Armando Almeida (MA, MSc,PhD) is an Associate Professor at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Minho. Academically, he teaches Histology and Embryology as part of the Organic and Functional Systems Curricular Areas (SOF1, SOF2 and SOF3) of the Medical Course with Integrated Master Degree, and is also the Coordinator of the three curricular areas. He supervised 6 PhD theses and 4 Master theses and, at the moment, Armando Almeida supervises/co-supervises 3 PhD Students and 4 Pos-Doc Students.
He is a neuroscientist with a background in Biology and dedicated to Pain Research since 1990. Presently, he is the Coordinator of a Team dedicated to research in the Neurobiology of Acute and Chronic Pain with Filipa Pinto-Ribeiro, Hugo Leite-Almeida and Patrícia Pinto as Senior Lab Researchers. Currently he is the Coordinator of a privately funded project involving the screening of new drugs for the management of chronic pain and Co-Principal Investigator of a FCT funded project involving the evaluation of the impact of heavy metals on fish brain morphology.
During his PhD, terminated in 2000, Armando Almeida demonstrated the existence of a brainstem pain modulatory area involved in the direct descending facilitation of spinal nociceptive transmission, thus a nucleus with the capacity to increase pain perception and potentially implicated in chronic pain syndromes. The Pain Research Team of the ICVS Neurosciences Domain has presently 13 researchers, and is dedicated to thes tudy of the impact of different experimental chronic pain models on the structure of the brain and on emotional and cognitive comorbidities associated to major chronic pain diseases with nociceptive (i.e., arthritis and osteoarthritis) and neuropathic (i.e., nerve traumatic neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy) origin. Additionally, human studies involving the evaluation of psychological predictors of acute and persistent post-surgical pain after major surgeries (hysterectomy, total hip and knee arthroplasty), are also being performed.
The technical approaches of the Team include the use of experimental models (Rat) of traumatic neuropathy [spared-nerve injury (SNI) and spinal-nerve ligation (SNL)], monoarthritis, osteoarthritis and type-1 diabetes, single cell electrophysiological recordings, pharmacological manipulations to differentially activate/inhibit different pain modulatory circuits, the stereological analysis of volumes and number of cells, immunohistochemistry, tract-tracing anatomical methods and a broad spectrum of behavioural tasks to evaluate nociceptive, cognitive and emotional performance. Additionally, different types of psychological evaluation tests on pain, quality of life and pain-associated comorbidities are currently applied to human studies on post-surgical acute and chronic pain.
Armando Almeida has published 59 peer-reviewed research articles and serves as an Ad hoc reviewer for several neuroscience journals and International Insttuions (Welcome Trust Marie Curie Actions, EMBO, Medical Research Council, European Commission - expert evaluator) . He is a member of the Sociedade Portuguesa de Neurociências and the International Society for the Study of Pain (IASP).
Filipa Pinto-Ribeiro – Impact of chronic pain experimental models in brain structure and comorbid emotional and cognitive alterations.
Hugo Leite-Almeida - Impact of chronic pain experimental models in brain structure and comorbid emotional and cognitive alterations.
Patrícia Pinto - psychological predictors of acute and persistent post-surgical pain after major surgeries
Diana Amorim - PhD Student - Involvement of the hypothalamus and galanin in pain-depression comorbidity and pain facilitation.
Ana David-Pereira - PhD Student - Role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in pain facilitation from the medial Pre-Frontal Cortex
Artur Vieira - PhD Student - Neuroplasticity of the amygdala in neuropathic pain
Marco Rodrigues - MSc – Prefrontal cortex maladaptive plasticity in chronic neuropathic pain
Sónia Puga - MSc - Characterization of mood comorbidities in an animal model of diabetes.
Vera Cardoso - MSc - Researcher - Impact of heavy metals on fish brain morphology.
Patrícia Rebelo - MSc Student - Changes in supraspinal galanin expression in monoarthritis.
Cristiana Silva - MSc Student - Changes in supraspinal mGluR expression in monoarthritis.
Margarida Cunha - MSc Student - Effect of previous operant and non-operant training in subsequente operant and non-operant performance