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Name: João Cerqueira

Office: G2.24

School Phone: +351 253 604 928

Email: jcerqueira@med.uminho.pt

 

 

 

Keywords: stress cognition ageing multiple sclerosis biomarkers prefrontal cortex

About

João José Cerqueira (JJC) is Assistant Professor and vice-dean for academic affairs at the School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, medical executive director of the 2CA Braga (Braga Clinical Academic Centre) and Neurologist at the Hospital de Braga. After completing his Medical Degree from the University of Porto, he obtained his PhD from the University of Minho, under Nuno Sousa. His thesis research focused in the behavioural, functional and structural changes induced by chronic stress and glucocorticoid manipulations. He was the first to demonstrate the importance of MR/GR balance in the regulation of prefrontal cortex structure and to identify, in the prefrontal cortex, the morphological correlates of stress-induced behavioural disruption. In parallel he completed his residency training in Neurology, with a special interest in Neuroimmunology. He then established himself as a junior PI in the same institute, where the focus of his research has been the characterization of cognitive deficits in health and disease and the development and testing of strategies to prevent them, from pharmacological interventions to cognitive training, in both animal models and in patients. He has also been deeply involved in clinical and translational research, focusing on cognition in multiple sclerosis. He is currently the president of the Portuguese Multiple Sclerosis study group. JJC co-supervised 4 PhD and 5 MSc students and is the current the supervisor/co-supervisor of 4 additional PhD students. He is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and 3 book chapters, with more than 2600 citations and an h factor of 25.

His lab has strongbehavioural testing capabilities, including a partnership with a majorbehavioural equipment company to develop and validate new cognitive tests,first class structural and morphological analysis equipment and experience aswell as the ability to perform ex vivo (patch clamp, field potential) and freelymoving in vivo (field potentials, synchrony)electrophysiological recordings.

Projects

Communication across the barriers  

Impact of peripheral neuropathies on CNS function and structure  

Maintaining health in old age through homeostasis (Switchbox)  

The role of the immune system in mood disorders and cognition  

Selected Publications

Marques F, Mesquita SD, Sousa JC, Coppola G, Gao F, Geschwind DH, Columba-Cabezas S, Aloisi F, Degn M, Cerqueira JJ, Sousa N, Correia-Neves M, Palha JA. Lipocalin 2 is present in the EAE brain and is modulated by natalizumab.Front Cell Neurosci. 2012 Aug 9;6:33. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2012.00033. eCollection 2012.

Santos NC, Costa PS, Cunha P, Cotter J, Sampaio A, Zihl J, Almeida OF, Cerqueira JJ, Palha JA, Sousa N. Mood is a key determinant of cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults: a cross-sectional analysis. Age (Dordr). 2013 Oct;35(5):1983-93. doi: 10.1007/s11357-012-9482-y. Epub 2012 Oct 6.

Morgado P, Silva M, Sousa N, Cerqueira JJ. Stress Transiently Affects Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer. Front Neurosci. 2012 Jun 25;6:93. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2012.00093. eCollection 2012.

Morgado P, Freitas D, Bessa JM, Sousa N, Cerqueira JJ. Perceived stress in obessive-compulsive disorder is related with obsessive but not compulsive symptoms. Front Psych, 4:21 (2013).

Soares JM, Sampaio A, Ferreira LM, Santos NC, Marques F, Palha JA, Cerqueira JJ, Sousa N. Stress-induced changes in human decision-making are reversible. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Jul 3;2:e131. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.59.

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