Susana Vinga received a Mechanical Engineering degree (1999), post-graduate degree in Probability and Statistics at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UTL), Biomedical specialization at Politecnico of Milan, and a PhD degree in Bioinformatics (2005) at ITQB-UNL (Portugal). From 2006-2013, she was a researcher in the Knowledge Discovery and Bioinformatics group at INESC-ID and invited assistant professor of Biostatistics and Informatics at the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FCM-UNL). Since 2013 she is a Principal Investigator (Investigador FCT) at IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal).
She has published in high-impact journals, achieving an ISI h-index=12 (Google h-index=16), with 51 publications (ISI citations=702 / Google citations=1346) and over 45 communications in international conferences (proceedings, posters and invited lectures), more than 3/4 independently from her PhD supervisor. She has successfully coordinated as Principal Investigator three national FCT projects: DynaMo - Dynamic modeling, control and optimization of metabolic networks (2007-10), HIVCONTROL - Control based on dynamic modeling of HIV-1 infection for therapy design (2010-12) and PERSEIDS - Personalizing cancer therapy through integrated modeling and decision (2016-2019), and participated in several national and European projects (FP7, H2020) as team member and workpackage leader. She has been (co-)supervising 4 post-doc, 4 PhD (three defended) and more than 15 MSc Theses, several internships and grant holders.
Her main achievements are in the development of methods for Genomics, where she coined the area of alignment-free biological sequence analysis and comparison in a review (ISI/Google citations=322/405), which was the 3rd most cited paper in Portugal in Computer Science. She has continuously published in this area by proposing new metrics and entropy measures for DNA and proteins and was the Editor of a special issue of Briefings in Bioinformatics (2014) on this theme.
In Systems Biology, she is currently working on model identification of biological systems, developing parameter estimation methods for ordinary differential equations, both for biochemical and gene regulatory networks and intra-host HIV infection. She is also designing control strategies for these systems, with application in the optimization of personalized pharmacological therapies in translational research.
Other activities include creating and teaching several courses, serving as reviewer for international journals and participating in theses and conference program committees. She is Associate Editor of BMC Bioinformatics, a top journal in Mathematical and Computational Biology.
She was granted in 2010 the Young Researcher Award of the UTL in the area of Informatics for the impact of her publications.
In 2012 she won a Principal Investigator position (Development Grant) under the highly competitive Investigador FCT program to continue her scientific career at IDMEC/IST.