Dr Paulo Gavaia

Paulo Gavaia

Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve


Paulo’s research has been focused on the Developmental Biology and Molecular Determinants of mineralization using model species like the zebrafish and aquaculture produced fishes for this research areas. The work developed using the zebrafish as a model system, aims mostly at uncovering the molecular genes and molecular pathways involved in osteoblastic and osteoclastic involvement is bone formation and regeneration, using molecular biology, histology and genetic tools.  One of the main focuses of his current research is the discovery of bioactive natural derived compounds with osteogenic activity using zebrafish based screening systems for the identification of extracts that promote bone growth, mineralization or affect osteoclast activity. Other current research areas include the study of the effects of nutritional factors like vitamins and minerals in the skeletal development of aquaculture produced fishes and on the understanding of the mechanisms and mitigation of skeletal deformities by studying expression and regulation of skeleton related genes, regulation of osteo-chondrogenic differentiation and osteoclastic resorption and the molecular and metabolic effects of vitamin K.


Paulo is currently a researcher at the "Centre of Marine Sciences of the Algarve - CCMAR", and an invited professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine of the University of Algarve (UALG).  Paulo obtained his CSc in Marine Biology at University of Algarve, Faro, in 1997 and completed his PhD in Biological Sciences - Molecular Biology in 2005 awarded by the university of Algarve, conducting his studies on the functional analysis of Bone related Gla proteins from bony fish during skeletal development.


Paulo is a supervisor of ESR9 and ESR13 and will be actively invoved in the training and specific formation of other ESRs by receiving secondments. He will also be chairing the Student Committe (SC) that will provide a forum to the ESRs to review training and supervision. The two projects supervised are focusing on better understanding the role of molecules on bone development, for which ESR9 will study the mineralogenic effects of compounds extracted from marine organisms on bone cell cultures, model and aquaculture fish, to discover positive effects on bone formation and regeneration; and ESR13 will determine the effect of the balance in antioxidant and pro-oxidant nutrients in bone mineralization and remodelling to better understand the role of reactive oxygen species on bone formation and remodelling using in vitro and in vivo tools.

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