I am a PhD in Molecular Biology (FCT-NOVA /2019) with extensive experience in antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, and peptidoglycan biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus. My main research interests are in bacterial pathogenesis and molecular bacteriology namely: intracellular persistence, antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, peptidoglycan biosynthesis, stringent response, transcription regulation, genetic competence and mechanobiology (rheology). Currently I am a contracted researcher at the Intracellular Microbial Infection Biology (IMIB) Laboratory hosted at Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB-NOVA). I have performed postdocs at the Molecular Microbiology of Bacterial Pathogens Lab (P.I.: Rita Sobral), at Laboratory of Molecular Genetics (P.I.: H. de Lencastre) and at Microbial Stress Lab (P.I.: Sofia Pauleta). During these postdocs I was responsible for the introduction on new research lines in the host labs such as the production of bacterial cellulose for wound dressing applications and the development of copper and silver NHC conjugated compounds as antimicrobials against several pathogens. I have authored 9 peer-reviewed journal articles, 7 conference proceedings and 1 book chapter, among which 14 as first-author with a total of 408 citations (Google scholar). I have participated in 12 Research Grants both from national and international funding agencies, one as a Principal Investigator. My work was presented in 10 oral presentations in conferences and seminars and in 30 communications in panel in national and international conferences. I have extensive experience in supervision of undergraduate and graduate students with a total of 17 supervisions and co-supervisions of national and international students from bachelor degrees, master degrees, Erasmus program and MSc laboratory rotations. Concerning teaching activity, I was invited to be assistant in the module "Introduction to Microbiology, Microbial Genetics and Recombinant DNA Technology in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes" of the Medical Microbiology Master and I was teaching practical classes of the disciplines "Biochemistry of Foods" and "Chemistry and Biochemistry of Foods" from the Department of Chemistry of FCT-NOVA, offered to several BSc and MSc courses. I am an ad-hoc reviewer for PeerJ and PLOS ONE, and I have participated in 8 jury committees as main opponent in MSc and BSc examinations. I was also an evaluator of an international grant. I was recently awarded with a Research Grant, as PI, from the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) - Research Grant 2022, to study the role of a new bacteriocin system in S. aureus. I have always been involved in dissemination activities such as the ITQB-open day, Expo-FCT, European Researcher's night and the Feira Internacional de Ciência (FIC.A). I was also member of the Task Force for COVID-19, performing RT-PCR testing during the covid pandemics.

Personal identification

Full name
Raquel Pereira Portela

Citation names

  • Portela, R.

Author identifiers

Ciência ID
Google Scholar ID
Researcher Id
Scopus Author Id

Email addresses

  • raquel.portela@itqb.unl.pt (Professional)

Knowledge fields

  • Natural sciences - Biological Sciences - Molecular Biology
Degree Classification
Biologia (Doutoramento)
Major in Biologia Molecular
Universidade Nova de Lisboa Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Portugal
"New studies in the resistance to ß-lactams and in cell wall damage survival in Staphylococcus aureus: an integrated approach." (THESIS/DISSERTATION)


Book chapter
  1. Portela, R.; Almeida, P.L.; Sobral, R. G.; Leal, C. R.. "S. aureus and E. coli Co-culture Growth Under Shear". In Springer Proceedings in Materials, 108-112. Springer 10.1007/978-3-030-27701-7_23, 2019.
Journal article
  1. Portela, R.; N. Faria; M. Miragaia; M. Mwangi; H. de Lencastre; A. Tomasz; R. Sobral. "Analysis of a Cell Wall Mutant Highlights Rho-Dependent Genome Amplification Events in Staphylococcus aureus.". Microbiology Spectrum (2022): https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.02483-21.
    Published • https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.02483-21
  2. Almeida, Ana P.C.; Saraiva, João N.; Cavaco, Gonçalo; Portela, R.; Leal, Catarina R.; Sobral, Rita G.; Almeida, Pedro L.. "Crosslinked bacterial cellulose hydrogels for biomedical applications". European Polymer Journal (2022): 111438. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2022.111438.
    Published • 10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2022.111438
  3. Portela, R.; F. Valcovo,; P. L. Almeida, ; R. G. Sobral, ; C. R. Leal.. "Antibiotic Activity Screened by the Rheology of S. aureus Cultures". Fluids 5 2 (2020): 76. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/fluids5020076.
    Published • 10.3390/fluids5020076
  4. Gonçalves, B. V. *; Portela, R. *; R. Lobo ; T. A. Figueiredo; I. R. Grilo; A. M. Ludovice; H. de Lencastre; J. S. Dias; R. G. Sobral. "Role of MurT C-Terminal Domain in the Amidation of Staphylococcus aureus Peptidoglycan". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 63 10 (2019): http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aac.00957-19 *co-first author.
    Published • 10.1128/aac.00957-19
  5. Portela, R.; C. R. Leal; P. L. Almeida; R. G. Sobral. "Bacterial cellulose: a versatile biopolymer for wound dressing applications". Microbial Biotechnology 12 4 (2019): 586-610. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1751-7915.13392.
    Published • 10.1111/1751-7915.13392
  6. Portela, R.; P. L. Almeida; R. G. Sobral; C. R. Leal. "Motility and cell shape roles in the rheology of growing bacteria cultures". The European Physical Journal E 42 3 (2019): http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epje/i2019-11787-9.
    Published • 10.1140/epje/i2019-11787-9
  7. Portela, R.; Patrício, P.; Almeida, P. L.; Sobral, R. G.; Franco, J. M.; Leal, C. R.. Corresponding author: Leal, C. R.. "Rotational tumbling of Escherichia coli aggregates under shear". Physical Review E 94 6 (2016): http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physreve.94.062402.
    Published • 10.1103/physreve.94.062402
  8. Patrício, P.; Almeida, P. L.; Portela, R.; Sobral, R. G.; Grilo, I. R.; Cidade, T.; Leal, C. R.. "Living bacteria rheology: Population growth, aggregation patterns, and collective behavior under different shear flows". Physical Review E 90 2 (2014): http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physreve.90.022720.
    Published • 10.1103/physreve.90.022720
  9. Portela, R.; Almeida, P. L.; Patrício, P.; Cidade, T.; Sobral, R. G.; Leal, C. R.. "Real-time rheology of actively growing bacteria". Physical Review E 87 3 (2013): http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physreve.87.030701.
    Published • 10.1103/physreve.87.030701


European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Switzerland