Rosa Fernandes completed her BSc in Biochemistry in 1993 at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra, followed by a Masters in Vision Sciences (1997) and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (2005) at Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra (FMUC).
She developed her PhD in the field of diabetic retinopathy at the Centre of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, at the Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (IBILI), Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra (FMUC) and part of her PhD research studies were performed at the Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.
In 2008, when R. Fernandes became an assistant researcher (FCT Ciência 2007) at the same institution (IBILI), at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, she pursued her scientific research in diabetic retinopathy, the same field of her PhD. Due to novel collaborations, she diversified her scientific research activities, focusing on basic and clinical pharmacology, centering her attention on the study of therapeutic approaches to ameliorate endothelial function and vessel repair in diabetic chronic complications, namely diabetic retinopathy and acute coronary syndrome. She has been also interested in the evaluation of novel photosensitizers for use in photodynamic therapy for cancer and age-related macular degeneration treatment.
Since 2016, she is research assistant at the IBILI, FMUC, and one of her main research interests has been to understand the cellular and molecular basis for changes in BRB permeability in retinal disease states, by exploring the regulation of the molecular constituents of these barriers, the TJ complexes, in pathological states characterized by neuroinflammation, such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer´s disease.
Rosa Fernandes has been also interested in the evaluation of therapeutic agents with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiapoptotic properties, with potential to prevent or decrease neuronal and vascular lesions due to chronic hyperglycemia.
Rosa Fernandes has established several collaborations with other groups inside and outside the UC and Portugal. She has supervised 4 PhDs, 9 Masters, 4 research grantees and 5 undergraduate students.
She was assistant professor of practical classes of Pharmacology (2010-2014), president of audit committee of National Association of Science and Technology Researchers (ANICT) (2013-2015), member of Office to support research at FMUC (2012-2015).