João Canto-Gomes

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Immunity
  • T cells
  • NK cells

João is a PhD student at the University of Minho. He graduated in Applied Biology in 2015 and completed the master’s degree in health sciences in 2017 at the University of Minho. His interest in immunology started during the bachelor’s degree internship when he studied the immune system recovery in HIV-infected patients upon antiretroviral therapy (ART). During his master’s degree João deepened his knowledge on immunology with a project aiming to study the immune system alterations on people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). After that, he had a 6-month fellowship in a project aiming to assess the immune response patterns in active and latent tuberculosis following stimulation with mycobacterial glycolipids. In 2018 João was granted with a PhD fellowship from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) in the context of the Inter-University Doctoral Program in Aging and Chronic Diseases. Under the supervision of Claudia Nobrega, João and his team colleagues found that individuals recently diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS present a less mature phenotype on their T cells in comparison to healthy controls. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the less mature phenotype of T cells is the current goal of João. In 2022 João was awarded with an EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant to support a 6-month placement at Professor Andrew McMichael’s lab in the University of Oxford. This placement allowed João to sequence and analyze the T cell receptor repertoire and study the function of Epstein-Barr Virus-specific HLA-E-restricted CD8+ T-cell clones from MS patients and EBV seroconverted HC.

Scientific Highlights

Selected Publications:
Canto-Gomes, J., Silva, C. S., Rb-Silva, R., Boleixa, D., da Silva, A. M., Cheynier, R., et al. “Low memory T cells blood counts and high naïve regulatory T cells percentage at relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis diagnosis”. Frontiers in immunology 13 (2022):

Gallo, V.; ISERC-Team; et al. “”Increased Gal-3BP plasma levels in hospitalized patients infected withSARS-CoV-2″”. Clinical and Experimental Medicine (2022):

Serre-Miranda, C.; Nobrega, C.; Roque, S.; Canto-Gomes, J.; Silva, C.S.; Vieira, N.; Barreira-Silva, P.; et al. “”Performance assessment of 11 commercial serological tests for SARS-CoV-2 on hospitalized COVID-19 patients””. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 104 (2021):

Silva, C. S.; Sundling, C.; Folkesson, E.; Fröberg, G.; Nobrega, C.; Canto-Gomes, J.; Chambers, B. J.; et al. “”High Dimensional Immune Profiling Reveals Different Response Patterns in Active and Latent Tuberculosis Following Stimulation With Mycobacterial Glycolipids””. Frontiers in Immunology 12 (2021):

Rb-Silva, R.; Nobrega, C.; Azevedo, C.; Athayde, E.; Canto-Gomes, J.; Ferreira, I.; Cheynier, R.; et al. “”Thymic function as a predictor of immune recovery in chronically HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy””. Frontiers in Immunology 10 25 (2019):

07/2022 Awardee, EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant, Funder: EMBO

2022-Present (Team member), “Tcells@MS-Why are peripheral T cells less mature at Multiple Sclerosis clinical onset?”, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) University of Minho, Braga, Portugal; Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT).

2021-Present (Team member), “Assessment of SARS-COV-2 vaccine response in patients with multiple sclerosis (COVACiMS)”, Funders: Grupo de Estudos em Esclerose Multipla (GEEM), Roche and Biogen.

2020-2021 (Team member), “Which, when and for who? Serodiagnosis as a tool to complement diagnosis and evaluate population immunity against SARS-CoV-2”, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), University of Minho, Braga, Portugal; Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT).

2018-2020 (Team member), “Relation between regulatory T cells and immunological hyperactivation associated co-morbilities of chronically infected HIV-infected patients”, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) University of Minho, Braga, Portugal; Funder: Gilead Sciences Lda.


The immune system in Multiple Sclerosis

This project aims to explore the immune system on multiple sclerosis pathophysiology and is divided in 3 branches:
– Tcells@MS. Our recent studies on newly diagnoses RRMS and PPMS patients…

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