Head of the Anatomy Department at Faculty of Medicine. Scientific Coordinator of CME. Coordinator of the Post-Graduate specialization course in Anatomical Dissection and of the Update Course in Spine. Member of the Scientific and Consulting organs of the Faculty of Medicine. Coordinator of the Center of Experimental Morphology (CME), a research Unit of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), devoted to the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural plasticity and survival in the normal brain, and under conditions of degeneration or dysfunction. (http://anatomia.med.up.pt/cme/). Currently the group consist of 7 undergraduate students, 4 PhD students, 8 PhD, 1 technician, 1 animal room management, 1 secretary and 1 account assistant.
Alcohol and Stress. Prolonged alcohol consumption modifies the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by down-regulating neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus that synthesize corticotrophin releasing hormone and vasopressin. These changes reflect adaptation of the HPA axis to excess alcohol, instead of ethanol-induced neurotoxicity.
Neurotrophins and Brain. The central cholinergic system regulates cortical functions, such as attention, arousal, motivation, memory and consciousness. Chronic alcohol consumption leads to irreversible changes of this system and of the neuropeptides whose expression is modulated by this system in the medial prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and amygdala neurons.
Sex steroids and Brain. The ventrolateral division of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMNvl) plays a central role in the control of feminine sexual behavior. The role of nuclear and membrane estrogen receptors in mediating the effects of estrogens on neuronal morphology, connectivity and neurochemistry has been studied.