The development of competitive research projects is closely linked to partnerships and collaborations that allow synergies and the suitability of partners to the know-how required for each task. In a country the size of Portugal, this solid and competitive network could not be confined just to the national scientific community. This is also the case of the Institute of Biochemistry of FMUL, which, in all international articles published between 2009 and 2014, has had the co-authorship of researchers from institutions from 16 countries across America, Asia, Europe and Oceania: Germany,
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Spain, United States, Holland, India, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Switzerland.
The establishment of international partnerships is also increasingly more important in terms of joint applications for European Union funding, as well as by funding agencies or foreign foundations (e.g., Science Without Borders Programme, in Brazil, and the British Heart Foundation, in the United Kingdom).
On this point, the current coordination of three European projects by lecturers-researchers of the Institute of Biochemistry of FMUL stands out: i) the FP7 IAPP project (Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways) PEP2BRAIN (coordinator: Miguel Castanho) brings together a consortium of five partners from three countries, three universities and two companies and led to the development of analgesic molecules variant of the kyotorphin endogenous neuropeptide, with highly demonstrated efficacy in animal models (recently the study progressed towards the clinical demonstration of kyotorphin as a possible marker of pain and key molecule in the relationship with Alzheimer’s Disease); ii) the FP7 IRSES project (International Research Staff Exchange Scheme) MEMPEPACROSS (coordinator: Nuno C. Santos) focuses on infection by dengue virus and other pathogens, as well as on the development of new strategies to fight these infections, involving three Brazilian universities (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and Universidade Federal do Ceará) in addition to European partners; iii) the HIVERA DELIN project (coordinator: Miguel Castanho) focuses on the development and characterization of new HIV-1entry inhibitors, bringing together other Portuguese research groups and partners from France and Romania. In addition to the projects funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) or by the joint action of the funding agencies of its member states (HIVERA), we have had three successful applications for Marie Curie Fellowships, following a highly competitive European selection process, in the context of collaborative projects of the Institute of Biochemistry of FMUL with foreign partners: National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (US), University of Queensland (Australia) and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
The internationalization of the Institute of Biochemistry of FMUL during the last five years is also evident in the demand for postdoctoral research by PhD students or trainees from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Check Republic, Serbia, Taiwan and Venezuela.
See in this map (Google) the international partnerships developed by IB (2009-2014).