The Discoveries Centre

VISION To create a unique and sustainable multipolar centre of excellence on Regenerative and Precision Medicine that can, in the long term, have a strong structuring effect in the Portuguese science landscape, a high international visibility, a clear scientific and economic impact, and a global effect on the quality of life of a very significant number of patients that suffer from cardiovascular, neuro-degenerative and musculoskeletal diseases.
MISSION To perform world-leading research in regenerative and precision medicine, by anchoring research activities of the best research groups in Portugal, promoting excellence, advanced training, increasing performance, translational research outputs and commercialization strategies that can, in the long-run generate an important economic impact, besides impacting the quality of life of an ageing European population affected by neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases.

Regenerative and precision medicines are emerging medical research fields that may provide novel treatments for a number of diseases, including musculoskeletal and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as heart disease, among others.

These diseases affect millions of people in Europe and worldwide, negatively impact their quality of life and of their family members, and represent a major economic burden on our health care systems. Current therapeutic approaches available for musculoskeletal, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders have proved to be ineffective or insufficient in the long term, which calls for new and innovative strategies to overcome the current challenges presented by these diseases.

Regenerative Medicine is an interdisciplinary research domain combining new therapeutic strategies in specific clinical contexts, aiming at regenerating tissues or organs lost or compromised either by trauma or by disease (Mason C, Dunnill P. A brief definition of regenerative medicine. Regenerative Medicine 2008 Jan;3(1):1-5).  While precision medicine is a novel way of disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability of genes, environment and other factors, providing customised medical decisions and healthcare to each person.

These approaches and their achievements in the last years have offered a good perspective for new and effective future treatments of the above diseases. Despite the promising results, several challenges still need to be addressed before the developed technologies can be translated into wide-spread clinical use with full exploitation of results.

The Discoveries CTR project aims to lay the foundations of a multipolar distributed research centre in Portugal in the area of regenerative and precision Medicine, named The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision Medicine. 

The Centre will operate with the strong involvement of the University College of London (UCL), one of the top European universities in medical and life sciences, with long-lasting experience in successfully translating basic and clinical research into therapies, techniques and medical products with therapeutic value. 


Rui L. Reis (UMINHO)


In order to start the activities and tasks planned for The Discoveries Centre in the initial months, an Installation Committee (IC) was set up. This Installation Committee includes the representatives of the Centre´s founding members and is responsible to take care of the legal establishment of the Centre and act as a temporary executive management body of the institution. Therefore, the IC will be the main decision making body until the official Management Board (MB) of the Centre is set up.

Installation Committee (IC) current members:

Universidade do Minho (UMINHO University College London (UCL) Universidade do Porto (UPORTO)
Manuela E. Gomes Jonathan Knowles Pedro Rodrigues
Universidade do Aveiro (UAVR) Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL) Universidade de Lisboa (ULISBOA)
Odete da Cruz e Silva António Jacinto Joaquim S. Cabral




The Discoveries Centre´s headquarters including scientific and executive management will be located at the University of Minho at Avepark (Science and Technology Park at Caldas das Taipas, North of Portugal). The Centre will have four other campuses where research activities will be performed. These will be located in Porto, in Oeiras (near Lisbon), Aveiro and in London.

University of Minho (Avepark) - CoE’s Headquarters
University of Porto (I3S) University of Lisbon and New University of Lisbon (Oeiras hub) University of Aveiro University College London (London)

Headquarters at University of Minho,

Avepark 4805-017 Barco 

Guimarães, Portugal

Coordinator of the Project at UMINHO: Prof. Rui L. Reis