CIRN BIOTECHNOLOGY GROUP( promotes and develops multidisciplinary fundamental and applied research in the area of Biotechnology. The group counts with a team of 11 elements, including contract and permanent researchers, post doc researchers, and research fellows, belonging to the Departments of Biology and of Technological Sciences and Development of the University of the Azores. The group provides teaching and training and hosts students from external institutions and industry. In its activity, it maintains a close relationship with the civil society, and promotes technological innovation activities in partnership with local enterprisers. Most of the members also belong to FCT research centers, e.g. CIIMAR (Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, http://, and Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (

Ongoing research by the group includes:

(i) identifying specific biological activities of organisms and natural products;

(ii) purifying, identifying and characterizing compounds (metabolites and proteins) responsible for the activities identified;

(iii) identifying and characterizing novel genes encoding active compounds;

(iv) developing and optimizing production processes of organisms and bioproducts; and

(v) performing heterologous expression of active proteins. Microorganisms that were isolated from exclusive and extreme sources in Azores have shown bioactivity against central nervous system targets, immune targets, tumorcell lines, as well as enzymatic activities on such as cellulose, starches and peptides.

Over the last 2 years the groups has hosted seven advanced training students and six research projects of which one had industry involvement. Presently the group is participating in the project BIOCOMES under FP7. In this period the group has published 20+ papers and presented 20+ communications.

The group is available and interested in integrating European Consortiums to develop Research & Innovation projects under the H2020 Blue Growth: Unlocking the potential of Seas and Oceanscalls, specifically the ones aimed at developing innovative approaches to address the biotechnology potential of marine resources and their efficient biomass supply by cultivation.

Being based at the Azores, an outermost region, the group can provide access to organisms and products from a pristine oceanic environment with shallow water hydrothermal vents.

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