Joana Pereira-Sousa

  • Serotonin
  • Proteostasis
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Protein aggregation
  • Machado-Joseph Disease
  • Proteinopathies
  • Caenorhabditis elegans

Joana Pereira de Sousa obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (2009). Later in 2012, she obtained a M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine and Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine, in the same institution, having conducted her thesis research at UniLiPe, IBMC in Porto, on the molecular relevance of LIMP-2/GCase interaction to Action Myoclonus-Renal Failure syndrome, under supervision of Dr. Clara Sá Miranda. She then joined the lab of Dr. Ana Xavier Carvalho, at IBMC, studying the role of formin in cytokinesis. In 2016, Joana joined the Applied Health Sciences PhD programme, at the School of Medicine at University of Minho, where she developed her PhD thesis under the supervision of Dr. Andreia Teixeira-Castro and Dr. Luísa Pinto, at the Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS). Dr. Pereira-Sousa’s PhD thesis focused mainly on the contribution of serotonergic signalling to the suppression of Machado-Joseph disease pathogenesis. Currently, Dr. Pereira-Sousa’s research interests are focused on the molecular pathways that underlie the suppression of protein aggregation in the context of proteinopathies (as Machado-Joseph Disease, Alzheimer disease and Parkinson Disease), namely in the role of serotonergic signalling in the amelioration of protein aggregation through the impact on proteostasis.

Scientific Highlights

Pereira-Sousa, J., Ferreira-Lomba, B., Bellver-Sanchis, A., Vilasboas-Campos, D., Fernandes, J. H., Costa, M. D., Varney, M. A., Newman-Tancredi, A., Maciel, P., & Teixeira-Castro, A. (2021). Identification of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor as a novel therapeutic target in a C. elegans model of Machado-Joseph disease. Neurobiology of disease, 152, 105278.

Jalles, A.*, Vieira, C.*, Pereira-Sousa, J., Vilasboas-Campos, D., Mota, A. F., Vasconcelos, S., Ferreira-Lomba, B., Costa, M. D., Da Silva, J. D., Maciel, P., & Teixeira-Castro, A. (2022). Aripiprazole Offsets Mutant ATXN3-Induced Motor Dysfunction by Targeting Dopamine D2 and Serotonin 1A and 2A Receptors in C. elegans. Biomedicines, 10(2), 370.


Serotonin signaling and proteostasis

This project addresses an unmet medical need- the lack of effective treatment for any of the aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Due to the worldwide aging of the population, by 2050 it is expected that over 135 million people…

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