May 2018

Honourable Mention to Susana Solá at 10th Edition of Crioestaminal Award

Susana Solá, researcher of the Cellular Function and Therapeutic Targeting Lab received an Honourable Mention at 10th Edition of Crioestaminal Award for Medical Research, with the project: “Metabolic Control of Neural Repair by Diet and Gut Microbiome during Aging”.

Although production and functional integration of new neurons occur in adult mammalian brain, neural stem cells (NSCs) produce very few neurons during aging or after injury. Recent evidence suggests that diet-induced gut microbiome (GM) alterations affect NSC fate, where host mitochondrial metabolism plays a key role. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms driving the impairment of neuroplasticity by high fat diet- and GM-induced mitochondrial dysfunction remain largely unknown. The overall objective of Susana Solá´s team is to better understand the mechanisms by which mitochondrial bioenergy influences neural repair under high saturated fat diet throughout life. Further, they will also explore the efficacy of specific mitochondrial regulators in balancing oxidative metabolism in these conditions to stimulate brain regeneration in mammalians. The results from this work might have a huge impact in improving the cognition, health and life quality of aging population with unbalanced eating habits.

The award ceremony took place on May 23 at Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular (IBMC)/ Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúse (I3S), Universidade do Porto. The winner of this edition was Nuno Alves from IBMC/I3S with the project: “Identification of Thymic Epithelial Stem Cells in vivo” and 2nd Honourable Mention was attributed to Rita Fior, from Champalimaud Research (CR), Fundação Champalimaud, with the project: “Molecular Mechanisms of Innate Immune Evasion and Recognition”

This prize distinguishes the best basic research in Portugal and is the result of a partnership between Crioestaminal and Associação Viver a Ciência.