Gonçalo Bernardes

Professor, Inventor & Entrepreneur

  • Company University of Cambridge
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Sector EducationHealth

Gonçalo graduated in Chemistry from the University of Lisbon in 2004 and moved to the University of Oxford, UK where he completed his D.Phil in 2008, under the supervision of Prof. Ben Davis. At Oxford, he worked on reaction engineering for site-selective protein modification. Then, he was awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship for his postdoctoral studies with Prof. Peter H. Seeberger.

After a short period in Portugal working as a Group Leader at Alfama Lda. (a spin-out company dedicated to the development of Carbon Monoxide-Releasing Molecules), Gonçalo moved to the ETH, Zürich to join the group of Prof. Dario Neri. At ETH, and as an EMBO Fellow, he developed new vascular targeting antibody-drug conjugates for cancer therapy.

Gonçalo was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2013 and started his independent group at Cambridge. He was appointed as a University Lecturer in June 2018 and promoted to Reader in June 2019.

Gonçalo founded and is the Director of the pioneering Chemical Biology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Unit at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon. Gonçalo splits his time between his labs in Cambridge and Lisbon, and leads a research program at the interface of chemistry and biology with a focus on the development of new chemoselective reactions for the modification of biomolecules and their use to understand and influence human disease.

Gonçalo is also a Fellow at Trinity Hall.

Gonçalo has published over 150 papers and has been the recipient of numerous awards during his career, such as the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry Young Investigator Award in Academia (2013), the European Young Chemist Award Silver Medal and the European Prize in Chemical Biology by RSEQ (both 2014), the Chem Soc Rev Emerging Investigator Lectureship and the Royal Society of Chemistry Harrison–Meldola Memorial Prize (both 2016), and the MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship (2018).

For his efforts in translational research, Gonçalo has been recognized by the Ministry of Health of Portugal for relevant services to Public Health and Medicine and he has received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

Finally, Gonçalo is an entrepreneur and has co-founded two companies with technologies discovered in his laboratories. He also serves as a scientific advisory board member in a number of biotech companies.

He is a member of the Portuguese Diaspora Council since 2020.