Henrique S. Fernandes from BioSIM is among the five UCIBIO researchers that have been awarded a contract in the 2022 Individual Scientific Employment Stimulus Competition (CEEC) in the fifth edition of this call promoted by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) for doctoral researchers in all scientific areas.
The results announced by FCT indicate that 2890 applications were evaluated by 28 international panels, of which 1458 obtained a grade equal or higher than 8 (in a 1 to 10 scale). The 400 applications selected for employment contracts for researchers holding doctoral degrees in all scientific areas represent a financial investment of more than 120 million euros.
Henrique’s project is entitled “Development of a computational pipeline for the study of enzymatic mechanisms of 5α-reductases and other biomolecular systems”. Testosterone, the most abundant androgen in serum, is involved in many biological processes, such as fetal prostate and male external genitalia development and pubertal growth of facial and body hair. However, some health conditions are caused by unbalanced levels of testosterone and their related forms, namely acne, hirsutism, male pattern baldness, benign prostate hyperplasia, and prostate cancer, which affects 1.4M men yearly.
In this project, Henrique Fernandes proposes to study computationally a family of 3 enzymes involved in the conversion of testosterone in their active forms. The idea is to provide insights on how we can develop specific inhibitory drugs for those enzymes, providing safer and more efficient therapies for testosterone-related diseases.
More information can be found here.