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Research Programs and Projects

The main objective of INCT-BioSyn is to study and prospect biological resources of plants and microorganisms; produce integrated and dynamic databases for constructing parts, circuits, and metabolic pathways for biological systems engineering; generate technological platforms of biodiversity assets.

Objectives include: (I) Study, collect and characterize native and cultivated plants and microorganisms; (II) Generate integrated genome, transcriptome, and metabolome databases of biological resources; (II) Annotate, integrate and construct parts, pieces and metabolic pathways for engineering the function of biological systems; (IV) Develop synthetic biology technologies; (V) Design, synthesize and build minimal genomes; (VI) Generate technological platforms for the development of biotechnological products and add value to biodiversity and contribute to the conservation of natural resources.

The knowledge acquired will serve as the basis for the design and construction of synthetic cells, capable of performing specific functions safely and with more efficient energy expenditure.

In addition, the INCT-BioSyn consortium will contribute as a pillar of research and development of the National Biotechnology Plan.

Foundation of the INCT-BioSyn:

  1. Sample collection and characterization of biological resources;

  2. Data generation and integrated large-scale analyses of microorganisms and plants;

  3. Build R-bions, bio-parts, bio-circuits and metabolic pathways for genome edition and engineering to generate and test new hypotheses about genes and protein function in biological systems;

  4. Development of biotechnological platforms;

  5. Generation of molecular "chassis" of model species such as soybean and corn, and new bacterial systems for gene function engineering, metabolic pathway engineering, development of biotechnological active substances, and aggregation of value to biodiversity.

  6. Capacity building, young scientists training; Technological platform consolidation and service provision within the INCT network Technological platform. Popularization and vulgarization of Science and Biosynthetic technologies: interactions with science museums, social media and discussion groups on legal, ethical and social impacts of science and technology Bioethics and biosafety regulations; access to biodiversity and benefit sharing.

  7. International collaboration in the consortia “Build a Cell” ( and “GP-Write” (


Research Program:

This research program aims to 1) the development and study of synthetic cells, in order to better understand the structural and functional organization of genomes and, consequently, how to manipulate them to perform specific functions; 2) the application of genetic circuit engineering in eukaryotic cells, based on synthetic recombinases, for the construction of artificial logic gates and memory devices capable of controlling the regulation of genes of interest in response to external demand; 3) functional and structural studies of the soybean genome in order to manipulate oil and protein metabolism through metabolic engineering; 4) production of spider silks synthetic proteins from Brazilian biodiversity for the development of innovative biomaterials.


Principal Investigator (PI): Elíbio Rech

Mailing address:  EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology - National Institute of Science and Technology in Synthetic Biology - Synthetic Biology building

- Parque Estação Biológica, s/n  - Brasília - Distrito Federal - 70.770-917


Email:  |

Phone: +55 (61) 3448-4694

ORCID Google scholar CV lattes


Co-PI: Daniela Matias de C. Bittencourt 

ORCID  | Google scholar  |  CV Lattes


André Melro Murad - CV Lattes

Cintia Marques Coelho - CV Lattes

Cristiano Castro Lacorte – CV Lattes

Daniela Matias de C. Bittencourt - CV lattes

Eduardo de Oliveira Melo - CV Lattes

Felipe Rodrigues da Silva - CV Lattes

Giovanni Rodrigues Vianna - CV Lattes

Grácia Maria Soares Rosinha - CV Lattes

Hemerson Souza Maia - CV Lattes

João Pedro Oliveira de Souza Ribeiro - CV Lattes

Leila Maria Gomes Barros - CV Lattes

Lilian Hasegawa Florentino - CV Lattes

Luiz Alberto Colnago - CV Lattes

Luisa Arake - CV Lattes

Marco Antônio de Oliveira - CV Lattes

Mariana Martins Severo de Almeida - CV Lattes

Mariana Mathias Conroy Araujo - CV Lattes

Raquel Medeiros Vasques Bonnet - CV Lattes

Raquel Sampaio de Oliveira - CV Lattes

Rayane Nunes Lima - CV Lattes:

