Research Centers

Committed to developing an internationally competitive biomedical research programme, the Universidade Católica Portuguesa has created a new Biomedical Research Centre (Católica BioMed) at the Católica Medical School.

The centre will promote quality in healthcare through biomedical research, studying the biology of health and diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative processes. It aims to foster a culture of basic research, guided by demanding scientific criteria, promoting the integration of basic and translational research, with medical teaching, care activity, scientific dissemination and with cultural activity in general.

As an integral part of the Católica Medical School, Católica BioMed will enhance the synergies between the School and its clinical partners, providing a platform for basic science that will be transversal to both teaching and translational research fostered by the clinic.

Integrated in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Health (CIIS), and coordinated by its Deputy Director Professor Paulo Bettencourt, the group is in full expansion, being currently composed of 13 Integrated Researchers and 18 Collaborating Researchers, belonging to areas ranging from oncology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, immunology, cardiology, among others.

To support the activities of this growing platform, CatólicaMed has expanded its laboratories in the new building of the Católica Medical School at the Sintra campus of UCP, occupying a total area of 891m2, including 18 offices for collaborators, and study rooms for post-graduate students with an area of 271m2, and laboratories with an area of 620m2. The new laboratorial area has an estimated capacity of 175 researchers, teachers, staff and students.

Since 15 July, the Católica Medical School joined the Collaboration for Tuberculosis Vaccine Discovery (CTVD). This is the world's largest platform of scientists dedicated to the development of new vaccines against tuberculosis. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this working group seeks to improve the only vaccine against tuberculosis - BCG.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Health Research (CIIS) is a Health Research unit of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and is present in three Regional Centres ( Lisboa, Porto and Viseu). Its interdisciplinary research approaches scientific issues from different perspectives, focusing on:

1.      The nature of processes, from molecule to mind;

2.      The life course, studying the mechanisms for learning and neuronal plasticity in childhood, the changes associated with ageing and the differentiated care needs at the end of life, namely palliative care;

3.      The relationship of the human being with the world, stage for the studies of language and communication in its multiple forms, or the study of cognition;

4.      The perspective of global health involving the mechanisms of response in health, disease and in its resolution.

Patient education and motivation is a fundamental concern to which CIIS pays special attention, creating solutions and strategies to involve and empower vulnerable individuals and communities in health, disease and recovery processes.

The CIIS aims to contribute to the development of Precision Medicine and Biomarkers, as well as to create solutions in Digital Health, thus aligning with the National Plan for Science and Technology, as well as with the national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies.

In the evaluation exercise of R&D centres by FCT, in 2017/18, CIIS was assessed with Very Good.

The scientific production grew significantly and the number of applications for national and international funding also increased during the past year, highlighting here the project "Corpus & Avatar of Portuguese Sign Language" (Refª PTDC/LLT-LIN/29887/2017), with FCT funding of 240,000.00€ for 3 years.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Health aims to contribute with solutions for a 4Ps approach to Health: Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory.

In the research area, the Hospital da Luz Learning Health:

  • Develops, promotes and supports the research developed in the Grupo Luz Saúde;
  • Stimulates the development of new methodologies that add value to the care provided to its clients.

In this way, it develops activities in the areas:

  • Of preventive medicine;
  • Early diagnosis methods and biomarkers;
  • Personalised medicine;
  • Outcome research.

All these themes are supported by advanced analytical methods and human factors engineering, allowing maximising the value for patients.