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Chromatin & Epigenetics

Our research focuses on the mechanisms that control chromatin dynamics during transcription and DNA damage repair and how they coordinate with the processes that safeguard the genome integrity. Our general aims are twofold: first, we aim at investigating molecular aspects of the different stages of the transcription cycle, focusing on pre-mRNA processing and chromatin modification events; in addition, we study the molecular mechanisms that sense, signal and repair DNA damage.

To this end, we employ a multidisciplinary research strategy that combines experimental tools and approaches from areas such as cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, live-cell microscopy, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics. A major focus of our research is to understand how changes in transcription, pre-mRNA processing, chromatin modification and DNA damage response are linked to the development of human diseases such as cancer.

Research Team

Anne-Valerie Gendrel
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Cristiana Morgado
Lab Technician

Eduardo Gameiro
Lab Technician

Ines Faleiro
PhD Student

João Sabino
PhD Student

Madalena Almeida
PhD Student

Maria João Silva
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Naike Salvador Moreno
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Robert Martin
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Areas

  • Chromatin dynamics during transcription and DNA damage response
  • Epigenetic mechanisms for genome and transcriptome integrity
  • Mechanisms of DNA damage sensing and repair
  • Cancer epigenomics

Ongoing Research Projects

2018/2021 "O papel determinante que lesões no DNA desempenham na transcrição e o seu impacto na diferenciação celular e em cancro". Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. Coordinator: Sérgio de Almeida

2016/2019 "Novel tumorigenic mechanisms of aberrant epigenetic regulation in clear cell renal cell carcinoma". Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. Coordinator: Sérgio de Almeida


  • 2015 Portuguese Society of Human Genetics Award
  • 2013 Selected as Associate Lab of the EpiGeneSys Network
  • 2011 Pfizer Award for Basic Research
  • 2006 LabMed Science Award
  • 2005 Pulido Valente Science Award (Honors)

Selected Publications

For our complete publications list click here

  • Vítor AC, Sridhara SC, Sabino JC, Afonso AI, Grosso AR, Martin RM, de Almeida SF. "Single-molecule imaging of transcription at damaged chromatin" Science Advances. 2019 Jan 9;5(1):eaau1249. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aau1249.
  • Bonnet A, Grosso AR, Elkaoutari A, Coleno E, Presle A, Sridhara SC, Janbon G, Géli V, de Almeida SF, Palancade B "Introns Protect Eukaryotic Genomes from Transcription-Associated Genetic Instability" Molecular Cell 2017 Aug 17;67(4):608-621.e6 doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2017.07.002
  • Sridhara SC, Carvalho S, Grosso AR, Gallego-Paez LM, Carmo-Fonseca M, de Almeida SF "Transcription dynamics prevent RNA-mediated genomic instability through SRPK2-dependent DDX23 phosphorylation" Cell Reports. 2017 Jan 10. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.050
  • Grosso AR, Leite AP, Carvalho S, Matos MR, Martins FB, Vítor AC, Desterro JM, Carmo-Fonseca M, de Almeida SF “Pervasive transcription read-through promotes aberrant expression of oncogenes and RNA chimeras in renal carcinoma” eLife, 2015 Nov 17;4. pii: e09214. doi: 10.7554/eLife.09214
  • Carvalho S, Vitor A, Sridhara SC, Martins FB, Raposo AC, Desterro JM, Ferreira J, de Almeida SF*. “SETD2 is required for DNA double-strand break repair and activation of the p53-mediated checkpoint” eLife, 2014 May 6. 10.7554/eLife.02482
  • Carvalho S, Raposo AC, Martins FB, Grosso AR, Sridhara SC, Rino J, Carmo-Fonseca M, de Almeida SF. “Histone methyltransferase SETD2 coordinates FACT recruitment with nucleosome dynamics during transcription” Nucleic Acids Research, 2013 Mar 1;41(5):2881-93. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1472.
group leader :
Sérgio de Almeida