Luisa Lopes distinguished by SCML in Neuroscience
The team led by Luísa Lopes, from the Institute of Molecular Medicine João Lobo Antunes /, Faculty of Medicine, received the Award Mantero Belard, from Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.
With the amount of 200 thousand euros, this award aims to promote and stimulate scientific or clinical research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases associated with ageing, such as Disease Parkinson and Disease Alzheimer, enabling new strategies in the treatment and restoration of neurological functions.
In a statement to News@fmul, the neuroscientist Luísa Lopes presented her team and her work proposal. “"Our team is dedicated to studying the mechanisms underlying the early synaptic lesions associated with ageing. In the project, now awarded by Santa Casa, we propose a new approach to understanding the disease Alzheimer, which involves detecting the earliest signs of transformation of a particular protein, APP the precursor protein of amyloid, whose abnormal processing at a later stage is associated to the disease. We have data, obtained in collaboration with the Professor Paula Pousinha from the University of Côte d’Azur on Nice, that point out that at an early stage, an abnormal functioning of the synapses can be the basis of subsequent neuronal death. We have also identified some target proteins involved in the process. The funding of this project will allow us to take the next step, that is, create a series of molecular tools based on this data and invest in the latest technology to register the synaptic function. We will interfere with these mechanisms in these previous steps, meaning, when the processing of APP is still normal, in an attempt to monitor the disease's process in animal models and obtain clues that allow us to intervene earlier on in the future. In addition, this funding will also enable the development of new technology for analysing patient samples to validate this data in humans. The team iMM Faculty of Medicine also included Professor Sergio Almeida, a PhD student Joana Saraiva, who will do part of the work in Nice, and PhD researchers Mariana Temido-Ferreira and Joana Coelho”.
The award Melo e Castro, worth200 thousand euros, which distinguishes a project that enhances the recovery and treatment of vertebro-spinal injuries, was awarded to Nuno Sousa and to the research team at the University of Minho, for the project Thertact-Exo: Brain activity controlled exoskeleton for vertebro-spinal rehabilitation. "
In the selection of these two research project was a jury composed of 8 members, José Ferro Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and the Director of Neurology Santa Maria . "The decision to award the Prizes are the responsibility CV of the main investigator, the quality of his team and the centre(s) from which he comes, there is an item on the collaboration between centres, that is, if there is a network of centres this is valued ; then the project and its originality are evaluated, as well as the feasibility of implementation in the proposed time and budget; finally the plausibility of reaching people. Considering the panel cannot vote on the projects of the Institutions where they are affiliated, José Ferro emphasise the increase of works submitted this year compared to last year.
The Santa Casa Neuroscience Awards Ceremony took place last month, at Thalia Theatre , in Lisbon. Present at the event were Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security António Vieira da Silva, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor, the Representative of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, Edmundo Martinho members of the Santa Casa Board, as well as the Panel.
2013 SCML has invested 2,4 millions of euros in scientific and medical research of excellence in Portugal, awarding the largest grants to the Neurosciences.
See the awards ceremony here