Meet the SGS Global Biosciences Center Team and find out about their backgrounds and experience.

SGS Global Biosciences Center
Joao Silva Rodrigues

Joao Silva Rodrigues, PhD.

Director – SGS Global Biosciences Center

A skilled manager, Joao is passionate about the essential role that innovation, people and technology can play to create a better world. He brings many years of scientific experience in the healthcare and life sciences sectors and applies this expertise to work on innovation for other markets.

Before joining SGS, Joao contributed to several European research programs focused on parasitic diseases. In his last role at Beta-I, he was responsible running Healthcare and Life Sciences Open Innovation Programs.

Joao holds a PhD in Chemistry.

Willem van Strien

Willem van Strien, MSc.

Project Coordinator – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Willem is principal consultant with over 10 years of experience in consultancy and integrated project work within the oil and gas sector. He has extensive expertise on geological modelling, field souring and microbial-related production issues. He has developed innovative services for SGS and brings commercial acumen and project management skills to the team.

Prior to initiating the establishment of the SGS Global Biosciences Center, Willem established the SGS Microbial Risk Assessment Services (MiRAS), which provides critical risk assessment and mitigation services for the oil and gas sector.

Willem holds a MSc in Geology.

Vanessa Zuzarte

Vanessa Zuzarte Luís, PhD.

Chief Molecular Scientist – SGS Global Biosciences Center

A cellular and molecular biologist with nearly two decades of research experience, Vanessa brings in-depth expertise of the application molecular technologies in parasitology, metabolism, embryology, and most recently COVID-19 diagnostics. She has planned and executed multi-omics techniques, including genomics (microarrays, RNA-sequencing), proteomics and metabolomics.

Prior to joining SGS, Vanessa established and coordinated a COVID-19 molecular diagnostic laboratory and acted as consultant to help design testing strategies and guide the implementation of molecular diagnostic pipelines.

Vanessa holds a degree in Biology and a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology.

Monica Martins Neves

Mónica Martins Neves, PhD.

Chief Microbiologist – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Mónica has over 15 years’ experience in environmental microbiology, based on sulphate-reducing bacteria. She has in-depth experience in the isolation and characterization of microorganisms from the environment and their application in bioremediation processes, and bioreactor operation and development.

Mónica’s career has been dedicated to developing green and sustainable solutions for global environmental problems, such as the removal of recalcitrant pollutants and metals, the biological production of non-fossil fuels, such as hydrogen and CO2 reduction.

Mónica holds a degree in Biotechnological Engineering and a PhD in Environmental Biotechnology.

Sara Lopes Pardal

Sara Lopes Pardal, PhD.

Environmental Biologist (eDNA specialist) – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Sara is an ecology scientist with 12 years of applied research and extensive fieldwork experience with wild animals, ecology and environmental studies. Research was mostly dedicated to bird ecology, from host-parasite interactions, vector-borne diseases, immunology, genetics and molecular evolution to conservation.

She has conducted a range of research/conservation projects, consultancy and biodiversity studies in Europe and West Africa. Many of the research or applied conservation projects were coordinated with multidisciplinary international researchers, state institutions, local authorities and civil society.

Sara holds a degree in Biology, a MSc in Ecology and a PhD in Biosciences.

Filipe Tavares Cadete

Filipe Tavares Cadete, PhD.

Bioinformatics Expert – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Filipe is a highly adaptable, end-to-end bioinformatician and data scientist with expertise in machine learning and experience in the analysis of high-volume data in both high-performance clusters and smaller-scale computing setups. He is involved in every step of analysis, from data wrangling to visualization and presentation of findings, including data processing, modelling and integration of external datasets.

Filipe has worked with a variety of data types, including ontologies, images, and sequencing data, and has over a decade of experience in the analysis of NGS datasets.

Filipe holds a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics, a MSc in Bioinformatics and a PhD in Bioinformatics.

Sara Mateus

Sara Mateus, MSc.

Laboratory Technical Supervisor – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Sara helps to setup and manage the SGS Global Biosciences Center administration and laboratory operations on a day-to-day basis to ensure that high technical quality is maintained. She builds on a strong and varied academic and industrial track-record, is well organized and very resilient.

Sara has a strong interest in biological sciences, technological development and ensuring that scientific knowledge and its applications are in complete synergy.

Sara holds an BSc in Microbiology and an MSc in Biotechnology.

Maria Fernandes Oliveira

Maria Oliveira Fernandes, PhD.

Molecular Biology Expert Technician – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Maria is a biomedical laboratory scientist with 8 years of experience in a variety of clinical laboratories. She has developed a strong interest in the development of molecular biology techniques for the detection of microorganisms in unconventional matrices, as environmental samples (freshwaters and soils).

Prior to SGS, Maria has developed short-term research projects in Paris and New Zealand. Together with local authorities and a multidisciplinary team, she also conducted a molecular and epidemiological study focused on environmental risk assessment and disease prevention on human populations.

Maria holds a degree in Biomedical Lab Sciences, a MSc in Tropical Health, and a PhD in Tropical Diseases and Global Health.

Magdalena Lewicka

Magdalena Lewicka, MSc.

Molecular Biology Expert Technician – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Magdalena is a molecular biology scientist with nearly a decade of experience. During her career she has worked with variety of molecular analysis methods, such as fragment analysis or sanger sequencing. In recent years, she has primarily been dedicated to Next Generation Sequencing. She has a strong background in implementing and carrying out services, such as whole genome, amplicon, gene panel and RNA sequencing.

Magdalena is strengthening the CoE Molecular Biology Laboratory operations on a day-to-day basis ensuring high technical quality is maintained.

Magdalena holds a Master of Science and Engineering in Molecular Biotechnology and Technical Biochemistry.

Daniel Neves

Daniel Neves, MSc.

Bioinformatics Specialist – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Daniel has nine years of experience as a bioinfomatics specialist at two top biomedical institutes in Lisbon, Portugal. He worked at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência where he was involved in the analysis of a variety high-throughput NGS data for RNA expression, RNA regulation, epigenetics and genomics studies. In addition, he designed tools for analysis and visualization of large-scale datasets in omics experiments and ELIXIR European infrastructure consultancy services, supporting Portuguese researchers and SMEs in their data analysis.

He is particularly interested in how data visualization can help understand large datasets, avoid mistakes and uncover new information.

Daniel holds a BSc in Computer Engineering, and a MSc in Bioinfomatics and Computational Biology from the Faculty of Sciences University of Lisbon.

Aristides Mendes

Aristides Mendes, PhD.

Microbiology & Bioreactors Expert Technician – SGS Global Biosciences Center

Aristides has extensive know-how in microbiology and molecular biology, acquired over the last eight years, with a special focus in the genetic manipulation of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, bacterial cultures growth and fluorescence microscopy. He has developed strong skills in the development and implementation of new solutions to solve new challenges.

Aristides has contributed important findings to unravel a new resistance mechanism of a pathogenic species and was involved in the characterization of biofilms of anaerobic bacteria. In addition, during the pandemic, Aristides joined the COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory, implementing his knowledge in molecular biology and developing extra skills in a rigorous and controlled environment while following clear SOPs.

Aristides holds a Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biosciences, an MSc in Biotechnology and a PhD in Molecular BioSciences.