The Ist Drug Delivery  in Microbial Cells (DDMiC) Conference will take place from the 30th of september to the 2nd of october 2021 in Porto, Portugal (Fundação Dr. António Cupertino Miranda).

DDMiC aims to become the 1st conference in the field, supporting the growth of the community working on drug delivery in microbial cells. This 1st conference will include talks from renowned invited experts and from selected abstracts (submitted below).

Registration is only 19.5 Eur (symbolic value to guarantee participant’s commitment), since it is financed by the European Commission’s H2020 programme through the DelNAM project.

Organizing Committee: Nuno F. Azevedo, Rita S. Santos, Nuno M. Guimarães

Staff: Mariana Gomes, João Santos, Beatriz Magalhães, Luís Moreira, Sara Pereira


Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)


9h - 9h30


9h30 - 9h45

Welcome Session

Session I: Nanomaterials and biologics to control microbes

9h45 - 10h15

Nucleic acid mimics (NAMs) delivery in microbial cells

Nuno F. Azevedo (LEPABE, University of Porto, Portugal)

10h15 - 10h45

Phage-capsid-packaged conjugative plasmids for dual-delivery of DNA therapeutics for CRISPR-Cas-mediated inactivation of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria.

Conrad Lichtenstein (Nemesis Bioscience, UK)

10h45 - 11h

Selected Abstract 1

11h - 11h25


11h30 - 11h45

Selected Abstract 2

11h45 - 12h15

Title to be confirmed

To be confirmed ()

12h15 - 12h30

Selected Abstract 3

12h30 - 14h


14h - 14h30

Controlling Microbial Dynamics Using Substrate Conductive Biointerfaces and Nanomaterials

Tagbo Niepa (University of Pittsburgh, USA)

14h30 - 14h45

Selected Abstract 4

14h45 - 15h

Selected Abstract 5

15h - 15h30

Drawing inspiration from nature to develop antifouling surfaces

Luciana Gomes (LEPABE, University of Porto, Portugal)

15h30 - 16h15


16h15 - 16h45

Title to be confirmed

To be Confirmed ()


Session II: Methodologies to study delivery and translocation in microbes

9h30 - 10h

Antibiotic accumulation and efficacy in single gram-negative bacteria

Stefano Pagliara (University of Exeter, UK)

10h - 10h15

Selected Abstract 6

10h15 - 10h45

Computational Microbiology of Bacterial Cell Envelopes: Expect the Unexpected.

Syma Khalid (University of Southampton, UK)

10h45 - 11h15


11h15 - 11h30

Selected Abstract 7

11h30 - 12h

Studying NusG function in live bacteria using single-molecule tracking

Hafez El Sayyed (University of Oxford, UK)

12h - 12h15

Selected Abstract 8

12h15 - 13h30


Session III: Industry perspective

13h30 - 14h

Title to be confirmed

Dirk Roymans (Janssen Pharmaceutical, Belgium)

14h - 14h30

Outer Membrane vesicles as vaccine antigen and delivery system

Mariagrazia Pizza (GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Italy)

14h30 - 15h

Immunomodulatory therapies for infectious diseases

Pedro Madureira (Immunethep, Portugal)

15h - 15h30


15h30 - 16h15

Round Table: Paths towards rational design of effective antimicrobial strategies


Social Event (Depending on the Covid-19 situation)


9h30 - 10h

Talk to a Senior Scientist

Session IV: Lessons from drug delivery in mammalian cells

10h - 10h30

Gene delivery to mammalian cells: trafficking, mechanisms and nanocarrier design

Marcos Garcia-Fuentes (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)

10h30 - 11h

Delivery of Bio-Therapeutics - Struggling with biological barriers

Stefaan De Smedt (Ghent University, Belgium)

11h - 11h30


11h30 - 12h

Selected Abstract 9

11h30 - 12h

Self-assembling dendrimer nanosystems in biomedical applications

Ling Peng (CINaM, CNRS, France)

12h - 12h15

Closing Remarks

Invited Speakers

Nuno F. Azevedo (LEPABE, University of Porto, Portugal)

Nuno Filipe Azevedo is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) and a researcher at the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy (LEPABE). During his research career he has authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed international journals, submitted 7 patents and co-edited two book. He has been invited to more than 30 oral presentations in national and international conferences and is regularly part of the scientific advisory committee of several international conferences. Nuno Azevedo main research interests are to explore the potential of nucleic acid mimics for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of infectious agents, as well as multispecies biofilms. He is currently leading the EU-funded project DelNAM, a project aims to develop a novel therapeutic approach to solve bacterial resistance to antibiotics through the delivery of antibacterial nucleic acid mimics into bacterial biofilms and cells within the human body.

