RNA in Disease - IX ptRNA meeting
January 26-27, 2023 - Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM)

The RNA in Disease - IX ptRNA meeting took place on 26-27 January 2023 and brought together around 100 researchers interested in RNA biology, who had the chance to discuss their work.

The meeting covered several aspects of RNA biology, from RNA structure and function to RNA-associated dysfunctions and implications in human health, and counted also with a roundtable on Research & Innovation.

The iMM Pre-Award Office organized a roundtable on Research & Innovation with representatives from the RiboMed partner institutions and relevant scientific community stakeholders, namely research funding agencies representatives from the national and international landscape, which included: Florin Zubascu, from The Widening – Science Business; Ritchie Head from Ceratium and Rui Munhá, COST Association, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the Portuguese National Contact Point.

We had very exciting talks from featured speakers coming from Portugal, Spain and outside the Iberian Peninsula and selected oral presentations from submitted abstracts.

RiboMed Innovation Challenges | 2nd Edition
October 10-14, 2022 - Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM)

The programme aims to engage junior researchers in the development of opportunities for collaboration with Industry within RNA therapeutics.

This edition will count with two different programs:

  • Industry Collaborations, where researchers will receive training on how to identify scientific projects or capacities that may be of interest to industry, and explore how to pursue and establish potential collaborations with industry;
  • Business Ideas, where researchers will learn how to develop innovative ideas and how to explore them through the creation of a start-up company. If researchers do not identify real business ideas, they can participate with a fictitious one.

Both programs are dedicated to researchers working in the RNA biology field, and include a set of seminars and hands-on training sessions. Researchers can apply to both programs, individually or with a team.

Click here for more information.

The programme was designed for iMM young researchers to explore the value of their research beyond academia by learning about how to collaborate with industry and the processes involved in creating a start-up. 

Check out what the participants said about the programme:

RiboMed Satellite Conference on RNA in Disease
July 12, 2022 - Lisbon Congress Centre

The conference was organized as a satellite to the Biochemistry Global Summit.

A new promising influential area in modern biology and medicine is ribonucleic acid (RNA) biology. It has revolutionised molecular biology and will have profound implications for future therapies. This session will illustrate it by hosting talks by distinguished researchers on RNA in biomedical contexts. The session will be extended with a poster session and two short talks selected from submitted abstracts.


  • Maria Carmo-Fonseca | Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM), Portugal
  • Nuno Barbosa-Morais | Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM), Portugal


  • Michael Gotthardt | MDC Berlin, Germany
  • Victor Badillo | MDC Berlin, Germany


  • Bruno Silva | Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM), Portugal
  • Simão Teixeira da Rocha | SCERG-iBB-IST, Portugal
  • Filipa Simões | Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, University of Oxford, UK

Check the poster here for more informations.

Second RiboMed Summer School | Modelling Biological Data
June 20-24, 2022 - Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM)

The second edition of RiboMed Summer School brings together a group of enthusiastic instructors, with a great deal of experience both in doing biostatistics, as well as in teaching it. The participants will learn the fundamental concepts of probability and modelling, and will apply them in three different contexts: differential gene expression analysis, differential splicing analysis, and the dynamical modelling of physiological systems. The summer school will be heavily hands-on and teamwork based.

The participants were all early-stage researchers based at one of the four RiboMed partner institutions.


  • Ruy Ribeiro | Los Alamos National Laboratory, US
  • Benilton Carvalho | Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil
  • Mariana Ferreira | Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM), Portugal
  • Nuno Morais | Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM), Portugal
  • Alon Bar | Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Christopher Burge | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US - Via Zoom

Check the poster here for detailed schedule.

The second RiboMed Summer School was organized by Rosina Savisaar (a senior postdoc at iMM).

RiboMed Advisory Board Meeting
October 25-26, 2021 - Lisbon

The RiboMed Advisory Board Meeting gathered internationally recognized leaders from industry with strong expertise in RNA biology. 

The event was divided in two days, the first one with open sessions to the RiboMed community, and a second day with closed sessions only for iMM research groups working in the RNA field.

The open sessions includes the speakers: Melissa Moore (Moderna), Adrian Krainer (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), Keith Blundy (STORM Therapeutics) and Zandy Forbes (MeiraGTx). The industry experts shared their experience in translational research, in starting new ventures and in establishing collaborations between academia and industry.

The discussions during the meeting provided guidance on the next steps of the projects, as well as the most suitable approaches in exploring the results already obtained.

