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Comparative, Adaptive and Functional Skeletal Biology


Comparative, Adaptive and Functional Skeletal Biology

Comparative, Adaptive and Functional Skeletal Biology

Group leaders
Leonor Cancela
Vincent Laizé
Natércia Conceição
Paulo Jorge Travessa Gavaia
bioactive compounds
blue biotechnology
marine bioprospection
therapeutic agents
human health

Main interests

Molecular determinants and regulatory mechanisms (transcription and post transcription regulation, alternative and trans-splicing events, RNA editing, epigenetics) affecting gene expression during onset of skeletogenesis and maintenance of bone and cartilage integrity throughout life.

Special interests

Skeleton-associated vitamin K-dependent proteins (osteocalcin, matrix Gla protein, Gla-rich protein/UCMA) known to affect tissue mineralization in normal and pathological conditions, and also involved in cell differentiation, transformation and tissue integrity; Vitamin K metabolism and its recently identified transcription network of target genes and novel functions; Use of fish as models for human diseases with skeletal phenotype.


Molecular evolution of skeletal proteins; Osteo-adaptation and osteotoxicity associated with environmental conditions; Regeneration of calcified tissues; Nutritional requirements associated to normal and pathological skeletal development; Identification of molecules of marine origin with pro/anti-osteogenic properties; Osteo-immunology and musculoskeletal crosstalk.