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Maria João Saraiva




Maria João Saraiva
Director of the Molecular Neurobiology Group, IBMC/i3S


Maria João Mascarenhas Saraiva received a BSc in Biology from the University of Porto, Portugal, in 1976, and an MSc in Biochemistry from the University of London, in 1978. Between 1980 and 1984, she did a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Porto, and qualified as Professor of Biochemistry  in the University of Porto in 1991. She worked for different periods as a Visiting Scientist at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, New York. She is Director of the Molecular Neurobiology Group at i3S and IBMC in Porto University. Maria J Saraiva  was awarded the Seiva Prize for Services to Science by the City of Porto, in 1996, and the Gulbenkian Prize in Science, in 2009. She has published over 230 articles in peer reviewed journals, several reviews on the subject of molecular biology of misfolding diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system.



"Pre-clinical studies in familial amyloid neuropathy: contribution to R&D in collaboration with industry"

The A-TTR amyloidoses are characterized by deposition of transthyretin in various organs and tissues and affect mainly either the peripheral nervous system and the heart due to the presence of TTR mutations and/or the wild type protein respectively. We have been testing drugs on a transgenic animal model for this group of diseases, including among others, selective silencing of human liver TTR by siRNA in collaboration with Alnylan. After clinical trials in patients worldwide, the drug was approved for treatment of TTR-FAP by FDA, Europe and authorized by Infarmed for its use in Portugal.


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