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Grupo GHTM: VBD PhD members, Vector-borne diseases and pathogens
Gabriela Santos-Gomes (Researcher ID I-2391-2012) coordinates the Doctorate in Biomedical Sciences (DCB IHMT NOVA), five curricular units on the Immunology scientific field, and the curricular unit of Scientific Communication of 2nd (MSc) and 3rd (PhD)cycle of studies, and lectures on other internal curricular units, such as Protozoology and external post-graduate formations.
The main area of research is the study of parasite-host interaction. Santos-Gomes has contributed to increasing knowledge on innate and acquired immune response elicited by the mammal host, particularly the dog, against parasites, mainly trypanosomatids (Leishmania and Trypanosoma) aiming to contribute to the advance of control strategies, mainly the development of vaccines and drug prototypes. Through European and international collaborative research, she has investigated the immune response developed by the infected host, evaluating the immune cells, including memory and regulatory T cells, their receptors, tackling signaling pathways, and induced immune mediators, improving outcomes for the benefit of populations and their animals.
As the leader of the Parasite Immunology and Vaccine Development Lab, Santos-Gomes has participated in diverse research projects and has coordinated several of them, innovating the control strategies of diseases caused by trypanosomatids.
In the recent past has actively contributed to highlighting the immunological role of the liver in canine leishmaniasis, which until then did not attract much the attention of the scientific community (exp DOI: 10.3390/biology11010100). She also highlighted the importance of polymorphonuclear cells in Leishmania early infection (exp. DOI: 10.1111/pim.12617) and is currently evaluating the effect of parasite extracellular vesicles in host immune response and the use of programmed dendritic cells to shape a protective immune response against trypanosomatid infections.
Santos-Gomes has a strong and assiduous publication record with 19 peer-reviewed papers in Q1/Q2 scientific journals and one book chapter (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61981-7_17) in the last five years. Moreover, she has regular international contributions to scientific advising and evaluation, favoring the flow of ideas and the quality of research projects and peer-reviewed papers.
The principal research areas are the study of parasite-host relations and the development of new prophylactic and therapeutic tools and strategies to control neglected tropical parasitic diseases, especially leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. This study has been performed in the scope of several funding research projects in collaboration with national, European, and international researchers and institutions.
Research outputs disseminated in scientific journals and scientific meetings have attracted several national and international students to our lab as well as international researchers, which have contributed to scientific innovation and research progress.
Currently, the research team of Parasite Immunology and Vaccine Development Lab includes three postdocs and ten students, of which three are PhD students of DCB programme with fellowships awarded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P.
- Rodrigues, A. V., Valério-Bolas, A., Alexandre-Pires, G., Aires Pereira, M., Nunes, T., Ligeiro, D., Pereira da Fonseca, I., & Santos-Gomes, G. (2022). Zoonotic Visceral Leishmaniasis: New Insights on Innate Immune Response by Blood Macrophages and Liver Kupffer Cells to Leishmania infantumBiology, 11(1), 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010100.
- Dias-Guerreiro, T., Palma-Marques, J., Mourata-Gonçalves, P., Alexandre-Pires, G., Valério-Bolas, A., Gabriel, Á., Nunes, T., Antunes, W., Fonseca, I., Sousa-Silva, M., & Santos-Gomes, G. (2021). African Trypanosomiasis: Extracellular Vesicles Shed by Trypanosoma brucei bruceiManipulate Host Mononuclear Cells. Biomedicines, 9(8), 1056. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9081056.
- Manuel, L., Santos-Gomes, G., & Noormahomed, E. V. (2020). Human toxoplasmosis in Mozambique: gaps in knowledge and research opportunities. Parasites & vectors, 13(1), 571. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04441-3.
- Gabriel, Á., Valério-Bolas, A., Palma-Marques, J., Mourata-Gonçalves, P., Ruas, P., Dias-Guerreiro, T., & Santos-Gomes, G. (2019). Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: The Complexity of Host’s Effective Immune Response against a Polymorphic Parasitic Disease. Journal of immunology research, 2019, 2603730. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2603730.
- Valério-Bolas, A., Pereira, M., Alexandre-Pires, G., Santos-Mateus, D., Rodrigues, A., Rafael-Fernandes, M., Gabriel, A., Passero, F., & Santos-Gomes, G. (2019). Intracellular and extracellular effector activity of mouse neutrophils in response to cutaneous and visceral Leishmania parasites. Cellular immunology, 335, 76–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellimm.2018.11.00.