Taciana Cavalcanti - CV Lattes: CV

Thais Torquato Sales - CV Lattes

Valquíria Alice Michalczechen Lacerda - CV Lattes

Research Program:

Our program has the objective to create a deep comprehension of the Amazon biodiversity with the use of molecular tools. We aim to contribute to the description of biodiversity with the use of DNA barcodes and with deeper analysis based on complete genome sequencing. We also evaluate the genetic distribution of selected species with landscape genomic approaches and the study of local adaptations. We also study the microbiome of wild environments to understand their distribution and functional roles. All of the research is supported with the intense use of bioinformatics and computational biology tools.


Principal Investigador (PI): Guilherme Oliveira

Mailing address:  Instituto Tecnológico Vale D.S | Vale Institute of Technology  - Desenvolvimento Sustentável | Sustainable Development - R. Boaventura da Silva 955, Nazaré, 66055-090  - Belém, PA – Brasil

Email: |

Phone: +55 (91) 3213-5580

ORCID  Google scholar  |  CV lattes



Alexandre Aleixo - CV Lattes

Gisele Nunes - CV Lattes 

José Augusto Bitencourt - CV Lattes 

Rafael Valadares - CV Lattes 

Santelmo Vasconcelos - CV Lattes  

Research Program:

Synthetic biology applied to the development of bioproducts and biosensors. We propose the rational and systematic engineering of biological systems aiming through the development of new biosensors, new bioproducts, and new production pathways for known bioproducts. The strategies employed are the engineering of sensors and regulatory processes, the engineering of metabolic pathways in microorganisms, and the use of cell-free gene expression systems. In the development process, we use computational tools to design molecules and metabolic pathways and simulate their behavior. The knowledge developed in the Lab is transferred to the development of educational tools, such as games, software, and educational kits, for teaching and disseminating modern techniques and concepts of synthetic biology.


Principal Investigador (PI): Danielle Pedrolli

Mailing address:  São Paulo State University - Unesp - School of Pharmaceutical Sciences - Department of Bioprocess Engineering and Biotechnology - Rodovia Araraquara-Jaú km 1 - Araraquara (SP), Brazil - 14.800-903



Phone: +55 (16) 33014632

ORCID |  Google scholar CV lattes

Scopus Author ID: 24338716400

Researcher ID: G-3117-2012



Guilherme E. Kundlatsch - CV lattes

Milca Rachel da Costa Ribeiro Lins - CV lattes

Gabriela Paiva - CV lattes

Vitória Fernanda Bertolazzi Zocca - CV lattes

Laura Araujo da Silva Amorim - CV lattes

Research Program:

Genetic engineering of immune cells. By gene modifying human immune cells the immune system can discriminate and selectively eliminate tumor or other target cells of interest. To achieve this aim, gene modification systems such as viral vectors, transposon-based vectors, synthetic recombinase-based systems or CRISPR/Cas9 are used. Lymphocytes (such as T and NK cells) are modified providing new functional capabilities and/or specificity, such as those provided by Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) or other molecules that can modify the microenvironment in the tissue.


Principal Investigador (PI): Martín Hernán Bonamino

Mailing address: Instituto Nacional de Câncer  - Rua André Cavalcanti 37/6 andar - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - 20.231-050



Phone: +55 (21) 35079856

ORCID  |  Google scholar |  CV lattes



Leonardo Ribeiro - CV Lattes:

Luiza Abdo - CV Lattes

Marco Pretti - CV Lattes

Mariana Mazzi - CV Lattes

Mariana Viehas -

Karina Hajdu - CV Lattes

Emmanuel Aragão - CV Lattes

Clara Andrade - 

Eduardo Mannarino - CV Lattes

Brenno Sessa - CV Lattes

Research Program:

Yeast Synthetic Biology for the production of molecules of biotechnological interest. Our research is focused on the development of molecular tools (plasmids for gene expression/genomic editing and artificial chromosomes) for Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris in order to perform synthetic biology projects in these yeast platforms. End products include biopharmaceuticals, biofuels and other biotechnologically relevant molecules.


