Care was taken to form groups balanced in terms of the students' educational background. This encouraged students to help one another.

All students

Sónia Cristina Santos Martins


My name is SóMnia Martins, I am Portuguese and I was born on the 26th June of 1983.
I have a degree in Biochemistry by the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto. As a trainee I spent six months at the platform of biophysics of macromolecules and their interactions in the Unity of Structural Biochemistry at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. I worked on the structural and physico-chemical characterization of an FHA-domain containing protein form M.tuberculosis, under the supervision of Dr Patrick England. I had the opportunity to learn several biophysical techniques like microcalorimetry, SPR, CD, analytical ultracentrifugation, DLS and crystallography. I also used fundamental molecular biology techniques to clone and ultimately produce the protein of interest.
After this experience, I moved back to Portugal to work on amyloid proteins in the unity of molecular structure at IBMC, specifically a transthyretin-like protein from A. thaliana.
Finally, I applied to the PhD Program in Computational Biology organised by the Gulbenkian Institute and I'm now at the Centre for Systems Biology at the University of Birmingham as a PhD student.

PhD Project

Supervisor: Jan Kreft

Cosupervisor: Christopher M Thomas

Laboratory: Centre for Systems Biology, School of Biosciences

University: University of Birmingham


Modeling of plasmid dynamics and persistence in a community of hosts. University of Birmingham, UK (2012) pp.290.


Lardon LA, Merkey BV, Martins S, Dötsch A, Picioreanu C, Kreft JU & Smets BF. iDynoMiCS: next-generation individual-based modelling of biofilms. Environmental Microbiology (2011) 13, 2416-2434.

Joao Pessoa, Zsuzsa Sarkany, Frederico Ferreira-da-Silva, Sonia Martins, Maria R Almeida, Jianming Li and Ana M Damas. Functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana transthyretin-like protein. BMC Plant Biology (2010) 10, 30.

England P, Wehenkel A, Martins S, Hoos S, André-Leroux G, Villarino A, Alzari PM.. The FHA-containing protein GarA acts as a phosphorylation-dependent molecular switch in mycobacterial signaling.. FEBS letters (2009) 583, 301-7.