The Stem Cells Laboratory



Building 8, Laboratory 1.12

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine.

University of Algarve

Phone: +351 289 244 483

Team Members

José Bragança (Principal Investigator)

Gisela Machado-Oliveira (Post doctoral Researcher)

João Santos (PhD Student)

About the SCL

The Stem Cells Laboratory (SCL) investigates the genetic regulatory networks that are involved in the maintenance of pluripotency using mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESC) models. In particular, the SCL is actively researching cell fate decisions, with particular emphasis directed towards cardiac progenitors and cardiac cell lineage commitment. The SCL is focused on developing a detailed understanding of the molecular processes that ultimately control the transcription of the core regulators of ESC pluripotency and self-renewal, including the molecular mechanism(s) that directs the transcriptional switch between pluripotent cells, early cardiac progenitor cells and fully cardiac committed cells.

Publications (2008-2016)

Pacheco-Leyva I, Matias AC#, Oliveira DV#, Santos JMA#, Nascimento R, Guerreiro E, Michell AC, van De Vrugt AM, Machado-Oliveira G,Ferreira G, Domian I and Bragança J* – Cited2 cooperates with Isl1 and promotes cardiomyocyte differentiation of embryonic stem cell differentiation – Stem Cell Reports online 3rd of November –

Machado-Oliveira G, Guerreiro E, Matias AC, Facucho-Oliveira J, Pacheco-Leyva I and Bragança J* – “FBXL5 modulates HIF-1α transcriptional activity by degradation of CITED2” – Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (2015) 576, 61-72.

Simões B, Conceição N, Matias AC, Bragança J, Kelsh RN and Cancela ML – “Molecular characterization of Cbfβ gene and identification of new transcription variants: Implications for function” – Arch. Biochem. Biophys.,567, 1-12 (2015)

Kranc KR, Oliveira DV, Armesilla-Diaz A, Pacheco-Leyva I, Matias AC, Escapa AL, Subramani C, Wheadon H, Trindade M, Nichols J, Kaji K, Enver T and Bragança J* – “Acute loss of Cited2 impairs Nanog expression and descreases self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells” – Stem Cells, 33, 699-712 (2015)

Pinto JP, Kalathur RKR, Machado RSR, Xavier JM, Bragança J and Futschik ME – “StemCellNet: an interactive platform for network-oriented investigations in stem cell biology” – Nucleic Acids Res., 42, W154-160 (2014).

Xapelli S, Agasse F, Sardà-Arroyo L, Bernardino L, Santos T, Ribeiro FF, Valero J,  Bragança J, Schitine C, de Melo Reis RA, Sebastião AM and Malva JO – “Activation of type I cannabinoid  receptor (CBR1) promotes neurogenesis in murin subventricular zone cell cultures” – PLoS ONE, 21, e63529 (2013)

Agasse F, Xapelli S, Coronas V,  Christiansen SH, Rosa AI, Sardà-Arroyo L, Santos T,  Ferreira R,  Schitine C, Harnois T, Bourmeyster N, Bragança J, Bernardino L, Malva JO and Woldbye DPD – “Galanin promotes neuronal differentiation in murine subventricular zone cell cultures” – Stem Cells and Dev., 21, 1693-1708 (2013)

MacDonald ST, Bamforth SD, Bragança J, Chen C-M, Broadbent C, Schneider JE, Schwartz RJ and Bhattacharya S – “A cell-autonomous role of Cited2 in controlling myocardial and coronary vascular development” – Eur. Heart J., 34, 2557-2565 (2013)

Santos T, Ferreira R, Maia J, Agasse F, Xapelli S, Cortes L, Bragança J, Malva J, Ferreira L and Bernardino L – “Polymeric nanoparticles to control the differentiation of neural stem cells in the subventricular zone of the brain” – ACS Nano, 6, 10463-10474 (2012)

Chen C, Bentham J, Cosgrove C, Braganca J, Cuenda A, Bamforth SD, Schneider JE, Watkins H, Keavney B, Davies B and Bhattacharya S – “Functional Significance of SRJ Domain Mutations in CITED2” – PLoS ONE, 7, e46256 (2012)

Bernardino L, Eiriz MF, SantosT, Xapelli S, Grade S, Rosa AI, Cortes L, Ferreira R, Bragança J, AgasseF, Ferreira L and Malva JO – “Histamine Stimulates Neurogenesis in the Rodent Subventricular Zone” – Stem cells, 30, 773-784 (2012). DOI: 10.1002/stem.1042

Michell AC, Bragança J, Broadbent C, Joyce B, Franklyn A, Schneider JE, Bhattacharya S and Bamforth SD – “A novel role for transcription factor Lmo4 in thymus development through genetic interaction with Cited2” – Dev. Dyn., 239, 1988-1994 (2010)

Stevens J, Ermakov A, Bragança J, Hilton H, Underhill P, Bhattacharya S, Brown NA and Norris DP – “Analysis of the asymmetrically expressed Ablim1 locus reveals existence of a lateral plate Nodal-independent left sided signal and an early, left-right independent role for nodal flow” – BMC Dev. Biol., 10, 54 (2010)

Portuguese Peer reviewed publications:

Bragança J, Tavares A and Belo JA – “Células estaminais e medicina regenerativa – um admirável mundo novo” – Canal BQ, 7, 4-17 (2010)

Correia R and Bragança J – “Células estaminais adultas em medicina” – Canal BQ, 7, 18-23 (2010)

Matias AC, Pacheco-Leyva I, Machado-Oliveira G, Oliveira DV e Bragança J – “Células estaminais pluripotentes induzidas – elenco promissor para o futuro da medicina” – Boletim de Biotecnologia, 4, 34-36 (2013)


Book Chapters:

Bragança J*, Machado-Oliveira G, Pacheco-Leyva I, Matias AC – “Understanding cancer stem cells biology to get rid of tumours” – International Manual of Oncology Practice. (iMOP) – Principles of Medical Oncology. de Mello RA, Tavares Á, Mountzios G (Eds.). Springer International Publishing. 2015. eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-21683-6. Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-21682-9

Facucho-Oliveira JM, Kulkarni T, Machado-Oliveira G and St John JC – “From pluripotency to differentiation: the role of mtDNA in stem cell models of mitochondrial diseases”, in Mitochondrial DNA, Mitochondria, Disease and Stem Cells, eds Justin Charles St John, Humana Press, United States (2013), pp 87-118.

Representative Images

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Project Grants

2016-2018 FCT – PTDC/BIM-MEC/4762/2014 – “Modelos celulares para o estudo de mecanismos de disfunção e correção lisossomal” (“Cellular models for the study of lysosomal dysfunction and correction mechanisms” – CeMoLy) – Coordenador principal: Dra Olga Amaral (INSA, Porto).

2012-2015 FCT – PTDC/BIA-GEN/116519/2010 – “Alternative splicing and its impact on molecular interaction networks” – Coordenador principal: Dr Matthias Futschik (CBMR/CCMAR, UAlg)

PTDC/SAU-ENB/111702/2009 (2011-2013) – miPS and hiPS: reprogramming mouse and human adult cells. Coordinator.

PTDC/SAU-SAP/111908/2009 – BIOMINEN (BIOMarkers in materno-Infant health related to ENvironmental factors). Collaborator.

Foundation Merck Sharp and Dhome – Portugal (October 2010 – June 2011) – miPS: reprogramming mouse adult cells. Coordinator.

2009 – Bolsas Cientificas de Instalação – Professor Doutor António Xavier 2009, Câmara Municipal de Oeiras.


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