Principal Investigador (PI): Fernando Araripe Gonçalves Torres

Mailing address:  Departamento de Biologia Celular- - Laboratório de Biologia Molecular, bloco K, primeiro andar - Universidade de Brasília - Brasília – DF 70910-900  Brasil


Phone: +55 (61) 31073119

ORCID   |  CV Lattes



Lidia Maria Pepe de Moraes - CV Lattes

Janice Lisboa De Marco - CV Lattes

Luiza Cesca Piva - CV Lattes

Viviane Castelo Branco Reis - CV Lattes

Ana Laura Alfonso Pérez - CV Lattes

Igor Patrick Vasconcelos Vieira - CV Lattes

Research Program:

Plant Metabolism Engineering to improve abiotic/biotic stresses tolerance, and to improve soybean (Glycine max) quality for nutritional, industrial, and biofuel uses. Use of CRISPR genome edition systems to edit DNA sequences of key genes involved in mechanisms that can help in the mitigation of environmental stresses caused by the world climatic changes. Genome edition is also used to reduce/eliminate anti-nutritional factors in soybean (Glycine max), and elevate levels of High Oleic oil. CRISPRs SDN1 and SDN2 strategies are used to knockdown/knockoff genes and/or to alter gene expression up/down. The strategies used aim to produce high precision mutated plants with agronomic, economic, and environmental aggregated value.  Another objective is that these plants can be considered as non-transgenic.


Principal Investigador (PI): Alexandre Nepomuceno

Mailing address:   Embrapa Soja - P.O.Box 231  - Londrina, PR - BRAZIL  - 86001-970



Phone: +55 (43) 3371-6004

Google scholar  | CV lattes


Co-PI: Liliane Márcia Mertz Henning

ORCID | Google Scholar CV Lattes


Silvana Marin | Francismar Guimaraes | Renata Fuganti | Ricardo Abdelnoor

Research Program:

Global climate change is an ever-increasing challenge to agricultural production and food security worldwide. Heat, drought and their interaction have had historically great influence on global crop yields. Modification of mitochondrial function is a potential target for enhancing crop yield and tolerance to various stresses. This particular BioSyn program aims at the editing of regulatory and coding sequences to modify the function of maize various genes involved with the response and adaptation to abiotic stresses associated with climate change. Candidates include genes associated with mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism and yet underexplored homologous genes shared with maize that have been identified as potentially mediating adaptation of wild species to severely limiting environments..


Principal Investigador (PI): Paulo Mazzafera

Mailing address:  Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de Biologia, Unicamp - Rua Monteiro Lobato, 255 - Cidade Universitária - 13083-862 - Campinas, SP - Brazil



Phone: +55 (19) 3521-6213

ORCID  |  Google scholar  |  CV lattes


Co-PI: Ricardo Dante

ORCID  |  Google scholar  |  CV lattes


Damares de Castro Monte 

Fernanda Rausch Fernandes - Google Scholar - ORCID

Isabel R. Gerhardt - Google Scholar - ORCID

Juliana E.C. Teixeira Yassitepe - Google Scholar - ORCID

José Hernandes Lopes Filho - Google Scholar - ORCID

Research Program:

