Ecogenetics and Human Health

The research group Ecogenetics and Human Health is structured according to five research lines, namely ‘Behavioural genetics and environment’, ‘Environment and genetics of cardiovascular disorders and cancer’, ‘Environment and genetics of endocrine and metabolic diseases’, ‘Iron metabolism in human diseases’ and ‘Metabolic syndrome: Obesity and environment’.

The main focus of this research group is to understand how environmental factors interact with the individual’s genetic pool and vice-versa, modulating health risk. The research addresses leading behavioural factors acting on this complex interaction (diet, and tobacco, alcohol and coffee consumption), along with several other environmental factors (e.g. light and noise passible to modify genetic expression at the signal transduction level). Environmental exposure to virus can equally affect the immune response, which in turn is genotipically defined and variable, being also taken into account.

This research group aims essentially to undertake a differential analysis of intermediate and distant phenotypes according to Mendelian randomization (genetic polymorphisms) in interaction with physical, dietary and microbiological environmental factors.

Group leader: Manuel Diamantino Pires Bicho
Team members: Alda Pereira da Silva Oliveira • Ana Carolina Casinhas dos Santos • Ana Luísa Ribeiro da Silva • Ana Margarida Saraiva Valente • Andreia Isabel Lucas de Matos • António José Mónica da Silva Guerra • António Pedro da Silva Pinto Gomes • Carlos Alberto Matinho Marques Neves • Carlos José Fernandes da Conceição Góis • Edgar Avito Fernandes de Almeida • Elisabete Teresa da Mata Almeida Carolino • Irina Margarida Pereira Machado Alho Duarte • Isabel Maria Simões Mendes Gaspar Rodrigues • Isanete Alves de Alonso • Jacinto Manuel de Melo Oliveira Monteiro • Joana de Oliveira Gomes Tavares Ferreira de Freitas • Laura Margarida Soares de Aguiar • Luisa Maria Carvalho da Veiga • Luís Alexandre Pereira Abegão Pinto • Luiz Filipe de Menezes Falcão • Margarida Maria Trindade Cardoso Cortez e Castro • Maria Ângela R. Marques Inácio • Maria Clara Gomes da Fonseca Pedro Bicho • Maria Constança Campos Morgado Silva Pinto Baptista Coelho • Maria do Pilar Torres de Quinhones-Levy • Maria João Guerreiro Martins Bugalho • Maria José Cabrita Lucas Laires • Maria Paula Duarte Faustino Gonçalves • Mário Rui Guerreiro Mascarenhas • Mariza do Rosário Fevereiro Martins • Paulo David Pires Barreira • Peter Mike Burgos Pego • Ricardo Jorge Teixeira Ribeiro • Rita Sofia Cardoso Domingues • Samuel Filipe Gomes Pombo • Telma Chantal Almeida Sequeira • António Vaz Carneiro


1. Alonso, I., Matos, A., Ribeiro, R., GIL, Â., Cardoso, C., Sardinha, L. B., & Bicho, M. (2018). Mountain cycling ultramarathon effects on inflammatory and hemoglobin responses. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(2), 353–360.
2. Augusto, G. F., Cruz, D., Silva, A., Pereira, N., Aguiar, B., Leça, A., … Freitas, G. (2018). Challenging measles case definition: three measles outbreaks in three Health Regions of Portugal, February to April 2018. Eurosurveillance, 23(28).
3. Barreira, D. P., Marinho, R. T., Bicho, M., Fialho, R., & Ouakinin, S. R. S. (2018). Psychosocial and neurocognitive factors associated with hepatitis C – Implications for future health and wellbeing. Frontiers in Psychology, eCollection 2018. [ePub ahead of print] 4. Bicho, M. (2018). Genetic predisposition for essential hypertension, based on studies of genetic polymorphisms in modern global human populations: The perspective of evolutionary biology. Revista Portuguesa de Cardiologia, 37(6), 509–510.
5. Cheng, Y., Monteiro, C., Matos, A., You, J., Fraga, A., Pereira, C., … Hu, P. (2018). Epigenome-wide DNA methylation profiling of periprostatic adipose tissue in prostate cancer patients with excess adiposity—a pilot study. Clinical Epigenetics, 10(1), 54.
6. da Silva, A. P., Valente, A., Chaves, C., Matos, A., Gil, A., Santos, A. C., … Bicho, M. (2018). Characterization of portuguese centenarian eating habits, nutritional biomarkers, and cardiovascular risk: A case control study. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 1–10.
7. David, S., Correia, V., Antunes, L., Faria, R., Ferrão, J., Faustino, P., … Rebelo de Andrade, H. (2018). Population genetics of IFITM3 in Portugal and Central Africa reveals a potential modifier of influenza severity. Immunogenetics, 70(3), 169–177.
8. Farinha, C., Martins, A., Neves, A., Soares, R., Ruão, M., Ornelas, M., … Silva, R. (2018). Ranibizumab for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema in the real-world clinical setting in Portugal: A multicentre study. Ophthalmologica, Jun.
9. Magalhães, J. P., Júdice, P. B., Ribeiro, R., Andrade, R., Raposo, J., Dores, H., … Sardinha, L. B. (2018). Effectiveness of high-intensity interval training combined with resistance training versus continuous moderate-intensity training combined with resistance training in patients with type 2 diabetes: A one-year randomized controlled trial. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
10. Matias, C. N., Bicho, M., Laires, M. J., & Monteiro, C. P. (2018). Athletes have more susceptibility to oxidative stress: Truth or myth? A study in swimmers. Science & Sports.
11. Pereira da Silva, A., Matos, A., Aguiar, L., Ramos-Marques, N., Ribeiro, R., Gil, Â., … Bicho, M. (2018). Hypertension and longevity: Role of genetic polymorphisms in renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.
12. Pessoa, B., Dias, D. A., Baptista, P., Coelho, C., Beirão, J. N. M., & Meireles, A. (2018). Vitrectomy outcomes in eyes with tractional diabetic macular edema. Ophthalmic Research, 1–6.