Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
20102024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Biography

We are interested in probing the complex interactions between humans and microbes and how those interactions may influence the development of disease. As traditional antibiotic therapies suffer from the rise of drug-resistant strains, our lab takes a complementary approach to find targets in our own cells and processes that can be manipulated to boost the immune response in favor of the host.

To this end, we follow two complementary strategies: The first one is developing host-directed strategies to improve the immune response to microbial pathogens, particularly targeting the cells that bridge innate and adaptive immunity, such as macrophages, dendritic cells, and T-cells. These cells participate in the surveillance and clearance of pathogens but also intervene in the generation of long-lasting protective immunity. How some pathogens, such as the tuberculosis bacilli, are able to interfere with these cells to improve their survival informs us of potential targets we can use to develop host-directed therapies.

The second strategy is screening for new engineered antimicrobial molecules, repurposed drugs, and drug delivery strategies. Antibiotics are still the greatest weapon to treat bacterial infections and finding new molecules that reduce the toxic effects of the treatment, overcome current drug resistance mechanisms, and prevent the evolution of drug-resistant strains is of paramount importance.

The combination of these two approaches, targeting both pathogen and host will be fundamental to improving therapeutic efficacy and reducing the rising burden of drug resistance.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Interference of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis with the Endocytic/antigen Presentation Pathways on Macrophages and Dendritic Cells, University of Lisbon

1 Jan 201016 Dec 2014

Award Date: 16 Dec 2014

Master, Role of mycobacteria porins and efflux pumps on the intracellular survival within macrophages, University of Lisbon

6 Sept 20107 Dec 2011

Award Date: 7 Dec 2010

External positions

Invited Assistant Professor, University of Lisbon

1 Sept 2022 → …

Keywords

  • QR180 Immunology
  • Cellular microbiology
  • Host-directed therapies
  • Drug screening
  • Drug resistance
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV

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