Partner 7: Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) School of Health Sciences, University of Minho (UMINHO), Braga, Portugal

Role, qualification and experience

At the Microbiology and Infection Research Domain (MIRD) at ICVS research is focused on host-pathogen interactions in mycobacterial infections (Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. bovis BCG, M. avium and M. ulcerans). More specifically on the improvement of our understanding of the immune response to mycobacterial infections and of the effectiveness of tuberculosis diagnosis in Portugal (one group members is part of the Portuguese National Board for Tuberculosis Control). MIRD activities have recently expanded to the epidemiology of tuberculosis in wildlife in Portugal. Researchers at MIRD have established collaborations with Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Benin. In Mozambique the collaboration has been mostly dedicated to training activities in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The collaboration with Benin and DRC has brought samples from patient infected with M. ulcerans to the ICVS, where ongoing work is aiming at characterizing the physiopathology of the Buruli Ulcer (BU). Additionally, samples collected from the environment in endemic areas, as well as insects, are being tested to identify the sources of M. ulcerans.
The ICVS is a research unit within the School of Health Sciences, an institution that is strongly committed to comply with the most recent international recommendations for undergraduate medical education. The school developed its own electronic learning management system (LMS) which is under the responsibility of the Medical Education Unit (MEU). Manuel João Costa is the Head of the MEU which is also in charge of the monitoring and development of every aspect of the educational programme.

Scientific leader

Margarida Correia-Neves, veterinary, PhD, is Assistant professor of Microbiology and Immunology and principal investigator of tuberculosis projects. As a member of the NGO, Science for Development, she has promoted training courses on tuberculosis and other animal diseases in Mozambique (2001, 2002 and 2004) and has established the collaborations with Mozambique.

Key personnel

Jorge Pedrosa, PhD, is Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. He is principal investigator in various projects on BU, and has established collaborations with endemic countries, namely DRC (Ministère de la Santé) and Benin (Centre Sanitaire et Nutritionel Gbemoten, Zagnanado). From 2002 to 2003 was a Member of the Steering Committee of the “European and Developing countries Clinical Trial Programme for poverty-related diseases”, as Portuguese representative-Delegate.
Nuno Santos, veterinary, is the head veterinary of the largest Portuguese National Park (Parque Nacional Peneda Gerês). During is master thesis he has shown, for the first time, the presence of tuberculosis in the wild life in Portugal (wild board). Nuno Santos will join the present team as a PhD student.
Manuel João Costa, PhD, is Assistant Professor and the head of the Medical Education Unit, with long-time expertise in learning/teaching methodologies and evaluation. He is member of the Editorial board of Educational Journals and is member of the Education Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


University of Minho, Portugal