Sara Xapelli

  • Lecturer
  • Assistant Professor
Biographical note

Sara Xapelli graduated in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) in 2003 and obtained her PhD from the same Institution in 2008. For her PhD Sara studied the neuroprotective and antiepileptic role of neuropeptide Y and performed the work at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal, at the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark and at the University of Alberta, Canada. Then Sara performed her first postdoc at CNC, with an internship at the University of Southern Denmark. In 2011, she performed a second postdoc at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) where she implemented the research field of neural stem cells. In 2016 Sara obtained an “investigador FCT” position. Since 2018 Sara Xapelli is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa and is the PI of the group “Control of neurogenesis and postnatal oligodendrogogenesis” in the Neuroscience Unit at iMM.


(2018 – to date) Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
(2019 – to date) Secretary general of Portuguese Society for Neuroscience
(2019 – to date) Member of the Fiscal Council of the Portuguese Society of Stem Cells and Cell Therapies
(2019 – to date) Management Committee member of the COST Action CA18116 - Aniridia: networking to address an unmet medical, scientific, and societal challenge
(2019 – to date) Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC) Conference Grant Coordinator of COST Action CA18116
(2021 – to date) Member of the Pedagogical Council of FMUL (substitute member)
(2021 – to date) Member of the Jury of the Special Contest of Access and Admission to the Degree in Medicine by Holders of a Bachelor's Degree
(2023 – to date) Member of the Integrated Quality Assurance System council of FMUL (CGQ-FMUL)
(2023 – to date) Member of FMUL's Internal Assessment Committee (CAI) 
(2023 – to date) Member of the Executive Committee of the Mind-Brain College of the University of Lisbon.
(2023 – 2025) Member of the "International Society for Neurochemistry Schools Initiative Committee" for 2023-2025.
(2023 – to date) Member of the Scientific Council of the Master's and PhD programme in Cognitive Sciences
(2023 – to date) Representative of the Portuguese Society for Neuroscience in the Alba Network, towards diversity and equity in brain sciences
(2023 – to date) Vice-President of the Portuguese Society for Neuroscience


Research Area

Neural Stem Cells 
Neurogenesis and Oligodendrogenesis
Disease models: Depression, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis