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Principal Investigator

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Paula Macedo

Medical Scientist

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João F. Raposo

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Marco Medeiros

Post-Doctoral Researchers


Inês Coelho

I am currently a researcher at MEDIR and Portuguese Diabetes Association (APDP). Going back a few years, I was conferred my BSc and MSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal. During my MSc thesis I have studied the impact of antidiabetic drugs on human Sertoli cells, work that was developed at Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Portugal.
        Afterwards, I was awarded a FCT PhD Fellowship from ProRegeM PhD Programme and I moved to CEDOC - Chronic Diseases Research Center, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal. Here, I started working at MEDIR Lab and our goal was to assess the impact of high-fat and high-fructose diets on NAFLD development. Particularly, we are addressing the role/potential of apolipoprotein J (ApoJ) and paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) as a mechanism-driven biomarker for NAFLD through mouse animal models and human studies.

Maria João

At the moment I am a Research Associate at the MEtabolic DIseases Research (MEDIR) group. 
        As a graduate student at MIT with Dr. Guarente, one of the top scientists in the aging field, I deeply focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aging at the genetic level. 
        After that, I became interested in bridging my work on aging to stem cell research. 
        I obtained a postdoctoral position at Stanford University, with Dr. Thomas Rando, investigating the age-related epigenetic changes in adult muscle stem cells. 
        I moved back home to Portugal, where I joined the Outeiro’s Laboratory at the IMM (2008-2015). 
        There I focused on a pressing goal to better comprehend aging-associated common diseases including Parkinson disease and type II diabetes. 
        Since known genetic regulators of longevity are intrinsically linked to the regulation of late on set diseases, I substantially contributed to elucidate the role of 
        Silent Information Regulator 2 - SIRT2, an important deacetylase in the aging process, in neurodegeneration and mitochondrial metabolism dysfunction.
        Here at the MEDIR, I am actively engaged in a variety of projects, bringing a more molecular and mechanistic approach to the on-going research due to my strong background in molecular biology and protein biochemistry. 
        I am particularly interested in understanding how the hypothalamus, a key tissue recently identified as a control-center in mammalian aging, orchestrates with the liver and the gut the intricate on-set and progression of diabetes. 
        Being diabetes a systemic disorder, in order to contribute to the big picture is paramount to study the organism as a complex network of communicating organs, thus I elected the exosomes as an unique mean of communication in this pathophysiological setting. 
        For me, research is a game of discovery which gives me enough joy to keep going! In my free time I like to play with my two kids

Rita Oliveira

I was conferred my LSc degree in Biochemistry in 2000, at Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. In 2001, became a PhD student of the PhD programme of Graduate Programme in Areas of Basic Applied Biology (GABBA), in Oporto University. In 2010, I was conferred a PhD degree in “Ciências da Vida, especialidade de Fisiologia”, at Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
        My main objective, during my PhD was to implement a new insulin sensitivity test in humans in order to characterize the modulation of insulin action by hepatic parasympathetic nerves in pathologies like type 2 diabetes, obesity and arterial hypertension. I’m also performing different types of assays related with my postdoctoral project in the laboratory of the Portuguese Diabetes Association.  
        Since 2004, I’m assistant professor at Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa in the nutrition and metabolism field. 
        I have been working on the field of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism for the past years. Special attention is given to the field of metabolic disorders, specifically on the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the progression from prediabetes to diabetes. I have been involved in clinical research projects and developing project management skills. I have been working on the genetics approach of prediabetes, diabetes and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) having a series of genotyping technical skills.

Rita S. Patarrão

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Rogério T. Ribeiro


I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Metabolic Diseases Research Group | CEDOC, NOVA Medical School and CNC – Center for Neurociences and Cell Biology, where I am actively researching in the field of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. On September 2009 I started as a Research Assistant at the Department of Physiology of the NOVA Medical School, New University of Lisbon. During the period of time as a research assistant our work focused on the study of the autonomous nervous system as a regulator of post-prandial glucose homeostasis. Work performed during this period allowed us to understand the importance of nitric oxide (NO) and glutathione (GSH) in whole-body homeostasis.
        Moving forward I was awarded a PhD fellowship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and continued researching the importance of NO, GSH and S-nitrosothiols on carbohydrate homeostasis. My PhD fellowship was a joint venture between the Metabolic Diseases Research Group (MEDIR), led by Professor Maria Paula Macedo, and Professor Young-Bum Kim’s lab at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, in Boston. For more than four years I was in Boston I have researched glucose and lipid homeostasis disturbances, leading to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. 
        Upon my return to Portugal I started as a post-doctoral fellow at the Metabolic Diseases Research Group | CEDOC, NOVA Medical School and APDP – Education and Research Center. We are currently addressing the importance of the ApoJ (apolipoprotein J) /PON-1 (paraoxonase-1) axis as a mechanism-driven biomarker for NAFLD. Currently I am also interested on the study of intestinal permeability as a driver and promoter of chronic inflammatory diseases (CID) such as metabolic disorders, type 2 Diabetes and obesity. 
        My research interests continue to be on the intricate and complex metabolic pathways of the liver and how these impact on disease onset and progression. I hope to be able to identify crucial key components of these pathways, thus being able to propose new diagnosis and therapeutic tools.

Inês Lima

Rita Andrade

PhD Students

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Ana Lucia Pina

As the brazilian soul of the lab I started my journey in science with a degree in Biomedicine (UNICRUZ). It was while working at Cruz Alta´s Heart Institute, with a great team and in a multidisciplinary environment that I started to be fascinated by complex disorders such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Some years later, during my Master in Health Science (UFCSPA), I worked with gene expression of adipokines in subcutaneous and visceral fat of morbidly obese people. This was when molecular biology came into my life, and I decided to start my PhD in a more fundamental background, and also in a new country. After some homework, I found a great call for Latin American folks that took me all the way from Brazil to MEDIR lab in Portugal. I have been working at CEDOC since 2014, studying the importance of hepatic insulin clearance for glucose homeostasis. My PhD project is mainly focused in bridging science from mouse to man on how insulin degrading enzyme is tied to the development of glucose intolerance, an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease development.

Diego O. Borges

Akiko Teshima

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Teresa Ferreira

MSc Students

Currently, I’m working on my master thesis with Rita Oliveira as my supervisor, focusing on exosomes and their involvement with diabetes. I graduated in Biochemistry in 2018, at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and continued there with a masters, specializing in Medical Biochemistry. This is the first real research project that I’m fully involved in and, hopefully, it’s the first chapter of a long and interesting story.

Pedro Ribeiro


Ana B. Fernandes, PhD

Ana Marta Matos, MSc

Andrea Natali, MD, PhD

Beatriz Guerreiro, MSc

Diego O Borges, PhD

Fátima Martins, PhD

Filipa Duarte Santos MSc

Inês Antunes Ferreira, PhD

Inês Guerra Mollet, PhD

Iva Lamarão, MSc

Joana Gaspar, PhD

Joana Viegas, MSc

João Silva, MSc

Margarida Correia, PhD

Maria Guarino, PhD

Nair Bonito, MSc

Nina Correia, MSc

Regina Silvestre, MSc

Ricardo Afonso, PhD

Teresa Delgado, PhD