Célia Ferreira

Célia Ferreira


My interest for Science start at early ages when I received a Microscope for my 7th Birthday. I started to inspect from little animals I found on the garden, plants, food and always knew I wanted to be a Scientist. In 1993 I obtained a Foundation Engineering Degree in Food Engineering from the Portuguese Catholic University, and performed the 5th year of this course on an International placement in a Research Institution. I went to The Netherlands to NIZO- Dairy research Institute working with selection and isolation of Bifidobacterium for dairy fermented products, namely yogurts, where I stayed as researcher until 1996. From 1997 till I started my PhD in 2001, I went to Microbiology Department of Coimbra University, Portugal, where I research Thermophilic bacteria stress response. I got my PhD in Sciences-Molecular Biology of yeasts in 2005, this was done in Denmark in the Carlsberg Research Centre studying stress response, namely osmotic stress response of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Next, I did a Posdoc in Minho University, Portugal, continuing the studies of the PhD and exploring new fields, metabolic engineering yeasts to produce bioethanol, biodiesel, and lipids from waste products, exploring the yeast wall composition and integrity aiming to understand the mechanisms underlying antifungal resistance, biofilm formation, the switch from commensal to virulent state of pathogenic yeasts and the immune response.  From 2009-2015 I had a Lectureship in Glycomics at the  Biology department of Minho University. My group generate humanized-yeast/transgenic-yeasts expressing human genes involved on the onset and progression of cancer, extracellular matrix formation and cancer signalling. In 2015, I moved to the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the University of Leeds, as a senior research fellow using the nematode C. elegans to study Ageing and Neurodegenation, namely on the effects of Ca2+ dyshomeostasis in muscle disorders and Alzheimer's disease. I came to the School of Food Science and Nutrition in the end of 2018, where I am a lecturer in Analytical Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 

Research interests

My past research involved diverse model organisms microbes (bacteria, yeasts and virus) and animals (C. elegans) and multidisciplinary approaches connecting cellular and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, glycomics and mass spectrometry. It focused in relevant real-world problems, aiming at elucidate: a) biomedical questions, namely microbial pathogenesis, mechanisms of antibiotic and antifungal resistance, endolysins as alternatives to antibiotics, cellular, molecular aspects and signalling pathways underlying cancer onset and progression, glycobiology, glycopharmacology and microbial bioactive compounds.

Presently, my research interests are at the intersection of food, health and environmental sustainability:  1)  I am particular interested in exploring how food choices may provide cognitive benefits over age, influence risk of on-set and progression of dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer disease.; and 2)  Explore new healthier and sustainable nutrient sources- namely non-meat alternative proteins. Microbes are a good source, with numerous advantages comparing to other non-meat alternative proteines: microbes are  highly nutritious, provide a high content of good quality proteins, vitamines and low in fat, can be cultivated all year long in small areas and utilizing cheap carbon sources, among many other advantages.


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1253-food-science,-health-and-sustainability:--yeast-single-cell-protein-as-a-sustainable-source-of-non-meat-alternative-proteins.">Food Science, Health and Sustainability: Yeast single cell protein as a sustainable source of non-meat alternative proteins.</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1462-use-of-fermentation-to-solve-current-food-science,-food-formulation-and-sustainability-challenges">Use of Fermentation to solve current Food Science, Food Formulation and Sustainability challenges</a></li>