Help us confirm that you're an expert
I have a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Lisbon with research performed entirely at the University of Massachussets Medical School. I worked in a laboratory under the umbrella of the RNA Therapeutics Institute where I performed basic research on the biology of RNA-mediated gene silencing with the supervision of Professor Craig Mello, who received the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his co-discovery of RNA interference, and Professor Maria Carmo-Fonseca, a prestigious RNA scientist, founder and president of the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Lisbon (with whom I worked as an undergraduate). I became an expert in RNA biology, having used state-of-the-art approaches and technologies in molecular biology, genetics, genomics and proteomics. I worked closely with the model organism C. elegans and human cells, but also contributed to work performed in the fruit fly Drosophila and mice in collaboration with other research groups. I have made important discoveries regarding the pathways that lead to gene silencing in animals, helping us understand how small non-coding RNAs can promote normal development, but also prevent viral infections and defend the genome against deleterious selfish genetic elements (transposons).
In my current role at Imperial College London, in the Division of Brain Sciences, I work with Dr Christopher Sibley to understand the role of specific RNA binding proteins in regulating RNA splicing – a crucial processing step in gene expression – and how this may affect the production of an emerging new class of non-coding RNA. In addition to providing basic insight into the biology of these RNAs in mice and humans, I am working with post-mortem human brain tissue, blood, and cerebro-spinal fluid from individuals who suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Motor Neurone Disease, in the hope that the levels of certain non-coding RNAs may be used as reliable biomarkers for this severe neurodegenerative disease. I am developing protocols that make use of the latest technologies to clone and analyse RNA sequences, but I am also being exposed to single-cell high-throughput sequencing approaches which promise to revolutionise basic and applied research, especially in the fields of neurology and oncology.
My scientific experience is well suited to evaluate projects rooted in molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, cell biology and biochemistry applicable to any area (medicine, diagnostics, agro- or pharma-biotech, etc…).