I graduated in Biochemistry (BSc) from the University of Beira Interior (Portugal) in 2005. In 2006, I was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship for 30 months and during that period I obtained training in molecular and cell biology. Part of the work developed during that period was included in my MSc thesis, in Biochemistry (2008).

In 2014, I successfully completed my PhD in Neurosciences at the Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences (NIN, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Regarding the PhD thesis, I was awarded the prestigious F.C. Donders prize. In 2014, I moved to the Erasmus University Medical Centre (EMC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) for a post-doctoral position at Dr Erik Lubberts’ Lab in a collaboration with Prof. Björn Claussen (Mainz, Germany). There, I got skills and training in immunology. 

In 2016, I returned to the retina field with the ambition of applying my new skills and knowledge in immunology to vision and gene therapy research. At the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands), I worked on the characterization of rodent models for CRB1-retinopathies and I designed and tested AAV-mediated gene therapies to treat hereditary retinopathies. 

In 2019, I moved to the Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (ICBR, Coimbra, Portugal), to develop new therapeutical strategies for retinal degeneration based on the modulation of microglia activation and inflammatory processes.  

My main academic achievements are summarized in 25 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and 4 book chapters in 4 international books, with over 511 citations conferring an h index of 14 (Scopus in February 2021). Several manuscripts were published in some of the highest impact factor journals in the areas of Ophthalmology, Human Genetics, Stem Cells and Neurosciences, including Prog Retin Eye Res, PLoS Genet, PLoS Biol, J Neurosci, Stem Cell Rep, Acta Neuropathol Commun and Hum Mol Gen.   

My early achievements track-record is mirrored by 5 abstracts selected for oral presentation at international congresses, and 7 invited presentations in national/international meetings, 4 international travel grants and 3 awards, including the Donders prize granted in 2016 for the best PhD thesis in the field of ophthalmology in the Netherlands.

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