Rúben Costa

PhD Students



I always knew that I wanted to be a scientist and contribute to the answers of the never ending “whys” of Science. I began with a BSc in Biology where I started to work on an ectopic calcification-related protein. The biomedical potential of that project lead me to take a MSc in Biomedical Sciences, where I’ve acquired a deep interest about the immune system and inflammation-calcification related processes. After my MSc thesis I started working with marine bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential and decided that I wanted to shift my research field and combine my skills in molecular biology and proteomics to research related with infection and the host-microbe relationship. I found projects done at KAUST exploring Aiptasia as a model organism for coral symbiosis extremely interesting. Thus I decided to enroll in a PhD project where I focus on the interaction between the anemone and its microbiome from a cellular and molecular point of view.

Research Interests

My current interest is the relationship between Aiptasia and its microbiome by studying potential intervenients involved in the selection of the holobiont’s microbiota. I also aim to use the microbiome as a tools for genetic engineering of the host organism.


  • BSc in Biology, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  • MSc in Biomedical Sciences, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal

Research Interests Keywords

Biological networks and interactions