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Miguel Moreira

Post Doc
Post-Doc Researcher Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine

Research Line

Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Dr Miguel Moreira is a Post Doc in the Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine Laboratory since 2015.

He is currently working on the synthesis and preparation of polymeric nanoconstructs with optimized relaxivity for the imaging of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. He is in charge of the preparation of prodrugs for an efficient loading and release from the nanoconstructs and he performs in vitro studies for assessment of the stability and release of the prodrugs from the nanoconstrctus.

Dr Moreira achieved his M.Sc in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minho in 2009. He presented an experimental thesis titled “Paramagnetic gold nanoparticles for MRI and therapeutic applications” under the supervision of Dr José Alberto Martins. He furthered his education with a Ph.D in Sciences, in the specialty of Chemistry at the University of Minho in 2014. He defended a thesis titled: “Optimized Molecular Imaging Agents: from Metal Chelates to Micelles and Gold Nanoparticles” for which he was funded by FCT-Portugal.

During his doctoral training, he developed a general synthetic route for the synthesis of bifunctional -thiol derivatized metal chelators for the preparation of paramagnetic gold nanoparticles for MRI. He also worked on the preparation, metal-loading and purification of functionalized gold nanoparticles. Another task he performed was the relaxometric characterization of the paramagnetic nanoparticles by 17O and 1H NMRD profiles studies in order to assess the performance of the nanoparticles as MRI CA’s and to determine the parameters that govern relaxivity. Evaluation of the effect of size and charge on the behavior of the nanoparticles in vivo through Biodistribution studies in Wistar rats.

During his Ph.D, he conducted work under the orientation of Eva Toth PhD, CNRS in Orleans, France, over a period of 1 month. He also collaborated under the supervision of Gonçalo Bernardes PhD in Cambridge, UK, over a period of 3 months.

Before joining IIT, he was a Post Doc Researcher at the Dept. Polymers and composites, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal, working on the chemical modification of quantum dots obtained using different methodologies, in order to control its solubility in different solvents.

Selected Publications

- Gonçalves, Catarina; Silva, João; F. Antunes, Inês; Ferreira, Miguel; Martins, José; Geraldes, Carlos; Lalatonne, Yoann; Motte, Laurence; De Vries, Erik; Gama, Francisco; “Dextrin nanomagnetogel as dual modality imaging bioprobe” Bioconjugate Chem; DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.5b00024

- Miguel F. Ferreira, Janaina Gonçalves, B. Mousavi, M. I. M. Prata, P. J. Rodrigues, Pilar López-Larrubia,Sebastian Cerdan, Tiago B. Rodrigues, L. Helm, José A. Martins and Carlos F.G.C. Geraldes; “Gold nanoparticles functionalised with Gd3+chelates: effect of linkers on the relaxivity” Dalton Transactions, 2015 Feb 17; 44(9); 4016-31, DOI: 10.1039/C4DT03210A.

- M. F. Ferreira, G. Pereira, A. F. Martins, C. I. O. Martins, M. I. M. Prata, S. Petoud, E. Toth, P. M. T. Ferreira, J. A. Martins, C. F. G. C. Geraldes; “Ln[DO3A-N-alfa-(pyrenebutanamido)propionate] complexes: optimized relaxivity and NIR optical properties”; Dalton Trans. 2014, 43(8), 3162-73.DOI: 10.1039/c3dt52958d

- Miguel F. Ferreira, Goretti Pereira, João P. André, M. I. M. Prata, Paula M. T. Ferreira, José A. Martins, Carlos F. G. C. Geraldes; “Ga[(NO2A-N-(-amino)propionate)] chelates: synthesis and evaluation as potential tracers for 68Ga3+ PET”;Dalton Trans., 2014,43, 8037-8047.DOI:10.1039/C4DT00386A.

- Ferreira, M. F.; Martins, A. F.; Martins, C. I. O.; Ferreira, P. M.; Toth, E.; Rodrigues, T. B.; Calle, D.; Cerdan, S.; Lopez-Larrubia, P.; Martins, J. A.; Geraldes, C F. G. C.;“Amide conjugates of the DO3A-N-(-amino)propionate ligand: leads for stable, high relaxivity contrast agents for MRI?”; Contrast Med. Mol. Imaging 2013, 8(1), 40-49. DOI: 10.1002/cmmi.1492

- Gonçalves, C.; Lalatone, Y.; Melro, L.; Badino, G.; Ferreira, M.F.M.; David, L.; Geraldes, C.F.G.C.; Motte, L.; Martins, J.A.; Gama, F.M;“New dextrin nanomagnetogels as contrast agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging”;J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 5853-5864. DOI: 10.1039/C3TB21063D

- M. F. Ferreira, B. Mousavi, P. M. Ferreira, C. I. O. Martins, L. Helm, J. A. Martins and C. F. G. C. Geraldes; “Gold nanoparticles functionalised with stable, fast water exchanging Gd3+chelates as high relaxivity contrast agents for MRI”; Dalton Trans., 2012, 41, 5472-5475. DOI: 10.1039/c2dt30388d.

- Goreti Pereira, Miguel F. Ferreira, Elisabete M. S. Castanheira, José A. Martins, Paula M. T. Ferreira; “Synthesis of 2,6-Bis(oxazolyl)pyridine Ligands for Luminescent LnIII Complexes”; Volume 2012, Issue 21, pages 3905–3910, July 2012. DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201200177.

- C Gonçalves, M F M Ferreira, A C Santos, M I M Prata, C F G C Geraldes, J A Martins and F M Gama; “Studies on the biodistribution of dextrin nanoparticles”, Nanotechnology 21 (2010),295103. DOI:10.1088/0957-4484/21/29/295103.

- M.F. Ferreira, A.F. Martins, J.A. Martins, P.M. Ferreira, E. Toth, C.F.G.C. Geraldes;"Gd(DO3A-N--aminopropionate: a versatile and easily available synthon with optimized water exchange for the synthesis of high relaxivity, targeted MRI contrast agents", Chem. Commun., 2009, 6475-6477. DOI:10.1039/B912201J.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.