The TOXICOLOGY group dwells in the safety assessment of chemicals, comprising toxicodynamic and toxicokinetic studies, and the development of biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility.
Examples of xenobiotics extensively studied within this group are pharmaceuticals, drugs of abuse, nanomaterials, and drug mixtures. For this purpose, we use a broad range of in vitro, and in vivo methods, with a mindset towards the implementation of new advanced methodologies (NAMs), and generation and interpretation of big data (OMICs), in parallel to conventional methods.
The Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) concept linking the biological cascade from the insult at the molecular initiating events (MIEs) to the adverse effects, has been enforced in practical strategies, and focused on translational outcomes.
Metabolomics in cancer research
Urological cancers, such as prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers, are usually associated with asymptomatic development and poor prognosis when detected at later stages.
The TOXICOLOGY group employed metabolomics, the large-scale study of small molecules in a biological system, to identify reliable molecular markers for early and non-invasive detection of these cancer types. High-throughput analytical techniques, such as mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, in tandem with biostatistics have been used to define multi-biomarker panels for detection in urine. This research is providing an important molecular basis for the development of a low cost and fast device for application in clinical practice with potential of reducing the economic burden of these cancers.
- “Poisoning the heart with anticancer drugs: is metabolic bioactivation or aging promotion the link to the cardiotoxicity of anticancer drugs?”, FCT-MCTES, Total funding : €199,933, Unit funding: €140,619, Vera Costa (PI).
- “DESignBIOtecHealth -new technologies for three health challenges of modern societies: diabetes, drug abuse and kidney diseases”, FEDER-Portugal 2020, Total funding: €2.8M, Unit funding: €240,750, Félix Carvalho (Collaborator).
- “Development of antidotes for Amanita phalloides intoxications, from in silico to the intoxicated patient”, FCT-MCTES, Total funding : € 199,637, Unit funding: €166,637, Félix Carvalho (PI).
- CorkPlus -contribution of cork stoppers for chemical and sensory properties of bottled wine”. FEDER-Portugal 2020 and Amorim & Irmãos, SA, Total Funding: €1.2M, Unit funding: €483,423, Paula Guedes de Pinho (PI).
- “ACCuseD renAl Cell Carcinoma Detection Renal Cancer detection: a translational metabolomics research based on Volatile Organic Compounds fingerprinting”, FCTMCTES, Total funding: €239,499, Unit funding: €164.018, Paula Guedes de Pinho (PI).
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Araujo, AM; Carvalho, M; Costa, VM; Duarte, JA; Dinis-Oliveira, RJ; Bastos, MD; de Pinho, PG; Carvalho, F. 2021. In vivo toxicometabolomics reveals multi-organ and urine metabolic changes in mice upon acute exposure to human-relevant doses of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). ARCHIVES OF TOXICOLOGY, 95, DOI: 10.1007/s00204-020-02949-2
Durao, C; Pedrosa, F; Dinis-Oliveira, RJ. 2021. Another suicide by sodium nitrite and multiple drugs: an alarming trend for "exit"?. Forensic Science Medicine and Pathology, DOI: 10.1007/s12024-020-00340-2
Moreira, F; Carmo, H; de Pinho, PG; Bastos, MD. 2021. Doping detection in animals: A review of analytical methodologies published from 1990 to 2019. Drug Testing and Analysis, DOI: 10.1002/dta.2999