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Stem Cells Laboratory

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Stem Cells Laboratory


About the SCL

The Stem Cells Biology Laboratory (SCL) investigates the genetic regulatory networks that are involved in the maintenance of pluripotency using embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) models. The SCL is actively researching mechanisms involved in cell fate decisions, with a particular emphasis directed towards cardiac progenitors and cardiac cell lineage commitment. We are also developing in vitro cellular models to study human diseases, such as cardiac congenital heart diseases. More information can be found at here.


Publications (2010-2018)



Bragança J – “SMAD2/3, versatile molecular tools for cellular engineering” – Stem Cell Investig. (2018) 5, 24 – Editorial comment

Pinto J, Machado R, Magno R, Oliveira D, Machado S, Andrade R, Bragança J, Duarte I and Futschik M – “StemMapper: A Curated Gene Expression Database for Stem Cell Lineage Analysis” – Nucleic Acids Res. (2018) 6(D1):D788-D793.



Charneca J#, Matias AC#, Fernandes C, EscapaAL, Fernandes C, Escapa AL, Alves A, Santos JMA, Nascimento R and Bragança J* – “Ectopic expression of CITED2 prior to reprogramming, promotes and homogenises the conversion of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells”– Exp. Cell Res. (2017)359, 290-300.

Santos T, Ferreira R, Quartin E, Boto C, Saraiva C, Bragança J, Peça J, Rodrigues C, Ferreira L and Bernardino L – “Blue light potentiates retinoic acid-induced neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells” – Acta Biomaterialia (2017) 59, 293-302.

Inácio P, Medeiros MCR, Mestre A, Asgarif S, Canudo J, Santos JMA, Bragança J, Biscarini F andGomes HL – “Bioelectrical signal detection using conducting polymer electrodes and the displacement current method” – IEEE Sensors Journal (2017) 17, 3961-3966.



Pacheco-Leyva I, Matias AC#, Oliveira DV#Santos JMA#, Nascimento R, Guerreiro E, Michell AC, van De Vrugt AM, Machado-Oliveira, Ferreira G, Domian I and Bragança J* – “Cited2 cooperates with Isl1 and promotes cardiomyocyte differentiation of embryonic stem cell differentiation” – Stem Cell Reports (2016) 7, 1037–1049.

Medeiros MCR, Mestre AGL, Inácio PMC, Santos JMA, Araújo IM, Bragança J, Biscarini F and Gomes HL – “Performance assessment of polymer based electrodes for in vitro electrophysiological sensing: the role of the electrode impedance” – Proc. SPIE (2016) 9944 – Organic Sensors and Bioelectronics IX, 994404 doi:10.1117/12.2237659.



Machado-Oliveira G, Guerreira E, Matias AC, Facucho-Oliveira J, Pacheco-Leyva I and Bragança J* – “FBXL5 modulates HIF-1α transcriptional activity by degradation of CITED2” – Arch. Biochem. Biophys., (2015) 576, 61-72.

Bragança J* and Santos JMA – “Is CITED2 a general regulator of stem cell functions?” – Stem Cell Transl. Invest. (2015) 2:e755.

Simões B, Conceição N, Matias AC, Bragança J, Kelsh RN and Cancela ML – “Molecular characterization of Cbfβ gene and identification of new transcription variants: Implications for function” – Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 567, 1-12 (2015).

Kranc KR, Oliveira DV, Armesilla-Diaz A, Pacheco-Leyva I, Matias AC, Escapa AL, Subramani C, Wheadon H, Trindade M, Nichols J, Kaji K, Enver T and Bragança J*  “Acute loss of Cited2 impairs Nanog expression and descreases self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells” – Stem Cells, 33, 699-712 (2015).



Pinto JP, Kalathur RKR, Machado RSR, Xavier JM, Bragança J and Futschik ME – “StemCellNet: an interactive platform for network-oriented investigations in stem cell biology” – Nucleic Acids Res., 2014, 42 (Web Server issue): W154-160.



Xapelli S, Agasse F, Sardà-Arroyo L, Bernardino L, Santos T, Ribeiro FF, Valero J,  Bragança J, Schitine C, de Melo Reis RA, Sebastião AM and Malva JO – “Activation of type I cannabinoid  receptor (CBR1) promotes neurogenesis in murine subventricular zone cell cultures” – PLoS ONE, 21, e63529 (2013).

Agasse F, Xapelli S, Coronas V, Christiansen SH, Rosa AI, Sardà-Arroyo L, Santos T,  Ferreira R, Schitine C, Harnois T, Bourmeyster N, Bragança J, Bernardino L, Malva JO and Woldbye DPD – “Galanin promotes neuronal differentiation in murine subventricular zone cell cultures” – Stem Cells and Dev., 21, 1693-1708 (2013).

