Last November 14, it took place the Rede Saúde ULisboa Awards Ceremony, at ULisboa’s Rectory. Marta Batista, currently PhD student at the Structure-Based Drug Discovery Lab (Ciências ULisboa), was one of the awardees and was distinguished with the best MSc. research work award (in Immunology/Infectious Diseases).

During her MSc. research (whose thesis is intitled: “Development of a new hybrid therapeutic agent against malaria by targeting the Aquaglyceroporin from plasmodium spp), Marta studied the permeability characteristics of glycerol derivatives through aquaglyceroporin – a protein – present in Plasmodium falciparum spp, the parasite microorganism (more precisely, a protozoan), which is responsible for causing malaria in humans.

From the computational studies, performed by the young scientist, it can be highlighted that the different studied compounds can potentially block the aquaglyceroporin channel in Plasmodium falciparum (and consequently – due to their low permeability – disrupt the parasite’s nutrient uptake) or as promising substrates for essential antimalarial drugs, given the high permeability.

The fact that her MSc. work was distinguished with this award means a lot to Marta Batista as she shares that: “It not only highlights the significance of our findings but also serves as a source of pride and motivation for the work developed.” Simultaneously, the award also works as an inspirational achievement that makes the young researcher willing to continue her path in science since: “It inspires a sense of pride and achievement, motivating me to continue to push myself through new scientific challenges, making meaningful contributions to the scientific community”, as she herself explains.

More info about the Structure-Based Drug Discovery Lab here.

Find out more about Rede Saúde ULisboa 2023 Awards here.

Discover Rede Saúde ULisboa here.

Marta Batista at Rede Saude ULisboa Ceremony [photo provided by the researcher]