Joana Loureiro not subject to copyright
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Personal profile


For the last 5 years, and after ~20 years of biomedical research, I have been working in science education. At the CBR I am focusing on science and health literacy. As a biomedical researcher, my longstanding interests are host-pathogen interactions, particularly cellular processes manipulated by pathogenic microorganisms such as viruses and parasites and at the interface between cell biology and immunology. My lab research experience (2000-2018) provided me with in depth knowledge of adaptive and innate immunity, viral immune evasion strategies, and various aspects of the cell biology of infection in the context of DNA (herpesviruses, namely human cytomegalovirus) and RNA viruses (flaviviruses, namely hepatitis C virus), as well as of the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. My PhD thesis work on viral immune evasion and ER-associated degradation (ERAD) was done under the supervision of Professor Hidde L. Ploegh at the Harvard Medical School and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology´s Whitehead Institute. I had 2 post-doctoral experiences: one at the Rockefeller University, working on hepatitis C virus infectivity under the mentorship of Professor Charles M. Rice (2008-2013), and the second one at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, in which I worked on innate immunity against Toxoplasma gondii with Professor Jonathan C. Howard as my mentor (2014-2019). During this postdoc at the IGC I was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship - IF 708694: Cytoplasmic sensing of Toxoplasma gondii infection and host cell programmed necrosis (Acronym: "Toxoplasma sensing"). In 2019 I pivoted to the endlessly creative world of science education as a co-director of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência outreach project "Lab in a Box - future with science", a science teacher-focused project aimed at fostering the implementation of experimental science classes in Oeiras elementary and junior high school classes. I joined the CBR in late 2022 to direct its "Science and Health Literacy in Oeiras" programme, or "Lit Up" for short, a CBR/Oeiras Valley partnership aimed at promoting scientific literacy as well as health Literacy for all in the municipality of Oeiras, with a focus on high school students and teachers. 

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, Viral manipulation of antigen presentation: the HCMV US2 imunoevasin and endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), University of Lisbon

23 Jan 200217 May 2007

Award Date: 17 May 2007

Bachelor, Biology, University of Porto

30 Sept 199516 Oct 1999

Award Date: 16 Oct 1999


  • Q Science (General)
  • QR180 Immunology
  • QR355 Virology
  • RB Pathology
  • LB1501 Primary Education
  • LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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