After graduating from Faculty of Pharmacy of University of Porto in 1987 I started my career as a biomedical scientist at a clinical laboratory and at a pharmaceutical industry. Later, I was admitted to the National Reference Laboratory for Tuberculosis and Mycobacteria of the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) in 1989, and since then I have been involved in a series of projects ranging from applied to basic research on tuberculosis.
My PhD studies at Surrey University - UK (1999) and pos-doc training at Ohio State University – USA (2002) were focused on mycobacterial genomics. During these years of work in several European labs (UK and Netherlands) as well as in the USA, I gained valuable expertise on subjects such as: (i) lipid analysis of mycobacterial cell wall components; (ii) diagnosis of tuberculosis by serological and molecular biology techniques; (iii) mycobacterial genetics and proteomics.
As Principal Investigator of the project entitled “Development and evaluation of molecular biology methods for the diagnosis of tuberculosis”, I worked on the development of in- house real-time PCR methods for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. As Co-Investigator of the projects entitled “Study of tuberculosis transmission in the region of Vila Nova de Gaia” and “Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Portugal: Implementing and analysing a database”, I became interested in M. tuberculosis genotyping as well as in identifying strains that have an increased ability to cause disease and spread.
As Senior Research Scientist I also teach and supervise post-graduate students (Master’s degrees and Doctorates) in collaboration with universities and research centres.