Conrad Lichtenstein (Nemesis Bioscience, UK)

Conrad Lichtenstein is CSO and co-founder of Nemesis Bioscience, Cambridge, UK, to use CRISPR-Cas for inactivation of antibiotic resistance genes. Previously, Conrad was CSO of Population Genetics Technologies in Cambridge, co-founded by Sydney Brenner and by Sam Eletr, and developed DNA bar-coding for simultaneous analysis of candidate genes in mixed DNA samples of multiple genomes for the identification of rare variants associated with disease predisposition. After a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, and then a post-doctoral position at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, Conrad had a faculty position at Imperial College, London, and was subsequently Professor of Molecular Biology at Queen Mary, University of London. His research has included gene targeting by homologous recombination, RNAi engineering for virus resistance in plants and transposition by DNA elements spreading antibiotic resistance in bacteria.


Tagbo H. R. Niepa (University of Pittsburgh, USA)

Dr. Niepa is an assistant professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. He held a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania to develop new methods to study microbial dynamics in artificial microniches and thin films. He started his academic journey in the Ivory Coast, receiving his Associate Degree in Food Science and work experience at the Pasteur Institute. He then received his BSc in Bioengineering and PhD in Chemical Engineering (2014) with honors from Syracuse University. His doctoral study of the Electrochemical Control of Bacterial Persister Cells focused on developing a technology against drug-resistant and persistent bacteria (US patented). Dr. Niepa also co-founded in 2011 Helios Innovative Technologies Inc. (now PurpleSun Inc.), a medical device company that develops automated sterilization systems to fight bacterial cross-contamination. Since 2017, he leads the microBiointerface Lab (at Pitt) in multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems associated with microorganisms relevant to the environment, healthcare, and food industry.


Luciana Gomes (LEPABE, University of Porto, Portugal)


Luciana Gomes is a Junior Researcher in the Biofilm Engineering Laboratory (BEL) of the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy (LEPABE) and Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto (FEUP). She completed her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2016, working on the production of recombinant proteins in biofilms at FEUP under the supervision of Professor Filipe Mergulhão. Her research interests are mainly focused on antibiofilm/antimicrobial surfaces for industrial and biomedical settings. She has published 35 peer-reviewed papers (16 as first author and 2 as corresponding author), 5 book chapters, and participated in numerous international conferences and courses with the financial support of different funding agencies (19 oral communications, 2 conference proceedings, and 18 posters). She was supervisor/co-supervisor of 2 Ph.D. students (ongoing) and 3 Master students. Luciana Gomes works in the areas of Bioproducts, Medical Biotechnology (with an emphasis on Biomaterials), and Industrial Biotechnology (with an emphasis on the Food Industry).


Stefano Pagliara (University of Exeter, UK)


Dr Stefano Pagliara is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, United Kingdom. He performed his PhD in Nanoscience at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy, and he held a Postdoctoral research associate and fellow positions at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. His research focuses on the heterogeneity in cellular responses to environmental cues with an emphasis on antibiotic accumulation in Gram-negative bacteria. Besides standard microbiology techniques and omics approaches, he develops bespoke microfluidic devices. Such devices allow accurately controlling the microenvironment surrounding the cells and perform a series of functional assays on the very same individual cell. 


Syma Khalid (University of Southampton, UK)


Syma graduated with a first class degree in Chemistry from the University of Warwick in 2000. She remained at Warwick to read for a PhD under the supervision of Prof. P. Mark Rodger. After obtaining her PhD in 2003, she moved to the University of Oxford as a postdoc in Prof Mark Sansom’s lab, to study the structure-function relationship of bacterial outer membrane proteins. During her postdoctoral work, she became interested in understanding the structure-dynamics-function relationships within bacterial cell envelopes.. In 2007, she was appointed as RCUK fellow in chemical biology at the University of Southampton. In 2010, she was appointed to a full lectureship at Southampton. In 2012 She was promoted to Senior lecturer and  2016 she was promoted to Professor. In August 2021 she moved to the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.