Nanobiotechnology and Biofabrication 3D/4D: The team associated with this research program is interested in the frontiers of nanobiotechnology and bioengineering, including: Investigation of agricultural, agro-industrial, and forestry products and co-products to understand the biological structures at nanoscale aiming the development of sustainable micro- and nanosystems; Development of liposomal, lipid, metallic, and polymeric micro- and nanosystems obtained by green synthesis routes aiming at the delivery and sustained release of bioactives and immobilization of molecules; Development of functional surfaces and nanostructures applicable to packaging actives, edible films, nanofoods, nanocosmetics, systems of remediation, nanobiosensors, nanocatalysts, nanoforensics, nanofertilizers, and space nanoagriculture; Tests to assess nanosafety (nanotoxicity and nanoecotoxicity) in vitro and in vivo on bacteria, yeasts, algae, mammalian cells, plants, microcrustaceans, earthworms, and nematodes; Digital manufacturing by additive, subtractive, and transformative manufacturing, reverse bioengineering, 3D/4D biofabrication/bioprinting of biological scaffolds (biomimetic) with bioinks based on biomaterials and nanomaterials, 3D food printing, labware development; Implementation of industrial scaling-up processes, waste management, risk/impact assessment, and use of artificial intelligence for the sustainability of nanobiotechnological processes.


Principal Investigador (PI): Luciano Paulino da Silva

Mailing address:   Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia - Prédio da Biotecnologia - Laboratório de Nanotecnologia - Parque Estação Biológica, s/n - Brasília - Distrito Federal - 70.770-917

URL: Embrapa | lnanoembrapa

Email:  |

Phone: +55 (61) 3448-4969

ORCID | Google scholar | CV Lattes


Cínthia Caetano Bonatto: Google Scholar | CV Lattes

Research Program:

Industrial-scale production of ethanol in Brazil is not a sterile process and the pure cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae used to inoculate the bioreactors rapidly become contaminated by other yeast and bacteria.  During the ethanol production season, the population of organisms in the reactor undergoes complex changes and often the starting S. cerevisiae population is outcompeted by wild yeast.  The full complexity and dynamics of the microbial population present in a Brazilian industrial fermentation plant is not known because previous studies have relied on low-throughput methods for strain isolation and diversity analysis. Our ultimate goal is to understand population dynamics and the effect of contaminating bacteria and yeast on S. cerevisiae ethanol productivity. 


Principal Investigador (PI): Betania Ferraz Quirino

Mailing address: Embrapa Agroenergia - Laboratório de Genética e Biotecnologia - Parque Estação Biológica- PQEB, sn, final Asa Norte  + Brasília DF  - Brasil - 70770-901 



Phone: +55 (61) 3448-7115 

ORCID  |  Google Scholar


Co-Investigador Principal:

João Ricardo Moreira de Almeida

ORCID  |  Google Scholar  |  CV Lattes


Adam Arkin - ORCID

Jeff Skerker - ORCID

Chris Somerville -  ORCID  

Lunalva Sallet 

Research Program:

Metabolic studies and production of bioactive compounds of high added value in genetically modified organisms. Metabolic and bioactive compound studies will consist of the chemical characterization of genetically modified plants with emphasis on the identification and/or quantification of secondary metabolites, using a modern approach of dereplication that combines the use of sophisticated spectrometric techniques (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy), and high resolution mass spectrometry) with chemometric methods, coupled with the aid of powerful data bases.


Principal Investigador (PI): Kirley Marques Canuto

Mailing address: Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, Embrapa Agroindústria Tropical. - Rua Dra. Sara Mesquita, 2270 - Planalto Pici - Fortaleza, CE  - Brasil - 60511110 



Phone: +55 (85) 3391-7397

ORCID  |  Google scholar  |  CV lattes


Lorena Mara Alexandre e Silva - CV Lattes

Paulo Riceli Vasconcelos Ribeiro - CV Lattes

Research Program:

Metabolic engineering of yeasts applied to the production of high added value chemicals. Brazil is known for its vast abundance in biomass. Among those sugar cane and soya are top crops utilized for the production of ethanol e biodiesel respectively. Nevertheless those types of biomass may be also utilized for the production of various chemicals such as bioplastics, biosurfactants and other biopolymers such as hyaluronic acid. Therefore research efforts have turned into developing microorganism strains able to convert raw material into those polymers.  The ideal microorganism should convert the raw material and produce the desired polymer at a high yield and rate. Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms usually adapted to the harsh industrial environment. They often need genetic manipulation in order to achieve a scalable and economically viable process. Thus research efforts have turned into choosing the appropriate yeast species for the production of specific biopolymers, genetically engineering them and finally making sure that the fermentation mode matches both industry demands.


