Postdoctoral Programme Biology by Numbers

A multidisciplinary programme for PhD holders from Exact Sciences & Engineering with little knowledge and great curiosity for fundamental biological questions.

Selected Postdoctoral researchers are offered advanced courses, starting in September 2020, covering both basic concepts and cutting-edge research in modern biology. Module topics range from structural and molecular biology to evolution and ecology and are taught by IGC faculty and invited lecturers from top universities and research institutes all over the world.

At the end of the proposed classes, postdoctoral researchers will develop a research proposal with the support of their chosen IGC principal investigators in order to apply for extramural fellowships.


Applications CLOSED


Biology by Numbers Hosting Labs

  • Evolutionary Biology Laboratory

In this Lab, researchers aim to understand the mechanisms that govern the evolution of bacteria in complex ecosystems.

To reach these goals, they use the methodology of experimental evolution, both in vitro and in vivo (mouse gut), and develop theory of eco-evolutionary dynamics. The lab is multidisciplinary and frequently engages in collaborations with physicists. A typical publication combines experimental data and modeling. They are very interesting to host physicists or mathematicians to collaborate with novel theory and/or data analysis.

- Frazao, Sousa, Lassig and Gordo (2019). Horizontal gene transfer overrides mutation in Escherichia coli colonizing the mammalian gut. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116 (36), 17906-17915.

  • Cell biology of tissue morphogenesis Laboratory

In this Lab, researchers aim to untangle the links between shape, growth and patterning during organogenesis and bridge scales from the molecular to the cellular and tissue level.

To reach these goals, researchers combine methods of cell and developmental biology with advanced quantitative imaging and image analysis tools. they already engage in collaboration with physicists to model the phenomena in question and are therefore well equipped to host physicists or mathematicians in the lab to close the loop between experiment and theory.

- Matejcic M., Salbreux, G., Norden, C. (2018) A non-cell-autonomous actin redistribution enables isotropic retinal growth.  PLoS Biol, 16(8) Art. No. 2006018

  • Inflammation Laboratory

The overall objective of the Lab is to identify and characterize evolutionary conserved stress and damage responses that operate in parenchymal tissues to establish disease tolerance to infection. 

They posit that a tight functional interplay between immune-driven mechanisms and these stress and damage responses operates to limit the pathologic outcome of infection. Understanding this interplay should be transformative to the understanding of host-microbe interactions, with a direct impact on the treatment of infectious diseases. Projects developed in this laboratory address how stress and damage responses operate at cellular and an organismal level to provide metabolic reprogramming and establish disease tolerance to infection. We aim at generating, quantifying and analyzing complex data sets, using non-overlapping approaches encompassing network analysis, trajectory analysis and meta-analysis to identify nodes that establish the connections between genes and metabolic pathways partaking in the establishment of disease tolerance to infection.

  • Evolution & Development Laboratory

The Lab aims at exploring the interface between the fields of evolution and developmental biology with the ultimate purpose of contributing to the understanding of the rules by which this interplay shapes organisms across evolutionary time.

One example of our research explores immune cell function diversity and hematopoiesis in Drosophila. Specifically, this project wishes to understand the mechanistic basis for the control of cell proportions using a combination of experimental and modeling approaches. To this aim, we take advantage of the singular case established in the lab of Crystal cell transdifferentiation in the Drosophila larva.

- Leitão AB & Sucena É (2015) Drosophila sessile hemocyte clusters are true hematopoietic tissues that regulate larval blood cell differentiation. eLife 4: e06166.

  • Physics of Intracellular Organization Laboratory

At this Lab, researchers are a multidisciplinary team interested in the physical aspects of intracellular organization.

Researchers study the earliest stages of fruit fly development, from the oocyte to fertilization to embryonic cleavages. Our research touches both physics and biology on a daily basis, and we combine it with engineering and technical development making challenging experiments feasible. Theoreticians and experimentalists from physics or engineering, and mathematicians with interest in dynamic systems are very welcome to join us.

- Deshpande, de-Carvalho, Vieira and Telley (2019) Astral microtubule crosslinking by Feo safeguards uniform nuclear distribution. bioRxiv 10.1101/859975

- De-Carvalho, Deshpande, Nabais and Telley (2019) A cell-free system of Drosophila egg explants supporting native mitotic cycles. Meth Cell Biol 10.1016/bs.mcb.2018.03.011.

Isabel Gordo


Gabinete de Formação
Ana Aranda da Silva
Alexandra Caetano


Mais informação
[email protected] 
Tel: +351 214 464 549