Teresa Cunha-Oliveira

Teresa Cunha-Oliveira 
CNC, University of Coimbra, PT

Teresa Cunha-Oliveira
got her PhD in Biology (Cell Biology) in 2007 from the University of Coimbra (Portugal), having contributed to introduce the role of mitochondria in the field of drug addiction, particularly concerning cocaine, heroin and amphetamine. In her first post-doctoral period (2007-2010) in the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC, Coimbra), she collaborated with a Medicinal Chemistry group at the University of Porto to uncover the cellular effects of a newly found chemical interaction between heroin and cocaine (speedball) that could have a great impact in the understanding of poly-drug abuse consequences. In her second post-doctoral period (2010-2012), she was focused on the role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease (HD) and Parkinson’s disease. She became interested in the epigenetic mechanisms associated with long-term mitochondrial dysfunction and contributed to characterize the bioenergetic dysfunction in cybrids from HD patients, evidencing the involvement of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and the promising role of epigenetic modulators in reversing PDH and mitochondrial dysfunctions in HD models. From 2013 until now, she is part of the MitoXT group at the CNC, more interested in the role of mitochondria in drug toxicology and experimental therapeutics, especially doxorubicin (DOX), an anticancer agent with long-term cardiotoxic side-effects involving mitochondria. She contributed to describe DOX-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, transcriptional deregulation and epigenetic signalling using in vitro and in vivo models. Her current interests include the development and validation of innovative screening assays to assess mitochondrial health with applications in toxicology, diagnostics and development of innovative therapeutic strategies for personalized medicine.

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