Prof Margarida Casal, Prof Maria João Sousa and Prof Sandra Paiva are located at the Center for Molecular and Environmental Biology in the University of Minho. The scientific interests of Prof Casal are focused on protein structural-functional analysis with the goal of understanding the molecular features that allow proteins to perform work in the cell. By using an assortment of biological materials, covering bacteria, yeasts or human cells, the aim is to solve the 3D structure of carboxylic acid permeases and understand how they work and selectively transport the substrates, namely lactate, succinate, citrate. Prof Sousa’s main areas of interest are the cellular and molecular responses of conventional and non-conventional yeast to different environmental stresses or changes, including metabolic adaptation with emphasis on transport systems, mechanisms underlying resistance or induction of cell death. She is also interested in the exploitation of non-conventional yeast in biotechnology and in the use of yeast as a model system for the study of heterologously expressed mammalian proteins and for the identification of cellular targets of natural compounds and novel synthetic molecules.