Elisabete Morais awarded in the 2nd edition of the SymbNET PhD Project Award

Elisabete Morais © ITQB NOVA, 2022

Elisabete Morais, a PhD student from the Proteomics of Non-Model Organisms Lab at Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB NOVA) is the awardee of the 2nd call of the SymbNET PhD Project Award. This award funds the best collaborative research project in the context of SymbNET, aiming to promote collaborative research in Host-Microbe Symbiosis, Genomics, Metabolomics and Proteomics.

Elisabete will develop the project “Investigating the determinants of Staphylococcus epidermidis pathogenicity with multi-omics-based modelling” in collaboration with Maria Zimmermann-Kogadeeva, a Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The initiative will foster collaboration between two institutions involved in the SymbNET consortium, the EMBL (Germany) and ITQB NOVA (Portugal).

The student says she is “grateful for this award, this is a great opportunity to collaborate and visit the Maria Zimmermann lab in EMBL. All the knowledge and skills obtained from this project will be of major importance for my main PhD topic.”

In Maria Zimmerman-Kogadeeva words “The SymbNET PhD award provides an excellent opportunity for PhD students to learn new skills and gain research experience in a different institution.” Maria is “looking forward to hosting Elisabete in my lab and to working together on investigating molecular mechanisms of Staphylococcus epidermidis pathogenicity”, and she adds “I’m grateful to SymbNET for facilitating the start of exciting interdisciplinary collaborations and promoting scientific exchange across labs, institutes and countries.”

For Luís Gonçalves, Elisabete’s supervisor, “the award is an excellent opportunity for the establishment of a new collaboration between Ana Coelho and Maria Zimmerman laboratories, which have complementary expertise: ours focused on proteomics and metabolomics and Maria’s on metabolic modelling.” Luís adds that “This project will aid the understanding of the metabolic features which are important for the commensal and pathogenic behaviour of Staphylococcus epidermidis strains. It will be extremely important for Elisabete’s PhD project and for her scientific development, besides she will perform metabolic modelling experimental training, she will have the opportunity to visit and work in EMBL, a worldwide reference institution.”

The SymbNET PhD Project Award funds 4,000€ and additionally covers a research visit of one month (travel and accommodation included) for the completion of the selected project. The next, and third of three calls, will be open from July 1 to Sep 30 2022.

Updated on 22 june 2022