Francisco Ambrósio graduated in Biochemistry in 1994 at the University of Coimbra and received his MSc and PhD in Cell Biology from the same University in 1997 and 2000, respectively. Since 2010, he has been a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (IBILI), Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra (FMUC), and the Group Leader of ‘Retinal Dysfunction and Neuroinflammation Lab’, being also the Director of IBILI since November 2016. He has also been leading the ‘New Targets and Therapeutics for Chronic Diseases’ research group at CNC.IBILI consortium.
His main scientific interests are focused on the field of Vision Sciences and Neuroscience, more specifically in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying retinal dysfunction and degeneration in retinal degenerative diseases (diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration), paying particular attention to the role played by inflammation and microglial cells, as well as to blood-retinal barrier dysfunction. He has been interested in identifying potential new drug targets and developing advanced therapies (using viral vectors, nano and microparticles) to treat retinal degenerative diseases. More recently, he has become interested in the concept ‘Retina as a Window to the Brain’. The retina is known to be affected in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Since the retina can be assessed by non-invasive methods, it might be evaluated to identify new and early biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases.
Francisco Ambrósio has established several international collaborations with leading experts in the field of Vision Sciences. He authored 91 peer-reviewed publications, has been cited more than 2650 times and has an h-index of 30. He has supervised and co-supervised 7 post-docs, 19 PhD students and 21 MSc students.
Francisco Ambrósio has been successful in attracting competitive funding, from national and international agencies and pharmaceutical companies, and managing Research Programs (3.0 million €). He is Associate Editor of ‘Ophthalmic Research’, and was president of the Portuguese Association of Biochemists (2000-2004), secretary-general and co-founder of the Portuguese Society of Stem Cells and Cellular Therapy (2005-2007), secretary-general, vice-president and president of the Portuguese Biochemical Society (2005-2014), and vice-director for Scientific Research at Faculty of Medicine (2012-2015).