Dr. Ricardo Lopes


Ricardo Lopes earned his bachelor's and master’s degree in chemistry at the Faculty of Science and Technology of Nova University of Lisbon. Soon after, he performed his PhD studies on the development of boron-based chemical linkers and their use on therapeutic bioconjugates under the guidance of Prof. Pedro Gois at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Lisbon University.

Currently, Ricardo Lopes is integrated as a postdoc researcher on a IOF project promoted by Prof. Annemieke Madder at the faculty of Sciences of Ghent University in collaboration with Professor Sarah de Seager and Andreja Rajkovic from the faculties of Bioscience Engineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ghent University, respectively.

His research interest focuses on developing practical chemical solutions for problems associated with chemical biology and medicinal chemistry.



Research Project

Synthetic antibodies (SynAbs) for detection of cyclodepsipeptide toxins in food

Poisoning caused by food consumption is a public health problem. The general attention to this issue is centred on preventing microbial growth in food commodities. However, the intake of food-born toxins produced by microorganisms can also cause acute and long-term toxicity effects. Some of these toxins remain on the harness crops long after removing the toxin-producer microorganisms, making monitoring these contaminants essential. Fungi-based toxins, specifically beauvericin (BEA) and enniatins, present a challenge since no suitable affinity reagents are currently available to detect them in food samples. Additionally, the lack of simple analytical methods leads to an absence of regulation by the European Food Safety Authority. This project focuses on developing synthetic receptors (SynAbs) that bind to these cyclic depsipeptides toxins and create suitable assays to identify, isolate and clean up food samples.