Area of scientific activity
Physical-Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Thermochemistry, Computational Thermochemistry
Domain of specialization
L. Amaral concluded her PhD in Physical Chemistry and Thermodynamics from the University of Porto-UP and was invited to work as a Research Assistant at Molecular and Supramolecular Thermodynamics group, CIQUP, an internationally leading laboratory in Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, where she worked until 2014. L. Amaral acquired a strong background in both, experimental (calorimetric and non-calorimetric methods) and computational techniques for the determination of thermodynamic properties of organic compounds.
From 2015 to 2018, L. Amaral was integrated as a researcher at UCIBIO-REQUIMTE, working on a project to develop new approaches to combat diabetes. The work developed included virtual screening methods for the identification of new chemical entities that can potentially bind to the diabetes protein targets and in vitro testing of the selected compounds.
In 2019, L. Amaral was awarded a 6-year research assistant contract grant within the competitive IF Programme funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. The project will be developed at LAQV-REQUIMTE and aims to provide a quantitative description of the interactions of insulin-like vanadium complexes on the various physical properties of model biological membranes, in order to develop a new generation of effective Diabetes Mellitus therapies with enormous potential to overcome the physical and physicochemical obstacles.
Present research interest
- Energetic-structure correlations. Evaluation of the influence of substituents on the thermodynamic stabilities of organic molecules, considering the relationships among structural, energetic and reactivity properties.
- Development of predictive schemes of enthalpies of formation in the gas phase for compounds not experimentally studied.
- Drug discovery. Molecular docking for structure-based drug discovery and in vitro studies for the evaluation of enzyme inhibition activity of drugs and kinetic studies by spectrophotometric microassays.
- Drug-membrane interactions. Biophysical study of insulin-like vanadium complexes with membranes using spectroscopic and calorimetric methods.
L.M.P.F.Amaral, P. Szterner, V.M.F.Morais, M.D.M.C.Ribeiro da Silva, M.A.V.Ribeiro da Silva, Energetic characterization of uracil derivatives: orotic and isoorotic acids Thermochim. Acta, 2020, 683, 178474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tca.2019.178474
S.Ferreira, A. Leite, T. Moniz, M. Andrade, L.M.P.F. Amaral, Baltazar de Castro, M. Rangel, EPR and 51V NMR studies of prospective anti-diabetic bis(3-hydroxy-4-pyridinonato) oxidovanadium(IV) complexes in aqueous solution and liposome suspensions, New J. Chem., 2018, 42, 8088–8097. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7NJ04678B
P. Szterner, L.M.P.F.Amaral,V.M.F.Morais, M.D.M.C.Ribeiro da Silva, M.A.V.Ribeiro da Silva, Energetic characterization of a bioactive compound: Uridine, J. Chem. Thermodyn., 2018, 124, 90–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jct.2018.04.013
T.M.T. Carvalho, L.M.P.F. Amaral, V.M.F. Morais, M.D.M.C. Ribeiro da Silva, Energetic effect of the carboxylic acid functional group in indole derivatives, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2017, 121, 2980–2989. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.7b00275
L.M.P.F. Amaral, M.A.V. Ribeiro da Silva, Calorimetric Study of Bromoacetophenone Isomers J. Chem. Thermodyn., 2014, 78, 254-259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jct.2014.06.028