Ofélia Carvalho was born in 1972 in Luanda, Angola. She earned a BSc in Biology in 1995 by the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. She was a student at the Programa Gulbenkian de Doutoramento em Biologia e Medicina and did her PhD thesis work in the USA defending it at the Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa in 2002.
From 1995 to 2001 she worked with mouse models of learning and memory at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (NY, USA) and at UCLA (LA, USA) under the supervision of Alcino Silva. She then worked at the Department of Anatomy, Cambridge University (UK) with Wolfram Schultz from 2002 to 2008, doing in vivo monkey neurophysiology and subsequently moved to the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research doing research on human mendelian disorders with Geoff Woods.
She has moved to Portugal in 2012 and joined the group of Deolinda Lima at IBMC/i3S/FMUP. Having spent some time at a portuguese CRO company (Keypoint) she become a Investigador Auxiliar at EPIUnit at the Epidemiologia Perinatal e Pediátrica group through the DOCnet project.
She has an eclectic background having worked in research projects in the broad field of the neurosciences using several experimental models (cellullar, mouse, monkey, human) and techniques (molecular biology, behavioral tests and electrophysiology) exploring the psychological and molecular mechanisms of biological processed relating to learning, memory, decision and choice under uncertainty, pain and neuro-development. She has published several papers in international peer-reviewed journals.
She teaches at FMUP (Departamento de Biomedicina) courses on Decision and Choice Neuroscience and Métodos Moleculares na Medicina Personalizada and at ISPUP.