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PhD student

Education and Training

Research Assistant, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 2015-2017

MSc in Evolutionary Biology and Development, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 2014

BSc in Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 2012

Research activities

My research interests are focused on the development of strategies to differentiate T cells from umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs).

UCB has emerged as an alternative source of HSPCs for patients lacking a suitable donor in the context of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, this source presents some disadvantages, such as low cell number and cell immaturity, which compromise the recovery of transplanted patients. Another disadvantage is the lack of donor cells for post-transplant adoptive therapies, commonly employed to enhance donor-derived immunity to treat infections, but also mixed chimerism or disease relapse.

By developing an innovative 2-stage culture platform (expansion + differentiation), my aim is to produce a large number of functional T cells from ex-vivo expanded HSPCs, which might be a readily available source of cells for adoptive immunotherapies, contributing to boost and widen the clinical use of UCB cells.

Selected publications

Soares, M.V., Azevedo, R.I., Ferreira, I.A., Bucar, S., Ribeiro, A.C., Vieira, A., Pereira, P.N.G., Ribeiro, R.M., Ligeiro, D., Alho, A.C., Soares, A.S., Camacho, N., Martins, C., Lourenço, F., Moreno, R., Ritz, J. and Lacerda, J.F. Naive and Stem Cell Memory T Cell Subset Recovery Reveals Opposing Reconstitution Patterns in CD4 and CD8 T Cells in Chronic Graft vs. Host Disease. Front Immunol 10:334 (2019).

Bucar, S., Gonçalves, A., Rocha, E., Barros, A., Rodrigues, G., Sousa, M., Sá, R. DNA fragmentation in human sperm after magnetic-activated cell sorting. J Assist Reprod Genet 32:147-154 (2015).

Bucar, S., Gonçalves, A., Barros, A., Sousa, M., Sá, R. Is Magnetic-Activated Cell Sorting an efficient technique in reducing human sperm DNA fragmentation? Microsc Microanal 21 (Suppl 5):63-64 (2015).