Research Centers

Católica Biomedical Research Centre (CBR) is a non-profit institute founded in 2022 with a vision to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Our goal is to be internationally recognised as a reference biomedical research institute.  

In the next 10 years, we will establish 16 multidisciplinary research teams across a wide research portfolio to address fundamental questions related with health challenges and clinical research.  Our mission is to empower talented investigators who combine innovative technologies that bridge biomedicine, biology and engineering, to foster a collaborative and creative environment and potentiate efforts towards solutions.

CBR is embedded in an ecosystem aspiring to advance human health through research and innovation in medical teaching and practice. Together with the Católica Medical School, Hospital da Luz Lisboa, and Union of Portuguese Misericordias, CBR takes part in the first non-governmental Clinical Academic Center in Portugal - Católica Luz.

CBR is currently hosted at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência campus in Oeiras as to capitalise on available resources and highly specialised infrastructure, via a collaboration agreement between with the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and the Gulbenkian Foundation. Our researchers have access to the state-of-the-art facilities, such as advanced optical and electron microscopy, flow cytometry, genomics, and animal facility (mice, rats, zebrafish, Drosophila). At the same time, proximity to Católica Medical School campus in Sintra (10 km) allows close interaction with students and other teaching staff.

CBR has a simple horizontal organisation and is led by its Director and Board of Directors. These are supported by the Scientific Advisory Board that plays an important role in steering the strategy of the institute and reviewing its work. The Societal Advisory Board on its end provides guidelines on strategic relationship with relevant societal actors, as to bring society's needs to the scientific agenda, disseminate research results and build competences among citizens.

The CatólicaMed platform is part of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Health (CIIS) of the UCP, located at the Católica Medical School of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, focused in clinical and translational research.

CatólicaMed was created with the formal accreditation of the Integrated Masters in Medicine of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa on 1st September 2020 by the Portuguese Accreditation Agency A3ES. 

Since its inception, a number of investigators have been invited to join the platform. Currently, composed by 14 Integrated and 18 Collaborator Researchers, the group is rapidly expanding. The platform hosts a diverse number of investigators spanning from vaccinology to psychiatry, gastroenterology, cardiology and other clinical relevant disciplines. A list of the integrated researchers can be found here

CatólicaMed platform is headed by the CIIS Deputy Director Professor Paulo Bettencourt

To support the activities of this growing platform, the CatólicaMed has expanded its laboratories to the new building of the Faculty of Medicine at the Sintra campus of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa. The new laboratories comprise a total area of 891m2, including 18 offices for staff, and study rooms for post-graduate students with an area of 271m2, and laboratories with an area of 620m2. The new laboratory area has an estimated capacity of 175 faculty, staff and students.  

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Health Research (CIIS) is a Health Research unit of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa and is present in three Regional Centres ( Lisboa, Porto and Viseu). Its interdisciplinary research approaches scientific issues from different perspectives, focusing on:

1.      The nature of processes, from molecule to mind;

2.      The life course, studying the mechanisms for learning and neuronal plasticity in childhood, the changes associated with ageing and the differentiated care needs at the end of life, namely palliative care;

3.      The relationship of the human being with the world, stage for the studies of language and communication in its multiple forms, or the study of cognition;

4.      The perspective of global health involving the mechanisms of response in health, disease and in its resolution.

Patient education and motivation is a fundamental concern to which CIIS pays special attention, creating solutions and strategies to involve and empower vulnerable individuals and communities in health, disease and recovery processes.

The CIIS aims to contribute to the development of Precision Medicine and Biomarkers, as well as to create solutions in Digital Health, thus aligning with the National Plan for Science and Technology, as well as with the national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies.

In the evaluation exercise of R&D centres by FCT, in 2017/18, CIIS was assessed with Very Good.

The scientific production grew significantly and the number of applications for national and international funding also increased during the past year, highlighting here the project "Corpus & Avatar of Portuguese Sign Language" (Refª PTDC/LLT-LIN/29887/2017), with FCT funding of 240,000.00€ for 3 years.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Health aims to contribute with solutions for a 4Ps approach to Health: Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory.

In the research area, the Hospital da Luz Learning Health:

  • Develops, promotes and supports the research developed in the Grupo Luz Saúde;
  • Stimulates the development of new methodologies that add value to the care provided to its clients.

In this way, it develops activities in the areas:

  • Of preventive medicine;
  • Early diagnosis methods and biomarkers;
  • Personalised medicine;
  • Outcome research.

All these themes are supported by advanced analytical methods and human factors engineering, allowing maximising the value for patients.