Principal Investigador (PI): Nadia Skorupa Parachin

Mailing address:   Universidade de Brasília, Campus Plano Piloto.- SHIN 916 Bloco C sala 212 - Asa Norte - Brasília, DF  - Brasil - 70790160 



ORCID  |  Google scholarCV lattes


Talita Souza Carmo - CV Lattes

Juliana Davies - CV Lattes

Research Program:

Construction of a knowledge base supported by genomic technologies. Sampling and characterization of biological resources and genomic sequencing of Brachiaria species. The information gained will be useful as platforms for engineering gene function based on synthetic biology and for genome editing.


Principal Investigador (PI): Vera Tavares de Campos Carneiro

Mailing address: Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia - Prédio da Biotecnologia - Laboratório de arque Estação Biológica, s/n

Brasília - Distrito Federal  - 0.770-917



Phone: +55 (61) 3448-4668

CV lattes


André Southernman Teixeira Irsigler - CV Lattes

Diva Maria de Alencar Dusi - CV Lattes

Glaucia Salles Cortopassi Buso - CV Lattes

Julio Carlyle Macedo Rodrigues - CV Lattes

Orzenil Bonfim da Silva Junior - CV Lattes

Roberto Coiti Togawa - CV Lattes

Research Program:

Develop and optimize synthetic multi-antigen epitopes for use in diagnosis of Chagas' disease, leishmaniosis, and HIV; Optimize aptamers (DNA fragments or synthetic RNA selected by their 3D structure interaction with haptens or antigens as an alternative to the use of monoclonal antibodies) for diagnostics, to capture and target enrichment system, and the development of new cancer therapies; Development and optimization of synthetic antibodies or mini-antibodies.  In a first approach the group intends to develop and express Fv fragments off the therapeutic antibody Rituximab in the form of scFv that are stable in solution for long periods, four the optimization and demonstration the principle. Develop prototype vaccine of H1N1 influenza virus and H3N2 subtypes using reverse genetics to promote mutations that suppress the pathogenicity determinants as hemagglutinin cleavage sites; Develop prototype vaccine of influenza virus H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes using reverse genetics to promote the segments of neuraminidase mutations that increase proliferation of the viruses in cell culture for vaccine production; Utilize synthetic biology to fully construct the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase viral segments carrying mutations of interest without the use of viral matrix; Evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of these viruses generated by reverse mutation and synthetic biology through humoral and cellular immune responses induced by vaccination with virus generated Evaluate the protection of vaccinated animals challenged through infections with viruses generated


Principal Investigador (PI): Wim Degrave

Mailing address: Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz - Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia Molecular. - Lab. de Genômica Funcional e Bioinformática - Sala 104, Pav. L. Deane - Av. Brasil, 4365  Manguinhos - Rio de Janeiro, RJ - Brasil - CEP 21040900 



Phone: +55 (21) 3865-8159

ORCID  CV lattes



Ana Maria Mazotto de Almeida - CV Lattes

Gilvan Pessoa Furtado - CV Lattes

Isabelle Freire Tabosa Viana - CV Lattes

Josiane Cardoso - CV Lattes

Mariana Caldas Waghabi - CV Lattes

Marcos Catanho - CV Lattes

Marcos Luiz Barros - CV Lattes

Marcos Roberto Lourenzoni - CV Lattes

Mateus Gomes de Godoy - CV Lattes

Nidiane Dantas Reis Prado - CV Lattes

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