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Elza Fonseca

Current position: PhD Student.

Reasearch Project: Nuclear Receptors in basal Metazoan lineages: the cross talk between Evolution and Endocrine Disruption.

The main aims of my PhD are to study the diversification and function of Nuclear Receptors (NRs), such as LXR and FXR, in the endocrine systems of basal metazoans and the taxonomic significance of NR-mediated endocrine disruption and, finally, to understand the evolution of NR binding capacity and their role in endocrine systems in order to develop a methodology and strategy that reliably determines the potential of a chemical to induce disruption through a NR. To reach these goals, I am searching the genome sequences of numerous invertebrate species using the various BLAST programs (specially to unannotated EST projects) to perform phylogenetic analysis. I will isolate the NRs and characterize the binding profile of the selected NR gene families in the 3 animal models: Crassostrea gigas, Platynereis dumerelii and Hymeniacidon perlevis.

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Degree in Biochemistry followed by Master in Bioengineering awarded by the University of Minho (UM) in Braga.


  • Fonseca, E., Silva, S., Rodrigues, C., Alves, C., Azeredo, J., Henriques, M. 2014. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research. Effects of fluconazole in Candida glabrata biofilms and its relation with ABC transporters genes expression, 30(4), 447-457.
  • Mendes, I., Franco-Duarte, R., Umek, L., Fonseca, E., Drumonde-Neves, J., Dequin, S., Zupan, B., Schuller, D. 2013. PLoS ONE. Computational models for prediction of yeast strain Potential for winemaking from phenotypic profiles, 8(7), e66523.