciplinary manner. Teaching at the postgraduate level has been carried out in association with IGC, through its former Gulbenkian Programme of Ph.D. in Biology and Medicine (PDGBM) and current PhD Programme in Computational Biology.
Currently, ITQB has several training activities: Ph.D. degrees in the areas of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology and Chemical Engineering; scientific training of young graduated students working in research projects; training of undergraduate students, a Master Degree in Medical Microbiology (presently in its second year) and a future Master Degree in Functional Biology.