RiboMed Advisory Board Meeting - Agenda here.

1st RiboMed Summer School on Single-cell RNA-seq and spatial transcriptomics
July 5-10, 2021 - Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM)

The RiboMed Summer School on Single cell RNA seq and and spatial transcriptomics was a practical hands-on course that required basic experience in bioinformatics.

Topics covered included the main steps of single-cell RNA-sequencing data analysis; a literature overview; recent trends in the single-cell field; and advanced analysis features.

The invited external organizer was Tomás Gomes (ETH Basel, Switzerland), and the local organizers were Nuno Barbosa-Morais and Rui Sousa-Luís. The invited speakers were Hagen Tilgner (Weill Cornell Medicine, USA) and Carlos Talavera-López (Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany).

RiboMed Innovation Challenges | 1st Edition
March 10, 2021
Online presentation of the programme

The programme aims to engage junior researchers in the development of opportunities for collaboration with Industry within RNA therapeutics.

The iMM Technology Transfer Office will help along the whole process, from the identification of collaboration opportunities to their presentation to Industry. The participants will have the opportunity to learn about the best practices and tips in successfully reaching out to industry, to pitch their idea to companies and external organisations, and to formalize collaborations with industry with potential financial rewards.

Innovation Challenges Programme here.

RiboMed Kickoff Meeting
October 14-16, 2019
Oeiras, Lisbon

The following national and international speakers (internal and external to RiboMed) were invitided to present lectures. These talks were disseminated and open to the entire iMM, as well as regional and national scientific community.

January 27, 2023
“Making mRNAs: A Tale of Two Spliceosomes” | Sebastian Fica - University of Oxford

“Regulation of senescent cell survival by the GBA pseudogene” | Igor Ulitsky - Weizman Institute of Science

“Specialization of 3D genome structure in different cell types and states” | Ana Pombo - MDC Berlin

“Non-Coding RNAs in cell identity and cancer” | Bruno Jesus - iBiMED

“RNA-based control of early plant development” | Paula Duque - Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

“A noncoding RNA role in shaping the initiation landscape of DNA replication” | Maite Huarte - CIMA

January 26, 2023
“RNAs and RNases: A World still full of Surprises” | Cecília Arraino - ITQB-NOVA

“Unravelling the role of microRNAs in bacterial pathogen – host interaction” | Ana Eulálio - CNC

“New insights into RNA-mediated genome instability” | Andrés Aguilera - CABIMER

“Microexons beyond neurons: a nested program in pancreatic islets regulates glucose homeostasis” | Manuel Irimia - Centre for Genomic Regulation

November 21, 2022 | 12h30

"Applications of whole-genome sequencing for cancer genome analysis"

Isidro Cortés-Ciriano - EMBL-EBI

Host: Cláudia Faria (Biobank & João Barata Lab)

July 25, 2022 | 12h30

"Sphingolipids in Gaucher and Parkinson’s disease”

Anthony H. Futerman - Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Host: M. Carmo-Fonseca

July 12, 2022 | 10h00

“Seeing is believing”

Tom Kirchhausen – Harvard Medical School

Host: M. Carmo-Fonseca

July 11, 2022 | 12h30

“Of mice, rats, grizzly bears, and men - A phenomics approach to heart and skeletal muscle function”

Michael Gotthardt & Victor Badillo – Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)

Host: Nuno Morais

June 28, 2021 | 14h30

“Chromosome Dynamics during Mitosis”

Raquel Oliveira – Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

Host: Sérgio de Almeida

May 31, 2021 | 14h30

"Keeping in touch - systematic identification of contact site residents"

Maya Schuldiner – Weizmann Institute of Science

Host: PhD Students Committee

May 10, 2021 | 14h30

"The structure of cell fate decisions in the neural crest lineage"

Igor Adameyko – Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna & Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Nuno Morais

May 3, 2021 | 14h30

"Cell-type specialization in the brain is encoded by specific long-range chromatin topologies"

Ana Pombo– MDC Berlin

Host: Domingos Henrique

April 12, 2021 | 14h30

"The evolution of mammalian organ development"

Margarida Cardoso Moreira – The Francis Crick Institute

Host: Nuno Morais

November 2, 2020 | 14h30

"Telomere driven regulation of proliferative boundaries"

Jan Karlseder – Salk Institute of Biological Studies

Host: Claus Azzalin

October 26, 2020 | 14h30

"Harnessing Direct Cell Reprogramming for Cancer Immunotherapy"

