Renata Tavares
Men’s Health Estarreja – Evaluation of the reproductive health of men living in a heavily industrialized area
Exposure to toxicants originated from (or used in) industrial processes has shown to contribute towards the global decrease of male fertility and reproductive health status. Considering that the risk of exposure in the modern world is increasing due to industrial growth, it became imperative to assess the sperm quality and function and overall reproductive health status of populations living in an industrial-related area, particularly if there is already a history of local contamination.
To this extent, the city of Estarreja encloses the second largest chemical complex in Portugal and contamination of heavy metals has been reported. The present pilot study, therefore, intends to use a representative sample of Estarreja’s adult population and unveil the male reproductive phenotype signature induced by these toxicants. Importantly, parameters of sperm quality as concentration, motility and morphology will be evaluated along with more accurate functional indicators of sperm fertilizing ability such as mitochondrial function, chromatin/DNA integrity, acrosome status and viability, often disregarded in this type of studies. Furthermore, the function of accessory sex organs will be determined in seminal plasma given their importance in seminal fluid production and sperm maturation. A representative sample of adult men from the Center region of Portugal will be used as control group.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja
Biologie, Médecine, Santé publique


Degree in Biology (University of Aveiro)
MSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology (Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra)
PhD in Cell Biology (Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra)
Co-authored 20 papers (most in Q1 peer-reviewed journals), 13 as first/last author. 2 original papers currently submitted to peer review process in Q1 journals. Co-authored 4 book chapters, 1 as last author. Co-authored outreach publications. h-index: 11 (Google Scholar).
Has participated in 7 research projects as team member, 1 as Study Director in a industry-related project and is at the moment the principal investigator of the OHM project “Men’s health Estarreja”. Supervised 1 masters student and 1 research fellow. Currently mentors both a MSc student and a researcher fellow. Is involved in the organization of national and international meetings (of note, the 20th European Testis Workshop). Has up to now 21 oral presentations (14 in international and 7 in national meetings), 4 invited oral communications and 21 poster presentations (17 in international and 4 in national meetings). Actively engages in science communication activities, collaborating with “Exploratório – Centro de Ciência Viva de Coimbra” and “Instituto para a Educação e Cidadania” (Mamarrosa, Aveiro) besides participating in “European Researchers Night” and “Ciência Viva” activities.
2 Awards, 1 from the Portuguese Society for Contraception and the other from the Burroughs Welcome Fund (USA) to attend the exclusive Frontiers in Reproduction course which focuses on several aspects of female and male fertility (Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Chicago, USA)



Maria Inês
Degree in Biology (University of Coimbra)
MSc student in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra
Has been participating in 1 project and collaborates in science communication activities such as “Ciência Viva” and “European Researchers Night”
Ana Paula
Degree in Biology (University of Coimbra)
PhD in Cell Biology (University of Coimbra)

Embryologist and director of the Biology of Reproduction Lab at the Reproductive Medicine of service from "Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra" (CHUC); researcher at the Biology of Reproduction and Stem Cells Group (CNC)

Co-authored 15 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Co-authored 3 book chapters. h-index: 10 (Google Scholar)
Has participated in at least 3 research projects as team member. Has been mentoring MSc students. Is involved in the organization of national and international meetings.
Has at least 6 invited oral communications, 22 oral presentations and 27 poster presentations.
Degree in Medicine (MD, University of Coimbra)
PhD in Pathology (University of Coimbra)

Current associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine (University of Coimbra), Director of the Reproductive Medicine Service from Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (CHUC) and coordinator of the fertility preservation center; former president of the Portuguese Society for Reproductive Medicine (SPMR)
Co-authored more than 35 papers in journals of the field and at least 64 paper proceedings. Co-authored 11 book chapters and 5 books. h-index: 15 (Google scholar)
Has won 12 awards and participated in more than 10 projects so far. Member of several national and international organizations of the field, including SPMR and the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embriology (ESHRE). Has supervised a total of 17 Masters thesis and co-supervised 1 PhD thesis and 1 Masters thesis. Current supervisor of 2 PhD students and co-supervisor of other 2.
Degree in Biology (University of Coimbra)
PhD in Cell Biology (University of Coimbra)
Full Professor at the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra; Group leader of the Biology of Reproduction and Stem Cells and president of the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC); Coordinator of the PhD Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB) since 2008
132 papers in peer-reviewed journals (most in Q1 journals), total number of citations: 4000, h-index: 35 (ISI); total number of citations: 7800, h-index: 45 (Google Scholar)
Currently participates in 10 projects. More than 100 oral/poster comunications in both national and international meetings. Member of several national and international organizations of the field, including ESHRE, SSR, SRF, ETW, EAA. Reviewer for over 50 peer-reviewed journals. Has supervised a total of 20 PhD thesis and 28 Masters thesis between 2003 and 2018. Current supervisor of 5 PhD students and 2 post-doctoral fellows.