Dora Brites was graduated in Pharmacy by the University of Lisbon (UL) in 1976. She received her PhD degree from the UL in 1988 with a research project on the Mechanisms of unconjugated bilirubin in neonates. Her postdoctoral research was performed with Claudio Tiribelli, from Liver Research Center, Trieste, Italy, and habilitation was achieved in 2004. Dora Brites is Senior Researcher and Invited Full Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy (UL) and Group Leader of Neuron Glia Biology in Health and Disease unit of the Research Institute for Medicines and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She was awarded with the Incentive Prize (Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in 2002), with the best clinical case (Associação Portuguesa para o Estudo do Fígado in 2009) and more recently, in 2012, with the prize Edgar Cruz e Silva from the GEECD Aging group with the project entitled “Influence of cell age and CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling on microglial-neuronal dialogue in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis”. She is member of the Expert Committee for Severe Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia (associated to the American Academy of Paediatrics and European Society for Paediatric Research), of the editorial board for Toxicology of The Scientific World JOURNAL and of the reviewer board of Journal of Pediatric Biochemistry. She was member of evaluation panels for projects and awards by national and international funding agencies (Portugal-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Polish-German Scientific Award Copernicus, England- The Royal National Institute for Deaf People International Grant, USA-Trasher Research Fund, Ireland-Health Research Board, India-Charitable Trust and USA-National Science Foundation). Dora Brites is the leader of Neuron-Glia Biology in Health and Disease Group at the Research Institute for Medicines at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, member of the Executive Commission of Portuguese Glial Network, Member of the Coordinator Council and Executive Director of Mind-Brain College, Member of the Directive Board of the Doctoral Program in Integrative Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon and Member of the Mentorship Advisory Committee of the Doctoral i3DU Programme in Medicines and Pharmaceutical Innovation, Member of the Mentorship Advisory Committee of the Doctoral i3DU Programme in Medicines and Pharmaceutical Innovation, FFULisboa .
Her research interests reside on neurodevelomental and neurodegenerative diseases, with a main focus on glial cell contribution, identification of determinants and selection of potential modulators. Dora Brites has been actively involved in the areas of (I) cellular and developmental neuroscience, and (II) infantile liver disorders. The group uses an integrative approach of neurons and glial cells, and of the blood brain barrier, namely in neurodevelopment and associated clinical conditions (e.g. hyperbilirubinemia, sepsis, hypoxia), to evaluate lasting disabilities, brain damage, and susceptibility to neurodegenerative disorders by senescence. Specific research goals have been to explore neuroinflammation, alterations in neuroplasticity and neural precursor differentiation, oxidative stress and delayed myelination, using cell cultures, brain slices and animal models. Based on all the group expertize acquired, Dora Brites has lately become interested in not only exploring dysregulated neuronal-microglial cross-talk during age, stress and inflammation, but overall its contribution to Ahlzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diseases, by investigating stressor molecules and the mechanisms involved. Identification of biomarkers and targets will be the basis for testing novel and neuroprotective therapeutic compounds.
Dora Brites has authored more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and was/is principal investigator of 17 funded projects (since 1988-present). She has successfully supervised 9 Post-Doctoral researchers, 15 PhD students and 31 master thesis students, and is currently supervising 2 Post-Doctoral researchers, 4 PhD students and 3 master thesis.