Joana Palha, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, and has performed her research in the associated Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) since 2001. Her main research interests are neuroimmunology and neuroendocrinology, and how the immune and the endocrine systems influence the onset and progression of diseases affecting/disturbing the central nervous system. The bridge between these two main interests presently resides on the barriers of the brain, the focus of this research project. Dr. Palha has also been involved in projects studying how thyroid hormones influence psychomotor development of newborns and how are they implicated in diseases such as schizophrenia.
Dr. Palha graduated with a degree in Biochemistry fromthe University of Porto, Portugal, in 1991, and defended her Ph.D. in 1995 at the same university. The Ph.D. project, performed at Columbia University, NY, aimed at studying the role of a major thyroid hormone carrier protein in thyroid hormone homeostasis. She then moved, for a brief postdoc to the New York University Medical Center, on a project studying presenilins in Alzheimer’s disease. In 1996, Dr. Palha returned to Portugal, to become an Assistant Professor at the Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde, Paredes, Portugal, and in 1999 became an Assistant Investigator at the Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto. In 2001 she joined the newly-formed School of Health Sciences/ICVS, University of Minho, where her current research is being developed. In addition, Dr. Palha is actively involved in teaching medical students about the biochemistry of various organic and functional body systems.
Margarida Correia-Neves, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, and has performed her research in the associated Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) since 2006. Her main current research interest is the immune response to infection by mycobacteria, particularly the role of T cells and cytokines. Recently, Dr. Correia-Neves became interested in the role of the immune system in behavioral disorders such as depression and anxiety, and is now addressing how immunomodulators, such as cytokines and others at the barriers of the brain, can contribute to diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Correia-Neves obtained the degree of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, in 1993, and defended her Ph.D. thesis on T cell differentiation at the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France in 1999. After one year dedicated to bird watching and photography in India and Nepal, she returned to Portugal in 2001, initially as a postdoctoral fellow and later as an Assistant Investigator at the Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto, where she initiated her work on the immune response to infection. From 2002 to 2005 Dr. Correia-Neves was an Assistant Professor at the Polytechnic Institute in Health Sciences, ISAVE, Fontarcada, Portugal, teaching microbiology to students in health sciences. In 2006, she joined the School of Health Sciences/ICVS, University of Minho, where her current research is being developed. In addition, Dr. Correia-Neves is actively involved in teaching medical students subjects related to immunology and microbiology.