Universidade de Lisboa

Faculdade de Medicina, Instituto de Medicina Molecular


Francisco J. Enguita

Francisco Enguita was born in Zaragoza, Spain. He got his degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences by the University of Granada, Spain in 1991, where he also complete a Master degree in Microbial Biotechnology in 1992. After that he moved to the University of Salamanca, Spain, where he got his Ph.D. degree in Microbial Genetics with a work related with the genetic and biochemical characterization of beta-lactam antibiotic biosynthesis in Streptomyces species in 1998. After this training period he moved to the Institute of Chemical and Biological Technology from New University of Lisbon in Portugal, where he got a long-term EMBO fellowship to develop a structural biology project based on the use of X-ray crystallography. He became a group leader in the same institution in 2004, being involved in structural studies of adhesion proteins from pathogenic bacteria. In 2006 he moved as a senior researcher to the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in the Lisbon University, where he is now an Assistant Professor.

His current research interests are wide, but are mainly related with the field of the non-coding RNAs, specifically in those involved in human disease. His lab is applying a multi-disciplinary approach using structural biology, biochemistry, genetics and bioinformatics to unravel the role of non-coding RNAs in human diseases. More specifically, his lab is currently investigating the use of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers of cardiac diseases including infarction and atrial fibrillation, the physiological role of miRNAs in rare diseases such as Fabry’s disease, and the involvement of non-coding RNAs as regulators of heart misfunction. He has been actively involved in the organization of workshops for the dissemination of techniques and approaches for the study of non-coding RNAs in Biology.


Our lab harbors expertise in general molecular biology techniques, including those related with Next-generation sequencing protocols for transcriptome and genome analysis. We have also experience in Structural Biology analysis and computer modelling.

In the cardiovascular field we were involved in several studies focused on the role of miRNAs as players and biomarkers of STEMI and atrial fibrillation. Recently we become involved in a funded project (FCT Portugal) that will study the role of circular RNAs in atrial fibrillation, that could give some impact to the Cardiolinc network.

Interested in collaborating on

I would be probably more interested in sharing expertise with those members from Cardiolinc with experience in advanced cell biology methods.

Selected publications on ncRNA and cardiovascular disease

Circulating ectosomes: Determination of angiogenic microRNAs in Type 2 diabetes
Stȩpień E.L., Durak-Kozica M., Kamińska A., Targosz-Korecka M., Libera M., Tylko G., Opalińska A., Kapusta M., Solnica B., Georgescu A., Costa M.C., Czyżewska-Buczyńska  A., Witkiewicz W., Małecki M., Enguita F.JTheranostics. 2018, 8(14):3874-3890.

The circulating non-coding RNA landscape for biomarker research: lessons and prospects from cardiovascular diseases
Stȩpień E., Costa M.C., Kurc S., Drożdż A., Cortez-Dias N., Enguita F.J. Acta
Pharmacol Sin
. 2018, 39(7):1085-1099.

MicroRNA-424(322) as a new marker of disease progression in pulmonary arterial hypertension and its role in right ventricular hypertrophy by targeting SMURF1
Baptista R., Marques C., Catarino S., Enguita F.J., Costa M.C., Matafome P., Zuzarte M., Castro G., Reis A., Monteiro P., Pêgo M., Pereira P., Girão H. Cardiovasc Res. 2018, 114(1):53-64.

Circulating miR-122-5p/miR-133b Ratio Is a Specific Early Prognostic Biomarker in Acute Myocardial Infarction
Cortez-Dias N., Costa M.C., Carrilho-Ferreira P., Silva D., Jorge C., Calisto C., Pessoa T., Robalo Martins S., de Sousa J.C., da Silva P.C., Fiúza M., Diogo A.N., Pinto F.J., Enguita F.J. Circ J. 2016, 80(10):2183-2191.

Expanding the functional role of miRNAs in the establishment of permanent atrial fibrillation
Cortez-Dias N., Costa M.C., de Sousa J., Fiúza M., Gallego J., Nobre A., Pinto F.J., Enguita F.J. Int J Cardiol. 2016, 222:340-341.


Av. Prof. Egas Moniz
Lisboa 1640-028