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Development and Evolutionary Morphogenesis - DEM

Ana Rita Cabral Martins Carlos

Assistant Professor

Disease mechanims DNA damage Oxidative stress Cancer Extracelullar matrix LAMA2

I received a Ph.D. in Radiobiology, in the study of Telomeres and Genomic Instability from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) in 2013. I did my postdoctoral research at Instituto Gulbenkian Ciência. There I studied the importance of disease tolerance mechanisms, in particular iron-responsive mechanisms and metabolic adaptation, at steady state and in the context of infection. I am currently working in the Development and Evolutionary Morphogenesis, leading the topic of Extracellular Matrix (ECM) and Cancer. I am an Assistant Professor of Animal Biology Department at the University of Lisbon. My research focuses on:
- The mechanisms that contribute to the onset of LAMA2 congenital muscular dystrophy (LAMA2-CMD), a severe neuromuscular disease caused by mutations in LAMA2, which codes for the alpha chain of laminins 211/221, key components of ECM. (L’Oréal Portugal Medals of Honor for Women in Science 2019)
- Gene therapy strategies for LAMA2-CMD (in collaboration with iBET, ITQB-NOVA)
- The impact of LAMA2 deficiency in the context of other pathologies, such as cancer.
- The impact of environmental pollutants on ECM remodelling (in collaboration with Inês Fragata and Vitor Sousa)

My current research is driven by three overarching objectives:
- Dissect the mechanisms linking extracellular and intracellular environments.
- Establish the link between ECM remodelling and oxidative stress and DNA damage.
- Understand which mechanisms act in a cell intrinsic manner and are disease independent.


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