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Director´s message

The Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes is now over a decade old. From the beginning and under the direction of Carmo Fonseca, iMM has established itself as a biomedical research institute of excellence, conducting basic and clinical research with the mission of improving human life. A constant slope towards excellence-driven, high-impact research, with a clear emphasis on quality over quantity, marks that same decade. Last year the executive lead was passed to me, with Carmo becoming President; and a Board of Directors was swiftly set.

I am a scientist because I fell madly in love when I saw an electron micrograph of a Leishmania parasite inside a host macrophage. Since then I have "changed subject" a few times but questioning how microbes survive inside the host and how these 2 entities cross-talk powers my life. While I do not know the details of when and how my fellow scientist of the board of directors – Bruno Silva-Santos - fell in love with science, I have no doubt that our common denominator is the constant excitement about the questions that keep sprouting in our minds. And for Margarida Pinto Gago, our Finance Director, discoveries made at iMM are surely a big and important part of her life.

Together we are determined to make iMM a place where world-class ingenious scientists with an ambitious research portfolio are supported by state-of-the-art technology and flexible resources that maximize creativity towards discoveries without boundaries.

To finish I would like to stress that, while promoting individual freedom and ambition, our vision is not of a culture of individuality. Instead, we envisage an atmosphere where everyone – either a researcher, a member of the technical or administrative staff – feels that she or he contributes to the institution; and that the institution sets a common goal of creating new knowledge that will impact human health.

And that, as they say, will make my day!

Maria M. Mota
(Executive Director)



iMM Associate Members

Universidade de Lisboa
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa
Hospital de Santa Maria

Fundação da Universidade de Lisboa
Associação para a Investigação e o Desenvolvimento da Faculdade de Medicina
Fundação Oriente

Board of Trustees

Composed by representatives of the Associate Members and meets to analyse the scientific and finance report and to approve the plan of activities and budget for the next year.

Board of Directors

Responsible for the management of the Institute according to the plans approved by the Trustees and elected by the Trustees.

M. Carmo-Fonseca, MD, PhD (President)
Maria M. Mota, PhD (Executive Director)
Bruno Silva-Santos, PhD (Vice-President)


Ana Clara Artur (Board of Directors Assistant)



Patrícia Mcarthy da Cunha (Secretary)


Administration Board

Composed by the Directors, the Research Programme Coordinators and the Directors of Faculdade de Medicina and Hospital de Santa Maria. It meets to define scientific strategies and actions, administrative organization plans and budgetary priorities.

Council of Scientists

Composed by all Principal Investigators. It meets to discuss the scientific strategies and plan of actions proposed by the Board of Directors. This Council elects two Representatives to participate in the meetings of the Board of Trustees.

Scientific Advisory Committees

Undertake periodic evaluations to the IMM specific programmes and include international experts of scientific fields analysed.

Cell and Developmental Biology Programme | 2013

John G Gribben, Queen Mary's School of Medicine, University of London, UK
Petra Schwille, Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Germany
Phillippe Pierre, Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, France
Fiona Watt, King's College London, UK

Neurosciences Programme | 2010

Michael Spyer, University College London, UK
Christine Gall, University of California, USA
Charles Warlow, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
Reinhard Dengler, Medizinische Hochschule, Hannover, Germany

Immunology and Infectious Diseases Programme | 2009

Anne O'Garra, National Institute for Medical Research, UK
Alain Fischer, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malade, Paris, France
William Paul, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, USA
Philippe Sansonetti, Institut Pasteur, France
Antonio Freitas, Institut Pasteur, France

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