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Research centres

The Católica Biomedical Research Centre (CBR) is a non-profit institute founded in 2022 with the vision of making progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Our goal is to be recognised internationally as a leading biomedical research institute.

Over the next 10 years, we will establish 16 multidisciplinary teams with a broad research portfolio addressing fundamental questions related to health challenges and clinical research. Our mission is to empower talented researchers who combine innovative technologies from biomedicine, biology and engineering, fostering a collaborative and creative environment that enhances discussion and focuses on solutions.

The CBR is part of an ecosystem that aspires to promote human health through research and innovation in medical education and practice. Together with Católica Medical School of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Hospital da Luz Lisboa and União das Misericórdias Portuguesas, CBR participates in the first non-governmental Clinical Academic Centre in Portugal.

The CBR is currently based at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência campus in Oeiras to capitalise on the available resources and highly specialised infrastructures. This collaboration is officialised and regulated by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and the Gulbenkian Foundation.

Our researchers have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as advanced optical and electron microscopy, flow cytometry, genomics and facilities for model animals (mice, rats, zebrafish, Drosophila). At the same time, the proximity of the campus of Católica Medical School in Sintra (10 km) allows for close interaction with students and other teaching staff.

The CBR has a horizontal organisation and is led by its Director and Board of Directors. They are supported by the Scientific Advisory Board, which plays an important role in driving the institute’s strategy and reviewing its work. The Societal Advisory Board, in turn, provides guidelines on the strategic relationship with relevant social actors in order to bring society’s needs to the scientific agenda, disseminate research results and build competences among citizens.

The CatólicaMed platform is part of UCP’s Interdisciplinary Health Research Centre (CIIS) and is based at Católica Medical School, dedicated to clinical and translational research.

CatólicaMed was created with the formal accreditation of Universidade Católica Portuguesa’s Integrated Master’s Degree in Medicine on the 1st September 2020 by the Portuguese Accreditation Agency A3ES.

Since its inception, several researchers have been invited to join. The group is expanding rapidly and is currently made up of 14 Integrated Researchers and 18 Collaborating Researchers. The platform has a diverse number of researchers ranging from vaccinology to psychiatry, gastroenterology, cardiology and other relevant clinical disciplines. A list of the integrated researchers can be found here.

The CatólicaMed platform is coordinated by CIIS Deputy Director Professor Paulo Bettencourt.

To support the activities of this growing platform, CatólicaMed has expanded its laboratories in the new Católica Medical School building in the Sintra campus of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa. The new laboratories occupy a total area of 891m2, including 18 offices for staff, and study rooms for postgraduate students with an area of 271m2, and laboratories with an area of 620m2. The new laboratory area has an estimated capacity for 175 teachers, staff and students.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Health Research (CIIS) is a health research unit of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and has three regional centres (Lisbon, Porto and Viseu). Its interdisciplinary research approaches scientific questions from different perspectives, concerned with:

  1. The nature of processes, from the molecule to the 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, particularly palliative care;
  3. The human being’s relationship with the world, the stage for studies of language and communication in its many forms, or the study of cognition;
  4. The global health perspective involving response mechanisms in health, illness and their resolution.

Patient education and motivation are a fundamental concern to which CIIS pays special attention, creating solutions and strategies to involve and empower vulnerable individuals and communities with regard to the processes of health, illness and recovery.

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

In FCT’s 2017/18 assessment of R&D centres, CIIS was rated Very Good.

Scientific production has grown significantly and the number of applications for national and international funding has also increased over the past year, with the highlight here being the “Corpus & Avatar of the Portuguese Sign Language” project (Ref. PTDC/LLT-LIN/29887/2017), with FCT funding of €240,000.00 over 3 years.

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

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

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

In this way, it develops activities in the following areas

  • Preventive medicine;
  • Early diagnosis methods and biomarkers;
  • Personalised medicine;
  • Outcomes research.

All these themes are supported by advanced analytical methods and human factors engineering, allowing us to maximise value for patients.