MacDonald ST, Bamforth SD, Bragança J, Chen C-M, Broadbent C, Schneider JE, Schwartz RJ and Bhattacharya S – “A cell-autonomous role of Cited2 in controlling myocardial and coronary vascular development” – Eur. Heart J., 34, 2557-2565 (2013).



Santos T, Ferreira R, Maia J, Agasse F, Xapelli S, Cortes L, Bragança J, Malva J, Ferreira L and Bernardino L – “Polymeric nanoparticles to control the differentiation of neural stem cells in the subventricular zone of the brain” – ACS Nano, 6, 10463-10474 (2012).

Chen C, Bentham J, Cosgrove C, Braganca J, Cuenda A, Bamforth SD, Schneider JE, Watkins H, Keavney B, Davies B and Bhattacharya S – “Functional Significance of SRJ Domain Mutations in CITED2” – PLoS ONE, 7, e46256 (2012).

Bernardino L, Eiriz MF, Santos T, Xapelli S, Grade S, Rosa AI, Cortes L, Ferreira R, Bragança J, Agasse F, Ferreira L and Malva JO – “Histamine Stimulates Neurogenesis in the Rodent Subventricular Zone” – Stem Cells, 30, 773-784 (2012).



Michell AC, Bragança J, Broadbent C, Joyce B, Franklyn A, Schneider JE, Bhattacharya S and Bamforth SD – “A novel role for transcription factor Lmo4 in thymus development through genetic interaction with Cited2” –Dev. Dyn., 239, 1988-1994 (2010).

Stevens J, Ermakov A, Bragança J, Hilton H, Underhill P, Bhattacharya S, Brown NA and Norris DP – “Analysis of the asymmetrically expressed Ablim1 locus reveals existence of a lateral plate Nodal-independent left sided signal and an early, left-right independent role for nodal flow” – BMC Dev. Biol., 10, 54 (2010).


Book Chapters

Asgarifar S, Gomes HL, Mestre A, Inácio P, Bragança J, Borme J, Machado Jr G, Cerqueira F and Alpuim P – Electrochemically Gated Graphene Field-Effect Transistor for Extracellular Cell Signal Recording – Technological Innovation for Cyber-Physical Systems. Camarinha-Matos LM , Falcão AM, Vafaei N, Najdi N (Eds.). Springer International Publishing 2016. Volume 470 of the series IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, p 558-564. eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-31165-4. Hard cover: ISBN 978-3-319-31164-7.

Bragança J*, Machado-Oliveira GPacheco-Leyva IMatias AC – Understanding cancer stem cells biology to get rid of tumours – International Manual of Oncology Practice. (iMOP) – Principles of Medical Oncology. de Mello RA, Tavares Á, Mountzios G (Eds.). Springer International Publishing. 2015. eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-21683-6. Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-21682-9.

Facucho-Oliveira JM, Kulkarni T, Machado-Oliveira G and St John JC – From pluripotency to differentiation: the role of mtDNA in stem cell models of mitochondrial diseases, in Mitochondrial DNA, Mitochondria, Disease and Stem Cells, eds Justin Charles St John, Humana Press, United States (2013), pp 87-118.


Project Grants


2018-2021 – FCT CCDR ALGARVE-ALG-01-0145-FEDER-28044 – “Variant sequences Identification in human genomes and Their Assignment as true causative mutations for LVNC – VITAL”. Coordinator.
2018-2021 – FCT – CCDR ALGARVE2020/Fundos Europeus Regionais – “WAKE UP- wakening of the oocyte: transcriptional reactivation after prolonged quiescence” – Principal Coordinator: Dr Rui Gonçalo Martinho (UA).

2016-2018 – FCT – PTDC/BIM-MEC/4762/2014 – “Modelos celulares para o estudo de mecanismos de disfunção e correção lisossomal” (“Cellular models for the study of lysosomal dysfunction and correction mechanisms” – CeMoLy) – Coordenador principal: Dra Olga Amaral (INSA, Porto).

2012-2015 – FCT – PTDC/BIA-GEN/116519/2010 – “Alternative splicing and its impact on molecular interaction networks” – Coordenador principal: Dr Matthias Futschik (CBMR/CCMAR, UAlg)

PTDC/SAU-ENB/111702/2009 (2011-2013) – miPS and hiPS: reprogramming mouse and human adult cells. Coordinator.

PTDC/SAU-SAP/111908/2009 – BIOMINEN (BIOMarkers in materno-Infant health related to ENvironmental factors). Collaborator.

Foundation Merck Sharp and Dhome – Portugal (October 2010 – June 2011) – miPS: reprogramming mouse adult cells. Coordinator.

2009 – Bolsas Cientificas de Instalação – Professor Doutor António Xavier 2009, Câmara Municipal de Oeiras.


Representative Images