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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), born in 9thMay 1977, is Assistant Professor at the School of Health Sciences, Universityof Minho and Neurologist at the Hospital de Braga. After completing his MedicalDegree from the University of Porto, he obtained his PhD from the University ofMinho, under Nuno Sousa. His thesis research focused in the behavioural,functional and structural changes induced by chronic stress and glucocorticoidmanipulations. He was the first to demonstrate the importance of MR/GR balancein the regulation of prefrontal cortex structure and to identify, in theprefrontal cortex, the morphological correlates of stress-induced behaviouraldisruption. In parallel he completed his residency training in Neurology, witha special interest in Neuroimmunology. He then established himself as a juniorPI in the same institute, where the focus of his research has been thecharacterization of stress-induced cognitive deficits, including working memoryand decision making, and the development and testing of strategies to preventthem, from pharmacological interventions to cognitive training and even electricalstimulation, in both animal models and in patients. As a clinical researcher heis member of the staff of the Braga Clinical Academic Centre (UM/Hospital deBraga), where he has been deeply involved in clinical and translationalresearch, focusing on the novel diagnostic and prognostic markers of multiplesclerosis and the role of the choroid plexus. JJC co-supervised 1 PhD and 5 MScstudents and is the current the supervisor/co-supervisor of 4 additional PhDstudents. He is the author of 40 peer-reviewed papers and 1 book chapter, with morethan 1000 citations and an h factor of 15.

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  

Environmental stress and Alzheimer´s disease pathologies  

Impact of peripheral neuropathies on CNS function and structure  

Maintaining health in old age through homeostasis (Switchbox)  

MyHealth  

Obsessive-compulsive disorder: focus on stress and decision-making  

The role of brain lipid metabolism in the modulation of chronic stress effects  

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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