I am an assistant Professor at Faculdade de Ciência e Tecnologia/ Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. I founded the Glycoimmunology Group and my main research interest is to develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches to treat patients with cancer and with congenital disorders of Glycosylation (CDG) .
I am leading in Glycobiology and Immunology, and my current goals are:
-To identify novel therapeutic targets and to develop novel antibody-based approaches and dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccines. I have already contributed to identify aberrant glycosylation in different types of cancer, such as bladder, lung and breast cancer. My work has also contributed to understand how these glycan signatures contribute to tumor growth and metastasis and how they induce a tolerogenic profile in human immune cells, and affects patient’s immune response.
-To understand the role of glycans expressed by dendritic cells. The goal here is the exploration of DC-based immunotherapy, and to learn how to fine tune the immune response, based on the modifications of specific glycosidic structures. My research has already contributed to the development of a technology to enhance dendritic cell based vaccines (WO 2017002045 A1).
- To improve awareness on Congenital disorders of Glycosylation, improve patients quality of life, and research on these rare conditions. In this regards I am currently contributing to improve understanding about the mechanisms behind altered immune responses frequently observed in these patients. I am the director and co-founder of CDG & Allies-PPAIN, an international network of professionals and patient associations dedicated to CDG and allies such as cancer www.researchcdg.com
I have been Fulbright Professor visiting fellow at Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Boston USA (2013). I presently lead both national and international research projects. I supervise six PhD students and several Master students and post docs. I am authoring in more than 61 international peer-review publications, where I am first or corresponding author in 30 of these publications. I have also acted as national and international jury at 18 scientific project calls, reviewer at 15 scientific journals. I am presently member (Portuguese representative) os COST Scientific Counsil and I belong to the editorial board of the journals of World Journal of Clinical Urology and Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment.