Dr. Fernandes completed his PhD studies in Mariusz Jaskolski’s Lab, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań, Poland, where he trained in X-ray crystallography. He moved to Ireland to carry out postdoctoral work with Amir Khan (Trinity College Dublin), then joined Stephen Curry’s research group (Imperial College London, UK), expanding and integrating his skills in crystallography with other structural and biophysics techniques. Moving back to Poland, as a semi-independent researcher in Matthias Bochtler’s lab (Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw), he has continued using structural biology focused on a project involving DNA sequencing. He has led two scientific grants as PI, mentored two master thesis students, and published eighteen peer-reviewed papers, which collectively have been cited over 700 times. He started his career as a group leader at the ICTER in September 2020. His scientific interest focuses on understanding the mechanisms that drive cell function in health and disease at the atomic and molecular levels.
Scientific and research initiatives by Dr. Humberto Fernandes:
1. 04/2023: Project coordinator of the iNEXT-discovery project “Structural elucidation of retinol binding protein 3 (RBP3) with different retinoids” (PID: 25721) supported by iNEXT-Discovery, project number 871037, funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.
2. 04/2023: Project coordinator of the iNEXT-discovery project “Structural characterization by X-ray crystallography of mammalian RBP3” (PID: 25420) supported by iNEXTDiscovery, project number 871037, funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.
3. 02/2023: Award of the Minister of Education and Science for significant achievements in scientific activities for the team of Prof. Prof. Matthias Bochtler.
4. 01/2023: Project coordinator for cryo-EM beamline access project “Structural studies of Retinol-binding protein 3” (Proposal 222017) under the provision of the Polish Ministry of Education and Science project: ‘‘Support for research and development with the use of research infrastructure of the National Synchrotron Radiation Centre SOLARIS’’ under contract no. 1/SOL/2021/2.
5. 10/2022: Project coordinator of the iNEXT-discovery project “Structural studies of Retinol-binding protein 3” (PID: 23732) supported by iNEXT-Discovery, project number 871037, funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.
6. 09/2022: Project coordinator of the iNEXT-discovery project “A protein structural biology approach to understanding morphological changes in photoreceptor outer segment after light activation: a closer look at PDE6” (PID: 22852) supported by iNEXTDiscovery, project number 871037, funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.
7. 03/2022: Project coordinator of the iNEXT-discovery project “Retinol-binding protein 3 (RBP3): ligand binding, cooperativity, and conformational changes” (PID: 17551) supported by iNEXT-Discovery, project number 871037, funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.
8. 02/2016 to 01/2020: Project manager and Principal investigator of the OPUS9 project “Non-catalytic domains of the RNA-guided DNA methyltransferase DRM2” from the National Science Centre Poland (NCN) (grant agreement 2015/17/B/NZ1/00861) (Budget 907200.0 PLN)
9. 10/2013 to 12/2015: Project manager and Principal investigator of the HOMING PLUS project “Plant-specific methyltransferase DNA structures” from Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) (grant agreement HOMING PLUS/2013-7/5) (Budget 327800.0 PLN)
10. 03/2015: Project coordinator of the BioStruct-X project “Non-catalytic domains of the RNA-guide DNA metyltransferase DRM2” (No. 9586) from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under BioStruct-X (grant agreement N°283570)
11. 11/2007 to 11/2009: Principal researcher in the research project “Structural and biochemical studies of plant PR-10 proteins from different sources” (No. N N204 2584 33) sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Budget 40000.0 PLN)
12. 08/2007: RCSB PDB Poster prize awarded at 24th European Crystallographic Meeting ECM24
13. 12/2004 to 11/2007: Marie Curie Host Fellowship for Early Research Training of the EU
14. 11/2003 to 10/2004: Initiation to investigation scholarship from the project POCTI/BME/47604/2002, on the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia program: “Structural studies on the proteasome maturation factor (Ump1p) and its complex with proteasome precursors”
15. 03/2002 to 08/2002: Initiation to investigation scholarship from the project POCTI/32621/BME/2000, on the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia program: “The 20S and 26S proteasome assembly pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”.
- Kaushik V, Gessa L, Kumar N, Fernandes H, (2023) Towards a New Biomarker for Diabetic Retinopathy: Exploring RBP3 Structure and Retinoids Binding for Functional Imaging of Eyes In Vivo. International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ ijms24054408
- Liu J-J, Fernandes H, Zamany A, Sikorski M, Jaskolski M, Sniezko RA, (2021) In-vitro anti-fungal assay and association analysis reveal a role for the Pinus monticola PR10 gene (PmPR10-3.1) in quantitative disease resistance to white pine blister rust. Genome doi: 10.1139/gen-2020-0080.