Hafez El Sayyed (University of Oxford, UK)


Dr Hafez El Sayyed is currently a Postdoctoral research fellow in the Gene Machines lab at the Kavli institute, University of Oxford. His obtained his PhD in molecular microbiology from Paris-Saclay university studying the influence of supercoiling regulation on DNA replication in E. coli upon Topoisomerase IV inhibition by fluoroquinolones. His current work focuses on using single-molecule super-resolution imaging techniques to dissect bacterial transcription regulation at different instances of the transcription lifetime, as well as the regulation of DNA repair onset in response to DNA damaging antibiotics. He is also involved in both the fundamental and applied aspect of tackling antimicrobial resistance. 


Dirk Roymans (Janssen Pharmaceutical, Belgium)




Mariagrazia Pizza (GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Italy)




Mariagrazia Pizza received her degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at the University of Naples, Italy. Following a period at the EMBO laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany, Mariagrazia moved to Siena, Italy where she has been ever since, leading many bacterial projects. She has contributed to the discovery of a pertussis vaccine based on a genetically detoxified toxin, able to protect children from disease and to the discovery of new vaccine antigens by genome mining (reverse vaccinology), which are the basis of a new MenB vaccine now licensed in more than 40 countries worldwide. Mariagrazia is currently Senior Scientific Director for Bacterial Vaccines at GSK, and Preclinical Head at GVGH, the GSK Vaccine Institute for Global Health. She has received many scientific awards and is elected member of EMBO, of the European Academy of Microbiology and Academia Euopaea, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Vice President of IUMS (International Unit of Microbiology Societies). Mariagrazia is also Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester. She has over 200 publications and is co-inventor of many patents.

Pedro Madureira (Immunethep, Portugal)



Pedro Madureira has graduated in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) and obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS) of the same university. Pedro Madureira is co-founder and CSO of Immunethep, a biotech company focused on the development of antibacterial immunotherapies. Currently, the main research interest is to understand microbial virulence mechanisms that are responsible to avert host immune system and induce disease. This research led to the development of Immunethep’s immunotherapies, that target an immunosuppressive protein excreted by different multi-resistant bacteria.


Marcos Garcia-Fuentes (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)



Marcos Garcia-Fuentes is a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (1998) and Ph.D. in Pharmacy (2004) from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC). His thesis aimed at designing new lipid/polymer nanoparticles for protein delivery and was performed under the supervision of Prof. Maria J. Alonso and Dolores Torres. In this period, Marcos was a visiting researcher at Purdue University, under the supervision of Prof. Nicholar Peppas. From 2005- 2007 he joined the group of Prof. Hans Peter Merkle and Dr. Lorenz Meinel at ETH Zurich, as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral researcher. In 2007, he joined USC with a tenure-track junior PI contract. In 2013, he was promoted to Reader and in 2020 to Associate Professor. Marcos is the team leader of the BiDD (Biomaterials & Drug Delivery) research group at the Center for Research in Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases (CiMUS), USC, since 2017. His group focuses on the design of new biotechnology-based nanomaterials for pharmaceutical applications. Marcos has 60 publications, with more than 4000 citations. He is co-inventor of 7 patents, two of them transferred to industry. He is involved in 19 research grants with over 7M€ in funding.

Stefaan De Smedt (Ghent University, Belgium)



Stefaan De Smedt  studied pharmacy. He joined the Janssen Research Foundation and became Professor at Ghent University in 1999. He served as dean of his Faculty (2010-2014) and is a member of the Board of Directors of Ghent University and the Ghent University Hospital. He has been a Guest Professor at various universities in Belgium and China.  Since 2004 he serves as the European  Editor of the JCR, currently as Deputy Editor-in-Chief. His research is at the interface between drug delivery, biophysics and material sciences. He is the (co-)author of > 350 manuscripts including contributions to Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nature biotechnology, Nature Drug Discovery Reviews. He has been the (co-) promoter of > 50 doctoral theses; 8 of his fellows are professors at various faculties, 4 of them received most prestigious Grants from the ERC. He filed +20 patents and is a scientific founder of Memobead Technologies. He is a member of EURASC, the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine and the Académie Nationale de Pharmacie of France.

