Catarina Leite Pereira, PhD

    Catarina Leite Pereira graduated in Biology at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) and completed her MSc in Biomedical Engineering, at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). In the scope of her master’s degree, she joined Instituto Nacional de Engenharia Biomédica (INEB) where she started her work on biomaterials based-strategies to treat intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration, namely using nanotechnology to modulate the pro-inflammatory microenvironment favouring regeneration. Her work substantiated different research lines and the developed nanotechnology was applied in the context of cancer and cartilage treatment. Later she was awarded with a competitive PhD fellowship of FCT to pursue her PhD studies on the development of a novel strategy to treat IVD via mesenchymal stem cell recruitment, using a chemoattractant delivery system. Catarina’s international PhD was performed at INEB and at AO Research Institute Davos, in Switzerland. Her work is one of the awardees of the AO Spine Young Research Award 2015.

    As postdoctoral researcher, she has been involved in multiple national and international projects related to biomaterials, regenerative medicine, and nanotechnology application in musculoskeletal-related disorders and cancer. Since February 2020 she is responsible for a work-package management and experimental work in the European Project RESTORE (H2020: 814558/5,5M€). This project encompasses the production of anti-inflammatory/-microbial/-proteolytic nanobiomaterials and their inclusion on a 3D scaffold for cartilage repair.

    Throughout her path Catarina has been able to translate her scientific achievements into the publication of 26 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals (h-index: 14, >500 citations). The quality of the scientific production can be ascertained by the several selected oral and poster presentations in prestigious international conferences and invitations to act as expert reviewer in international funding agencies. She collaborates, as reviewer, with over 7 internationally reputed journals, namely Drug Delivery and Translational Research, Acta Biomaterialia and Biomaterials Science.

    Currently, her research focus is on the development of advanced 3D in vitro models as preclinical tools for novel drugs/nanomedicines screening, using multi-compartmentalized in vitro systems.