International Course

Laboratorio de Inmunología, Instituto de Higiene, Laboratorio de Enzimología, Facultad de Ciencias, Center for Free Radical and Biomedical Research, Departamento de Bioquímica, Facultad de Medicina (Universidad de la República) and Institut Pasteur de Montevideo.


Beatriz Alvarez (Lab. de Enzimología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República)
Marcelo Comini (Group Redox Biology of Trypanosomes, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo)
Gustavo Salinas (Lab. de Inmunología, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la República)
Madia Trujillo (Center for Free Radical and Biomedical Research, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República)
Luis E. Soares Netto (Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo)

Course and Symposium: Aim and content

Thiols and their derivatives are widespread in biological systems where they form part of many proteins and low molecular mass natural compounds, such as cysteine, glutathione, coenzyme A and lipoic acid. Due to their chemical versatility thiol groups play a major role as structural motifs of proteins and as oxidant scavengers. In the last decade, research in this expanding field has revealed novel functions for thiols as regulators of different signaling and metabolic processes of physiological relevance. Consequently, research on thiol-dependent redox metabolism has gained a renewed interest on the basis of its role as important determinant of the organism´s health status and, thus, as potential target of interventions. The field of thiol-dependent redox processes is developing very rapidly in the last years, both conceptually and methodologically, which imposes the necessity for regular updating. In this respect, the course will provide an integrated and updated view of thiol-dependent redox processes with hands-on practical activities covering different methodological aspects relevant to the study of thiol redox biochemistry.

The course will consist of four main activities: theoretical lectures, experimental training, seminars and a research symposium. The theoretical lectures will address the most relevant concepts and topics related to redox biology and chemistry of thiols and will be presented by scientists that are internationally recognized as experts in their fields. The lectures will be accompanied by seminars, where the students will have the opportunity to present and discuss original scientific articles of recent publication. In most cases, articles will be selected among the production of the teachers of this course, so as to allow the students to discuss them directly with the authors. The experimental activities will cover different methodological approaches and techniques to characterize the (bio)chemical properties of thiol groups and their physiological (or biological) relevance.

The themes to be treated include: Functional diversity of cysteine. Chemistry and reactivity of thiols. Reduction potential, pKA, nucleophilia. Thiol-mediated redox catalysis, signaling and regulation. Formation of thiol derivatives, oxidation, alkylation and nitrosation. Disulfides formation and isomerization in oxidative folding pathways. Sulfur amino acid metabolism and regulation. Hydrogen sulfide. Bioinformatics approaches to thiol function. Thiols and free radical processes. Thiol-dependent redox metabolism of pathogens. Techniques for the study of protein thiols and their different oxidative modifications. Selenocysteine in proteins.

Invited Speakers

Ruma Banerjee     Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical Center, University of Michigan, USA.
Carlos Batthyány     Unit of Analytical Biochemistry and Proteomics, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Uruguay.
Ana Denicola     Instituto de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.  
Gerardo Ferrer-Sueta    Instituto de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Leopold Flohé     MOLISA GmbH, Magdeburg, Germany.  
Vadim Gladyshev     Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
Jean-Pierre Jacquot     Unité Mixte de Recherches 1136 INRA-Nancy Université, Interactions Arbre-Microorganismes IFR 110 EFABA, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France.  
Luise Krauth-Siegel     Biochemie-Zentrum der Universität Heidelberg (BZH), Heidelberg, Germany.
Francisco Laurindo     Vascular Biology Laboratory, Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil.
Mónica Marín     Instituto de Biología. Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad de la República. Montevideo, Uruguay.
Leslie Poole     Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, USA.  
Rafael Radi    Departamento de Bioquímica and Center for Free Radical and Biomedical Research, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Who and How to apply

The course is intended to post-graduate students who have a B.Sc. degree in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Medicine and related areas, and are engaged in their Master-, Doctoral-thesis or similar. The participants must have solid knowledge of biochemistry and biology and be currently working or, in the near future, in subjects linked to the course’s topics.

Applicants must send the following documents in pdf to
1.    Short CV. (max. 2 pages)
2.    Letter of support from tutor.
3.    Participation Form (click here to download PDF or DOC)

Successful applicants who attend the course will be requested to bring a poster describing their project. Authors are expected to be in attendance at their posters during the symposium intervals.

Deadline for the course: February 1st, 2011 !!

In the context of the International Course of Thiols, also take place on 25 and 26 March, the MINI SYMPOSIUM entitled: "Thiol metabolism and redox regulation of cellular functions" at Casapueblo Hotel in Punta Ballena.To apply please complete the registration form below, and send it by e-mail to: by March 1st.

Fecha de inicio
28 de Marzo del 2011