Helena Florindo, PhD

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon

    Helena Florindo graduated in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2003 (University of Lisbon) and obtained her Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Technology in 2008 (University of Lisbon), in collaboration with the University of London.

    Currently, she is an Associate Professor with tenure and habilitation in the department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon. Since 2015, she is the head of the BioNanoSciences – Drug Delivery & Immunotherapy Research Group, at the Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), University of Lisbon.

    Both nanotechnology and immune-oncology fields have motivated her multidisciplinary research focused on the rational development of functionalized nanobiomaterials as novel immunotherapies for cancer treatment. It includes the characterization of the anti-tumor effects induced by the combination of nano-vaccines with nano-therapeutics designed to modulate the functions of key cells within tumor microenvironment, such as T cells, myeloid-derived cells and tumor cells.

    Her major topics of research are:

    Regulation of immunity by targeting dendritic cells (DC) using nanotechnology-based tools to combine the antigen carry capacity of nanoparticles (NP) and the specific targeting and maturation of DC receptors in vivo. It aims to i) enhance antigen delivery to DC; ii) modulate antigen intracellular processing and presentation pathways; iii) block signalling pathways related to tumour evasion mechanisms;

    Size-based targeting of lymph node-resident immune cells by NP to overcome major barriers for vaccine components and immunotherapies.

    Dissecting tumor stromal and immune cell interplay to guide the design of multi-targeting nano-conjugates as innovative immunotherapeutic treatments against metastatic cancer diseases.