Rui Martinho


University of Algarve

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, Bld 8

Phone: +351 289 800 082



Academic Degrees

  • 2000, Ph.D. degree at the University of Sussex, UK.
  • 1994, B.Sc. in Biology (5 years) by the University of Lisbon, Portugal.



  • 2011-Present: Assistant Professor at University of Algarve, Portugal
  • 2006-2011: Independent investigator at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (Oeiras, Portugal).
  • 2003-2005: Associate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute unit at New York University School of Medicine (New york, USA).
  • 2000-2003: Postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Ruth Lehmann, HHMI-NYU Medical Center, USA.


Research Interests

Normal development and maintenance of adult organism homeostasis relies on a regulatory cross talk between tissue morphogenesis, differentiation and cell division, which is crucial for organogenesis and for tissue integrity, growth and renewal. Our main research interest is to take advantage of Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to study germ-line development, tissue morphogenesis and cell division during development. Since tumorigenesis is frequently associated with loss of tissue integrity and misregulation of cell proliferation, we expect this work will give a contribution into a better understanding of molecular and cellular processes associated with the onset and development of cancer.



Provisional application with the US Patent Office: Thelial Patent - 7526/83099-PRO


Other Scientific Activities

Private research initiative – Thelial Technologies (Screen for novel cancer chemotherapy drugs using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system).


Project Grants

Principal Investigator

PTDC/BIA-BCM/111822/2009 - Constraints on gene expression during early embryonic development. (2011- 2014)

PTDC/QUI-BIQ/113027/2009 - Analysis of the role of N-terminal acetyltransferases during Drosophila development. (2011- 2014)

PTDC/SAU-BID/111796/2009 - Characterization of mesenchymal to epithelial transition in Drosophila melanogaster. (2011- 2014)


Selected Publications (2008-2012)

Alves E., Henriques B.J., Rodrigues J.V., Prudêncio P., Rocha H., Vilarinho L., Martinho R.G. (*), Gomes C.M. (*) (2012). Mutations at the flavin binding site of ETF:QO yield a MADD-like severe phenotype in Drosophila. BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease [Epub ahead of print] (In Press).
*Corresponding authors.

Guilgur L., Prudêncio P., Ferreira T., Pimenta-Marques A., Martinho R.G. (*) (2012). Drosophila aPKC is required for mitotic spindle orientation in larval wing discs. DEVELOPMENT, Feb;139(3):503-13.
(*) Corresponding author.

Van Damme, P. (*), Hole, K. (*), Pimenta-Marques, A. (*), Helsens, K., Vandekerckhove, J., Martinho, R.G., Gevaert, K., Arnesen, T. (2011). NatF contributes to an evolutionary shift in protein N-terminal acetylation and is important for normal chromosome segregation PLoS GENETICS, Jul; 7 (7): e1002169. (Times cited: 3*).
(*) Authors gave an equal contribution.                                                         

de las Heras J.M. (*), Martinho R.G. (*), Lehmann R, and Casanova J. (2009). A functional antagonism between pgc and torso in the development of the germ-line and somatic cells. EMBO Reports, Sep;10(9):1059-65.
(*) Authors gave an equal contribution.

Rangan P., DeGennaro M., Jaime-Bustamante K. , Coux R., Martinho R.G., and Lehmann R. (2009). Temporal and spatial control of germ plasm RNAs. Current Biology, 19(1):72-7. (Times cited: 13*)

Pimenta-Marques, A., Tostões, R., Marty, T., Barbosa, V., Lehmann, R., Martinho R.G. (*) (2008). Differential requirements of a mitotic acetyltransferase in somatic and germ line cells. Developmental Biology, Nov 15; 323 (2): 197-206. (Times cited: 8*)

(*) corresponding author.

Martinho R.G., Kunwar P.S., Casanova J., and Lehmann R. (2004). A non-coding RNA is required for the repression of RNApolII-dependent transcription in primordial germ cells. Current Biology, 14 (2): 159-165. (Times cited: 69*)

(This publication was featured in “Science Editor’s Choice” for highlights in recent literature, Science, vol. 303, Feb 6, 2004; and “Research Notes”, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, vol. 11, Mar 2004).




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