André Melro Murad

Life Sciences

André Melro Murad uses computer models to develop more effective pest control methods. A computer scientist who graduated from the Catholic University of Brasilia, he continued his training in biology with a doctorate in genomic sciences and biotechnology, also at UCB.
André also carried out post-doctoral work at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). His work focuses on the digestive enzymes of pests such as the cotton bollworm, the main pest that affects cotton in South America. Despite the widespread use of genetically resistant plants, André says that there have already been cases of pests adapting to these plants. With the help of computer models, he hopes to design peptides that inhibit the pests’ digestive enzymes and thus save crops with more rational and effective pesticides.


Rational Design of Enzyme Inhibitors
Science / Life Sciences

The advent of insect-resistant transgenic plants marked a significant advancement in agriculture. However, insects have started to exhibit adaptive resistance to these genetically modified crops, underscoring the need for new molecular tools that can enhance crop resistance. Digestive enzymes found in the intestines of insect larvae, which are crucial for their development, present a potential target for developing novel insecticide molecules. The application of digestive enzyme inhibitors has already demonstrated promising outcomes against certain insects. This project is focused on the rational design of inhibitory peptides for enzymes located in the gut of Anthonomus grandis (cotton boll weevil) larvae. These peptides will be chemically synthesized and tested against recombinant enzymes expressed in insect cells.

Amount invested

R$ 100,000.00

Open Calls

Science Call 1
  • Topics
  • Enzymatic inhibitors
  • Insects
  • Transgenic plants