ESR 6: Ana Rita de Lima Fernandes - July 2017

Title: Biotransformation of fluorinated amino acids by Cunninghamella elegans

Host University:University College Dublin, Ireland

Accommodation:7 Farrenboley Park, Dublin, Ireland

Science: The fate of fluorinated amino acids in the human body is still unknown. In order to investigate their biotransformation, amino acids with variable degree of fluorine content were tested using the fungus Cunninghamella elegans as a model for the human metabolism.

Preliminary F NMR results from the biotransformation studies by C. elegans point to the presence of different fluorinated metabolites in the extracted medium for all the fluorinated amino acids studied. Further characterization studies are being performed.

New Skills acquired

New cognitive Skills

  • Work in a biological laboratory;
  • Work with living organisms: growth, culture conditions and incubation of Cunninghamella elegans.

New technical skills learned

  • Working under sterile conditions;
  • Use of the autoclave;
  • Improved 19F NMR knowledge.

New interpersonal skills obtained

  • Working for a short period of time in a different laboratory;
  • Working with people with a different scientific background;
  • Time management.