Our Group

Liliana Bernardino

Liliana Bernardino (PhD) – Group Leader

Career Track

2013-present: Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

2010-2012: Assistant Professor, Catholic University of Portugal, Viseu, Portugal

2008-2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal and CICS, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

2003-2008: PhD in Molecular Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

1998-2003: Licenciate, Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Research Interests

Liliana Bernardino obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Coimbra (2008). The experimental work was conducted at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) under the supervision of Dr. João Malva; Institute of Pharmacological Research Mario Negri (Milan, Italy) under the supervision of Dr. Annamaria Vezzani and at the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Southern Denmark (Denmark) under the supervision of Dr. Jens Zimmer. The main goal of her doctoral and postdoctoral studies was to find new therapeutic strategies, targeting neuroinflammation processes, which could promote neuroprotection and neurogenesis. She has published 26 peer-review international articles, 5 book chapters, 56 abstracts published in conference proceedings and she has 4 pending patents. She was the principal investigator of 4 research projects funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and “Medalhas de Honra L’Oreal”; and a member of the research team of 7 projects funded by the FCT. Currently, Liliana is the leader scientist of several research projects that aim to boost brain repair in the context of brain ischemic stroke and in Parkinson’s disease.

 Raquel Ferreira

Raquel Ferreira (PhD)

Career Track

2014-present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

2012-2013: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California, LA, USA

2011-2012: Research Fellow, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

2006-2011: PhD, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
PhD included the following training periods:
Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry of the University of Copenhagen & Rigshospitalet University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark (2007),
Institut de Physiologie et Biologie Cellulaire (IPBC) – Pôle Biologie Santé, Poitiers, France (2007),
Center of Histocompatility of Coimbra and University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal (2005-2007)

2004-2005: Lab Techinician

2003: Trainee, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Section of Neurobiology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

1999-2003: Licentiate, Applied Biology, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

Research Interests

Dr. Raquel Ferreira conducted her PhD studies under the supervision of Dr. João Malva at University of Coimbra, investigating the modulatory role of neuropeptide Y in microglia activity. The following year she determined the involvement of histamine and its receptors on microglia inflammatory responses with Dr. Liliana Bernardino. This work involved the use of histamine-loaded microparticles which were developed in collaboration with Dr. Lino Ferreira, leading investigator in his field. From 2012 to late 2013, Dr. Ferreira pursued her postdoctoral studies in the field of human brain angiogenesis at the University of Southern California with Dr. Steven L. Giannotta and Dr. Florence Hofman focusing on the role of miR-18a in human cerebral arteriovenous malformation-derived endothelial cell function. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Beira Interior, under the supervision of Dr. Liliana Bernardino and Dr. Fabienne Agasse. Her work has totalled 24 publications, including 2 book chapters, and 7 articles as first author and 2 patents and she is a research team member of 2 projects funded by FCT and the principal investigator of “Medalhas de Honra L’Oreal 2014”. Currently, her main focus is to study a therapeutic approach to stroke using retinoic acid-loaded nanoparticles to repair the brain vasculature and enhance neurovascular and functional repair. She is now supervising a master student, Marta Pereira.

IMG_34452

Tiago Santos (PhD)

Career Track

2011-2016: PhD in Biosciences, specialization in Neuroscience from University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; University of Southern California, LA, USA and University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal.

2010-2011: Research Fellow, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), Coimbra, Portugal

2008-2010: MSc in Biochemistry, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

2005-2008: BS in Biochemistry, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Research interests

Tiago Santos focused his master studies on the pro-neurogenic effect of a novel retinoic acid-loaded nanoparticle formulation recently recognized by the Pulido Valente for Science Award (2014). This work, supervised by Dr. Liliana Bernardino and Dr. João Malva, was developed in close collaboration with Dr. Lino Ferreira. During this stage, he generated a mounting number of results in the area of neurogenesis and biomaterials that culminated in one first-author paper, and one patent. After a training period at the University of Southern California, another first-author paper was published concerning the use of nanomaterials for glioma treatment under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Chen and Dr. Florence Hofman (in collaboration with Dr. Chongwu Zhou). Currently, Tiago Santos finished his PhD in Neuroscience studies by evaluating the therapeutic potential of retinoic acid-loaded nanoparticles for brain repair in a context of ischemic stroke under the supervision of Dr. Liliana Bernardino. Totaling 16 peer-reviewed articles (5 as first-author, 11 as co-author), 1 book chapter and 3 patents (1 published, 2 pending), his expectations are to continue developing a strong background in the development of biomaterials for clinical use, in particular cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disorders..

Claudia Saraiva

Cláudia Saraiva (PhD Student)

Career Track

2012-present: PhD student in Bioengineering Systems from MIT Portugal, New University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

2010-2012: MSc in Biochemistry, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

2007-2012: BS in Biochemistry, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Research interests

Cláudia Saraiva achieved her master thesis at Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, under the supervision of Dr. Henrique Faneca and Co-supervision of Dr. Conceição Pedroso de Lima, developing a new lipoplex formulation for specific genetic material delivery to pancreatic cancer cells. Afterwards, she enrolled the PhD program in Bioengineering Systems from MIT Portugal (2012), which is an international and high quality doctoral program (MIT collaboration) based in master fundamentals of engineering, innovation, academic translation and leadership. Cláudia Saraiva is now conducting her PhD thesis in the neuroscience field, studying the therapeutic potential of microRNA-loaded nanoparticles in neural stem cell-based brain repair strategies in a context of neurodegenerative disease. This work is being developed under the supervision of Dr. Liliana Bernardino and co-supervision of Dr. Lino Ferreira, two leading investigators in the fields of neural stem cells and biomaterials, at the Health Science Research Center (CICS), University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal. She is a research team member of 1 project funded by FCT. Her current investigation has shown promising results in the differentiation of neural stem cells using miR-124 loaded nanoparticles. The work allowed an oral communication of Cláudia Saraiva at the 44th annual reunion of the Society for Neuroscience (Washington DC, USA), among other presentations, and a travel grant from the Luso-American Foundation. Cláudia Saraiva aims to continue to grow her expertise in the field of biomaterials as therapeutic tools to brain repair strategies.

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