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Research interests

Main interests

The main interest of the “Inflammation and Neurodegeneration Laboratory” is to understand the contribution of immunity and inflammation to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and to investigate the pathophysiological role of heme and iron in the brain. 

Research Areas

The activation of the innate and adaptive immune response is a self-defensive reaction triggered to restore homeostasis and to eliminate harmful stimuli that compromise the integrity of the affected tissues. In the last decade, immunity and inflammation were shown to play an important role in a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. This led to revise a long-held concept that the brain was an immune-privileged organ and to open a new field of investigation aimed to assess the contribution of immune cells to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

The main interest of our Laboratory is to assess the role of the immune response in the development of Parkinson’s disease and to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the involvement of heme and iron in neuroinflammation and neuronal death.

As an independent line of research, our Laboratory is also interested in assessing the pro-inflammatory role of heme in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as spondyloarthritis, a rheumatic disease characterized by a progressive damage of the spine.

External positions

Invited Professor at the PGCD PhD Program (Immunology & Host and Pathogen Interaction Modules), Universidade de Cabo Verde

Jun 2014 → …

Invited Professor at the GABBA PhD Program (Iron Biology Module), Universidade do Porto

May 2014 → …


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