After graduating in Plant Biology from the University of Lisbon in 1993, Paula Duque joined the inaugural class of the Gulbenkian PhD Program. Having conducted part of her doctoral work at the HortResearch Institute in Auckland, New Zealand, she obtained a PhD in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Lisbon in December 1998. Paula Duque's postdoctoral studies were conducted at The Rockefeller University in New York, first in Nam-Hai Chua’s lab on stress signaling in arabidopsis and then with Magda Konarska on the mechanisms of human mRNA splicing. In 2006, she returned to Portugal to launch the Plant Molecular Biology group at the IGC, where her team uses arabidopsis to investigate how plants respond to environmental cues at the molecular level, focusing on two lines of work: mRNA splicing and membrane transport. The Duque lab is particularly interested in uncovering the physiological significance of alternative splicing in plant systems and has gathered evidence that this posttranscriptional mechanism controls plant stress tolerance during the early stages of development largely by targeting components of the abscisic acid (ABA) stress signaling pathway. Interestingly, the team's characterization of the arabidopsis Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) of membrane transporters has revealed striking examples of the biological impact of alternative splicing in plants.