Yeast cell factory for mRNA bioproduction
Logo of University of Aveiro, Aveiro Institute of Materials

University of Aveiro, Aveiro Institute of Materials

Since its foundation, University of Aveiro (UAVR) has been placed amongst active universities in Portugal, being distinguished as one of the best universities worldwide that are 50 years old or younger by the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings. Over 15000 students currently attend UAVR, being spread by 16 Academic Departments and 4 Polytechnic Schools which cooperate in an interdisciplinary way in line with their academic and research affinities. During 2021, 664 national and international research and technology transfer projects have been active in UAVR, of which 51 funded by ERASMUS+ and 57 by Horizon 2020. Hosted at UAVR, the Aveiro Institute of Materials (CICECO) is the largest and FCT best rated Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) institute, joining ca. 500 chemists, physicists and materials engineers. Research Lines are Sustainability, Information and Communication Technology, Energy, Health. CICECO has an international reputation in MSE and is very productive (ca. 10 patents, 450 SCI papers/year), being engaged in many top EU programs (viz. 9 ERC and 3 EIC grants). CICECO instrumental facilities are the best in the country for research in MSE comprising, among others, SEM, TEM, AFM, X-ray diffraction, NMR, and computer clusters. Researchers are also granted access to CDTM, CICECO interface with companies and external entities assisting scientists in finding industrial and EU funding, preparing, and managing projects, creating startups, dealing with IP issues and patenting.

Role within Yscript

In Yscript, UAVR is leader of Work Package 3 focusing on the development of a cost-effective and integrated extraction-purification process of mRNA, feasible of scale-up.

Our vision for Yscript

The potential of messenger RNA (mRNA) was unlocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, being the forefront vaccines to combat one of the most challenging calamities of our era. In addition to vaccination and due to the vast array of therapeutic applications, the application of mRNA in several chronic diseases and other comorbidities may soon become a reality. The groundbreaking nature of Yscript has the potential to overcome the drawbacks of the only method currently available for mRNA production – in vitro transcription –, providing affordable mRNA from readily available raw materials, ultimately allowing the widespread use of mRNA while improving well-being and health of people worldwide.

- from Mara G. Freire

Main contacts

Photo of Mara G. Freire
Mara G. Freire

Coordinator Researcher at University of Aveiro and Director of Group 5 (Biomedical and Biomimetical Materials) of CICECO

Photo of João A. P. Coutinho
João A. P. Coutinho

Full Professor at University of Aveiro and Director of CICECO

Photo of Augusto Q. Pedro
Augusto Q. Pedro

Junior Researcher at University of Aveiro