- Bochtler M, Fernandes H, (2020) DNA adenine methylation in eukaryotes: Enzymatic mark or a form of DNA damage? BioEssays e2000243. DOI: 10.1002/bies.202000243
- Nowacka M, Fernandes H, Kiliszek A, Bernat A, Lach G, Bujnicki JM (2019) Specific interaction of zinc finger protein Com with RNA and the crystal structure of a selfcomplementary RNA duplex recognized by Com. PLoS ONE 14(4): e0214481. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214481
- Fernandes H*, Czapinska H*, Grudziaz K, Bujnicki JM, Nowacka M. (2018) Crystal structure of human Acinus RNA recognition motif domain. PeerJ 6:e5163. Doi:10.7717/peerj.5163 * Co-first authors
- Fernandes H, Pastor M, Bochtler M. (2016) Type II and type V CRISPR effector nucleases from a structural biologist’s prespective. Postepy Biochemii, 62: 315-326.
- Fernandes H*, Leen EN, Cromwell H Jr, Pfeil MP, Curry S. (2015) Structure determination of Murine Norovirus NS6 protease with C-terminal extensions designed to probe protease-substrate interactions. PeerJ 3:e798. doi:10.7717/peerj.798. * Corresponding Author
- Sa-Moura B, Simoes AM, Fernandes H, Fraga J, Abreu IA, Botelho HM, Gomes CM, Marques AJ, Dohmen RJ, Ramos PC, Macedo-Ribeiro S. (2013) Biochemical and biophysical characterization of the recombinant yeast proteasome maturation factor UMP1. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 7: e201304006. doi:10.5936/csbj.201304006.
- Fernandes H, Michalska K, Sikorski M, Jaskolski M. (2013) Structural and functional aspects of PR-10 proteins. FEBS J. 280: 1169-1199. ‘
- McGovern RE, Fernandes H, Khan AR, Power NP, Crowley PB. (2012) Protein camouflage in cytochrome c-calixarene complexes. Nat. Chem. 4: 527-533.
- Fernandes H, Franklin E, Jollivet F, Bliedtner K, Khan AR. (2012) Mapping the Interactions between a RUN Domain from DENND5/Rab6IP1 and Sorting Nexin 1. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35637. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035637.
- Fernandes H, Franklin E, Khan AR. (2011) Crystallization of an engineered RUN domain of Rab6-Interacting Protein 1/DENND5. Acta Cryst. F67: 556-560.
- Michalska K, Fernandes H, Sikorski M, Jaskolski M. (2010) Crystal structure of Hyp-1, a St. John’s wort protein implicated in the biosynthesis of hypericin. J. Struct. Biol. 169: 161-171.
- Fernandes H, Franklin E, Recacha R, Houdusse A, Goud B, Khan AR. (2009) Structural aspects of Rab6-effector complexes. Biochem Soc Trans. 37: 1037-1041.
- Fernandes H, Bujacz A, Bujacz G, Jelen F, Jasinski M, Kachlicki P, Otlewski J, Sikorski MM, Jaskolski M. (2009) Cytokinin-induced structural adaptability of a Lupinus Luteus PR-10 protein. FEBS J. 276: 1596-1609.
- Fernandes H, Konieczna M, Kolodziejczyk R, Bujacz G, Sikorski M, Jaskolski M. (2008) Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic studies of Hyp-1, a St John’s wort protein implicated in the biosynthesis of hypericin. Acta Cryst. F64: 405-408.
- Fernandes H, Pasternak O, Bujacz G, Bujacz A, Sikorski MM, Jaskolski M. (2008) L. Luteus pathogenesis-related protein as a reservoir for cytokinin. J. Mol. Biol. 378: 1040- 1051.
- Rotllant J, Guerreiro PM, Redruello B, Fernandes, H, Apolónia L, Anjos L, Canário AV, Power DM. (2006) Ligand binding and signalling pathways of PTH receptors in sea bream (Sparus auratus) enterocytes. Cell Tissue Res. 323: 333-41.
- Rotllant J, Redruello B, Guerreiro PM, Fernandes H, Canário AV, Power DM. (2005) Calcium mobilization from fish scales is mediated by parathyroid hormone related protein via parathyroid hormone type 1 receptor. Regul. Pept. 132: 33-40, 2005.
- Rotllant J, Fernandes H, Redruello B, Guerreiro PM, Anjos L, Fuentes J, Canario AVM, Power DM. (2005) Studies on truncated forms of the (1-34) N-terminal peptide of parathyroid hormone-related protein defines regions important for activity. Avances en Endocrinología Comparada. Vol.II/J. P. Castaño, M. M. Malagón, S. Garcia Navarro (eds.), Córdoba: Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de Córdoba, ISBN 84-7801-757- 7.
- Fernandes H, Rotllant J, Redruello B, Guerreiro PM, Canario AVM, Power DM. (2005) Characterization of parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor in fish scales. Avances en Endocrinología Comparada. Vol.II/J. P. Castaño, M. M. Malagón, S. Garcia Navarro (eds.), Córdoba: Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de Córdoba, ISBN 84-7801-757- 7.