The fundamental research carried out by this group is intimately associated with practical applications. The scientific interests of the majority of the researchers are centered on the synthesis of compounds with potential biological activity. Examples of such compounds include various heterocycles containing nitrogen, oxygen and/or sulphur atoms and fused rings incorporating these heteroatoms. New synthetic methods and intermediates have been developed that provide access to compounds which are difficult to prepare by traditional approaches. Many of these target structures are of interest as a result of their possible activity, for example as antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, tuberculostatic or antipsychotic agents.
The development of these synthetic procedures is accompanied, wherever possible, by molecular modelling studies and biological activity assessment, carried out in collaboration with portuguese and foreign partners.
Some of the projects currently underway are directed towards the synthesis of dyes and fluorescent or photochromic compounds that may find application as sensors in biological systems.