Filipe Pereira – Lund University

Host: Sérgio de Almeida

July 20, 2020 | 14h30

"Mechanisms and dynamics of the nucleus"

Megan King – Yale School of Medicine

Claus Azzalin

June 15, 2020 | 14h30

"RNA & Infection"

Ana Eulálio – Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra

Sérgio de Almeida

May 18, 2020 | 14h30

"Spatial transcriptomics of mammalian tissues"

Shalev Itzkovitz – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Host: Maria Mota

May 4, 2020 | 14h30

"Sphingolipids in health and disease"

Tony Futerman – Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Host: M. Carmo-Fonseca Lab

December 12, 2019 | 12h30

"Dysregulation of alternative splicing in cancer and its modulation for therapy"

Rotem Karni – Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Israel

Host: M. Carmo-Fonseca Lab

September 4, 2019 | 12h30

"Coupling of transcription and alternative splicing in a whole organism: the plant response to light"

Alberto Kornblightt - Buenos Aires University

Host: M. Carmo-Fonseca Lab

April 16, 2021

Reaching Out to Industry Workshop

In the context of RiboMed Innovation Challenges, the "Reaching Out to Industry Workshop" was an opportunity to learn more about the best practices and tips in successfully reaching out to industry.

By: Joachim Vogt, Director Search and Evaluation at AbbVie and Pascale Redig, Director at the R&D Global Government Grant Office at Janssen.

Organization: Technology Transfer Office, Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes

What and How to Patent? Biotechnological Inventions
December 16, 2020

Participants in this workshop on intellectual property in RNA biology had a first deep dive in the world of patents in the biotech world and learned how their inventions can be protected and licensed. This workshop was a partnership with ClarkeModet, an international IP firm.

For Maria Carmo-Fonseca, coordinator of the RiboMed “this workshop was a great opportunity to learn more about the requirements for patenting our inventions, which is one of the pillars of our Widening project. The partnership with Clarke Modet is a good example of the possible interactions with the biotech industry that can be very beneficial for us, as researchers”.

By: Miguel Duarte, IP Consultant and Portuguese Patent Attorney at Clarke Modet

Organization: Bárbara Gomes, Technology Transfer Office, Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes

October 24, 2019

Workshop on the classification and interpretation of DNA sequence variants found in patients with genetic disease, focusing on the impact of variants on RNA splicing.

By: Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, Director at the Al Jalila Genomics Center (Dubai).

Organization: Catarina Silveira, PhD Student at Maria Carmo-Fonseca Lab

Credits: João Solano

Credits: João Solano

European Researchers' Night | 2022

In the context of first edition of the European Researchers’ Night (September 30, 2022), organized by the EU-funded consortium RAISE – Researchers in Action for Inclusion in Science and Education at the Champalimaud Foundation (Lisbon), the RiboMed project has organized two parallel outreach activities for the general public.

RiboMed promoted a boat trip in the Tagus river, linking Champalimaud Foundation and Pavilhão do Conhecimento - Ciência Viva (Parque das Nações), where another European Researchers' Night program is taking place. On this trip we promoted a speed dating activity between visitors and RiboMed scientists - where they could tallk about their work in a informal way, for 5-10 min, on a rotation scheme. This activity brought together 11 RiboMed young scientists and 80 visitors.

The public has shown much interest about the topics related with RNA in health and disease, in particular with cancer-related themes.

For the second activity, we have partnered with street artist SAMINA to produce on site customized tote bags with symbols and faces of the RiboMed Scientists and artwork, taking RNA biology as a science & art product to the visitors of the event. The Portuguese street artist recreated the faces of Ribomed scientists Carmo-Fonseca, Claus Azzalin and Nuno Morais, together with Ribomed symbols (logo, DNA, RNA and model organisms) using spray in tote-bags given to participants of the ERN. More than 100 visitors have cross Ribomed stand.
School Visits

February 28, 2023

Laboratories: Claus M. Azzalin Lab and Nuno Morais Lab

School: Colégio de S. João de Brito

Students: 24

December 10, 2019

Laboratories: Sérgio de Almeida Lab

School: Escola Secundária Matias Aires (Cacém, Portugal)

Students: 38

December 3, 2019

Laboratories: M. Carmo-Fonseca Lab and Nuno Morais Lab

School: Escola Secundária Cacilhas Tejo (Almada, Portugal)

Students: 20