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Neurobiology of Ageing & Disease

Ageing, stress and neurodegenerative diseases are among the conditions that contribute to the accelerated loss of cognitive function. Our group's work is focused on understanding the mechanisms inducing this "early-ageing", which render the hippocampus - the brain area related to learning and memory – particularly susceptible.

We focus on characterizing the molecular mechanisms associated to hippocampal loss of function and its outcome in behavior performance and synaptic function, using rodent models. We ensure the translation to the human brain, by testing these molecular imprints in healthy and diseased human brain tissue. We are currently focused into exploring the role of adenosine A2A receptors as potential cognitive modulators both in vitro and in vivo.

Research Team

Cátia Reis
Postdoctoral Researcher

Inês Morgado
PhD Student

Joana Coelho
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Joana Ribeiro
PhD Student

Joana Saraiva
PhD Student

João Moreira

Raquel Madruga da Costa
MSc Student

Rui Gomes
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Areas

  • Molecular switches from aging towards neurodegeneration in the hippocampus
  • Impact of circadian modulation on hippocampal-dependent memory
  • Therapeutic actions of caffeine and caffeine analogs against memory deficits
  • Cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's mouse models
  • Molecular mechanisms of early cognitive deficits in Parkinson's disease

Ongoing Research Projects

2019/2021 The physiological role of circadian rhythms in memory. Coordinator: Luísa Lopes. Funding Agency: Fundação BIAL.

2019/2021 Mechanistic insight on Alzheimer’s using novel aging-based models. Coordinator: Luísa Lopes. Funding Agency: Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.

2016/2020 Targeting the glycation defenses as a protective strategy for Parkinson’s disease. Coordinator: Luísa Lopes. Funding Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.


2019 Interstellar Initiative Award – NY Academy Sciences and Japan Agency AMED

2018 Santa Casa da Misericórida Mantero Belard Award

2018 CEEC FCT Principal Investigator Award

2017 Universidade de Lisboa/Caixa Geral de Depósitos Award (Menção Honrosa)

2013 Investigator FCT Award, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal

Selected Publications

  • Ribeiro M, Brigas HC, Temido-Ferreira M, et al. (2019) Meningeal γδ T cell-derived IL-17 controls synaptic plasticity and short-term memory. Sci Immunol. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aay5199.
  • Pousinha PA, Mouska X, Bianchi D, Temido-Ferreira M, Rajão-Saraiva J, Gomes R, Fernandez SP, Salgueiro-Pereira AR, Gandin C, Raymond EF, Barik J, Goutagny R, Bethus I, Lopes LV, Migliore M, Marie H. (2019) The Amyloid Precursor Protein C-Terminal Domain Alters CA1 Neuron Firing, Modifying Hippocampus Oscillations and Impairing Spatial Memory Encoding. Cell Rep. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.08.103.
  • Mariana Temido-Ferreira, Diana G. Ferreira, Vânia L. Batalha, Inês Marques-Morgado, Joana E. Coelho, Pedro Pereira, Rui Gomes, Andreia Pinto, Sara Carvalho, Paula M. Canas, Laetitia Cuvelier, Valerie Buée-Scherrer, Emilie Faivre, Younis Baqi, Christa E. Müller, José Pimentel, Serge N. Schiffmann, Luc Buée, Michael Bader, Tiago F. Outeiro, David Blum, Rodrigo A. Cunha, Hélène Marie, Paula A. Pousinha and Luísa V. Lopes (2018) Age-related shift in LTD is dependent on neuronal adenosine A2A receptors interplay with mGluR5 and NMDA receptors, Molecular Psychiatry 10.1038/s41380-018-0110-9.
  • Diana G. Ferreira, Mariana Temido-Ferreira, Hugo Vicente Miranda, Vânia L. Batalha, Joana E. Coelho, Éva M. Szegö, Inês Marques-Morgado, Sandra H. Vaz, Jeong Seop Rhee, Matthias Schmitz, Inga Zerr, Luísa V. Lopes* and Tiago F. Outeiro* (2017) α-Synuclein interacts with PrPC to induce cognitive impairment through mGluR5 and NMDAR2B. Nature Neuroscience doi: 10.1038/nn.4648 *co-senior author.
  • VL. Batalha, JM. Pego B Fontinha, AR Costenla, J Valadas, Y Baqi, H Radjainia, C E. Müller, AM. Sebastião and Luísa V. Lopes (2013) Adenosine A2A receptor blockade reverts hippocampal stress-induced deficits and restores corticosterone circadian oscillation. Mol. Psychiatry.

group leader :
Luísa Lopes