Microbiome in Health and Disease Translational Lab

Our lab is dedicated to leveraging the potential of the human microbiome to revolutionise the field of colorectal cancer research.

Our mission is to develop innovative diagnostic tools and microbiome-based biotherapeutics to intercept, prevent, and treat colorectal cancer.

We are an interdisciplinary and highly collaborative team of clinical microbiologists, computational biologists, nutritionists, immunologists, and gastroenterologists.

Microbiome in Health and Disease Translational Lab

Our research focuses on three key areas:

Biomarker Discovery

We aim to identify and validate novel gut microbiome biomarkers for risk assessment and early colorectal cancer diagnosis using precision microbiome profiling and machine learning technology. By analysing the gut microbiota in individuals at different stages of colorectal cancer, we aim to enhance screening methods and enable early intervention.

Microbiome-based therapeutics

We aim to develop microbiota consortia of immune-stimulating bacteria. By harnessing the power of these beneficial microbes, we aim to modulate the host immune system, potentially mitigating the risk of colorectal cancer development or aiding in treatment strategies. This research avenue holds promise for the development of novel synbiotics or postbiotics that can be tailored to specific individuals or subgroups at risk.

Host-Microbiome Interactions

We study the role of microbial metabolites in shaping host immune responses in colorectal cancer. Through metabolomic profiling and culturomics, we aim to uncover the specific microbial metabolites and pathways linked to distinct immune responses in colorectal cancer.

Join the team

We are always interested in outstanding candidates excited with the research we do at the Microbiome in Health & Disease Translational Lab.

If you are interested in joining, please contact Ana Santos Almeida directly, by sending her your CV and a motivation letter telling us why you would like to join our team.



iMM-CARE is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101060102. iMM-CARE is co-funded by the Portuguese Government, the National Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Society Group (ARICA – Investimentos, Participações e Gestão and Jerónimo Martins), iMM and CAML - Lisbon Academic Medical Centre.


MISSION – The Power of Microbiota to Modulate the Immune Response In Colorectal Cancer.
Funding Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia


Ana Santos Almeida, Principal Investigator

I am the Principal Investigator of the Microbiome in Health and Disease Translational Lab at iMM-Care, in Portugal. Our lab's overarching mission is to harness the potential of the human microbiome to develop innovative live biotherapeutics designed to treat, intercept, and prevent cancer.

Joana Serpa, Nutritionist, MSc. student

I hold a degree in Nutrition Sciences and am currently pursuing my Master's Degree program in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Lisbon, Faculty of Medicine in Portugal. My MSc. thesis explores the impact of the Mediterranean Diet on the gut microbiota and its connection to colorectal cancer incidence. My areas of interest include metabolic diseases, cancer, intestinal microbiota, geriatrics, and community nutrition. Food education is a particular favourite of mine in the field!

Mariana Moreira, Nutritionist

I am a nutritionist and I hold an MSc. degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Lisbon, Faculty of Medicine. I also have a post graduation in Nutrition in Oncology, which has always been an area of particular interest to me along with gastrointestinal diseases, intestinal microbiota and the impact that our diets and nutritional interventions can have in the prevention and treatment of diseases in these areas.

Catarina Milho, Lab Manager

I am a microbiologist with a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Lab Manager for the Microbiome in Health and Disease Translational Lab. With my background in both academia and industry, I support the research being conducted in our laboratory and coordinate all aspects of its management. I also assist in the preparation and submission of research grant applications.

André Salgado, PhD student

I am a computer scientist with a Master's Degree from Instituto Superior Técnico and an international master's in Health & Medical Data Analytics (HMDA), accredited by the European Institute of Technology (EIT). My main focus revolves on the synergy of algorithms and AI in health sciences. During my master's thesis, I delved into circular DNA research, specifically exploring its multiple alignment. As I embark on my Ph.D. journey at Instituto Superior Técnico in collaboration with iMM, I am excited to contribute through impactful research.

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