My main research interest is Biology of Reproduction. More specifically, I am interested in understanding the molecular processes responsible for the immortality conveyed by our reproductive cells and how the deregulation of such processes can impact our fertility.
I started my scientific career still as an undergraduate student in the Institute of Histology and Embryology of the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon, studying the feasibility of cryopreserving ovarian tissue as an eventual therapeutic option. I then moved to the neighboring Institute of Molecular Medicine where I did my Ph.D. on the effects of Y chromosome (epi)genetic variation on male fertility. Part of this work was performed in collaboration with the Portuguese National Institute of Health, where I further became aware of the clinical and societal impact associated with reproductive disorders. Indeed, I would later build on this clinical interest by working as embryologist in an assisted reproduction center.
In 2011 I joined Rui’s lab as a post-doc with the objective of identifying and characterizing novel evolutionarily-conserved germline genes. What moved me towards this direction was the lab’s expertise in using the Drosophila model for studying the fundamental aspects of germline regulation. In accordance, my current projects are focused on chromatin regulation during gametogenesis and on molecular pathways of sperm biogenesis. Hopefully, by bringing added insight into basic mechanisms of germ cell function, our work may lead to developments in the clinical management of infertile couples.