Ling Peng (CINaM, CNRS, France)




Dr. Ling Peng is currently a CNRS research director in the Interdisciplinary Center on Nanoscience in Marseille at Aix-Marseille University in France. She carried her PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and her postdoctoral research at University of Strasbourg in France. Dr. Ling Peng has been working actively at the interface of chemistry and biology, and in particular, developing functional dendrimers for biomedical applications, molecular probes for exploring biological events and nucleoside derivatives for drug discovery. She has established bio-inspired and self-assembling supramolecular dendrimers to deliver various nucleic acids, drugs and imaging agents for cancer treatment and imaging. One of the dendrimer nanosystems has been schedule for clinical studies. Her research team was labelled by La Ligue contre le Cancer in France. She was awarded with the Prize of Dr & Mme Henri Labbé of the French Academy of Sciences, and granted as Distinguished Member of the French Chemical Society in 2020.



Venue: Fundação Dr. António Cupertino Miranda.

Address: Av. da Boavista 4245, 4100-140, Porto, Portugal.

Travel and Accommodation

How to get to Porto, Portugal


By Plane

The nearest airport is the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, about 17Km away from the city centre (RECOMMENDED).

Alternatively, you can fly to the Lisbon Portela Airport in Lisbon, about 300Km away from Porto, and then take another flight to the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport or a train to São Bento station.

By Metro or Bus

From the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport to Porto’s City Centre

The easiest way is to take the metro at the airport (E line – lilac) and get off at Trindade. Here, you should take another train (D line – yellow) and get off at Aliados. The entire travel will take around 35 minutes. You can buy metro tickets at the airport.

Alternatively, you can take the bus 601 and get off at Cordoaria, though it takes longer (50min). You can check bus timetables here and buy the tickets inside the bus.

How to get to the Venue


By Metro or Bus

You can take:
- bus 202 at Av. aliados and get off at R.crasto.
- bus 501 at Pr. Filipa Lencastre and get off at Prof. melo Adrião.
- bus 502 at Bolhão (Firmeza) and get off at Parque da Cidade.

You can buy the tickets inside the bus.

Where to Stay


Porto City House ****
ADDRESS: Rua Beato Inácio de Azevedo n.º175, Ramalde, 4100-284 Porto, Portugal
CONTACT: +351 222 458 220

HF Tuela ***
ADDRESS: Rua Arquitecto Marques Da Silva, 200, 4150-483 Porto, Portugal
CONTACT: +351 226 194 100 / +351 226 004 747

Porto Charming Hotel ***
ADDRESS: R. da Firmeza 101, 4000-099 Porto, Portugal

Hotel Boa-Vista ***
ADDRESS: Esplanada Do Castelo Nº 58, Foz do Douro, 4150-196 Porto, Portugal
CONTACT: +351 225 320 020

Hotel Aliados ***
DISTANCE TO VENUE: 6,2 km (Situated in Porto's city centre)
ADDRESS: R. Elísio de Melo 27, 4000-196 Porto
CONTACT: +351 22 200 4853

Hotel Ibis Porto Centro Mercado Do Bolhão ***
DISTANCE TO VENUE: 6,8 km (Situated in Porto's city centre)
ADDRESS: Rua Sá da Bandeira 567 2nd floor 4000-437 PORTO, PORTUGAL
CONTACT: +351 227 669 100


Registrations are now open!

Registration Deadline: 10th September (extended)

Registration Fee: 19.5 Eur

To register, please fill in the form below, transfer the registration fee and send the proof of payment, according to the instructions below.

    Invoice Information
    (Information that you need in the invoice the organization will send you after your payment)

    Payment Information
    Please transfer the registration fee to:

    Amount: 19.5Eur
    NIB: 0010 0000 47393260001 22
    IBAN: PT5O 0010 0000 4739 3260 0012 2

    Please send the proof of payment (pdf) to Please be aware that your registration will only be considered valid upon receival of this e-mail.

    If you run into any issue, please contact

    Abstract Submission

    Don't miss your chance to present your work at DDMiC!.
    Abstracts must be written in English. Please refer to the Abstract Rules and the Abstract Template files for Submission Rules.

    Abstract Submission Deadline: 27th August (extended)

    Abstract Acceptance Notification: 1st September

      Contact Information

      Rita S. Santos (Project Manager)

      Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto

      PHONE: +351 969 757 873

      Nuno F. Azevedo (Project Leader)

      Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto

      PHONE: +351 969 754 859