Maria Catarina Vieira

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Gut microbiota
  • Lactobacillus
  • Branched-chain amino acids
  • Immunology

Maria Catarina Freitas Vieira (MCFV) is currently a master’s student in Experimental Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra. In July 2021, she graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD). During her degree, she did a 6-month internship at the Histology and Pathology Laboratory (HPL) of UTAD, under the guidance of Maria dos Anjos Pires, where she developed a study aiming to contribute to the knowledge of the Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis Complex (FCGC), contributing to the characterization of the inflammatory cell population present in the oral mucosa of sick animals. After she participated in an ongoing research, in order to identify a calicivirus presence within oral mucosa samples. Together with the team, published an Abstract in the European Society of Veterinary Pathology and presented a Poster at the 4th Joint ESVP, ECVP and ESTP Cutting Edge Pathology Congress. As a member of NEBIOQ – Nucleo de Estudantes de Bioquímica da UTAD, she collaborated in the organization of scientific dissemination events related to the field of biochemistry and life sciences. Currently, she is developing her master thesis at ICVS – Life and Health Science Research Institute, under the supervision of Ricardo Silvestre. Her main goal is to evaluate the functional role of the genus Lactobacillus in the context of BCAA supplementation and to characterize its effect on epithelial barrier integrity, immune response and in murine models of ulcerative colitis.


Gut microbiota, metabolites and host immunity

The intestinal epithelial barrier (EB) represents the largest interface between the internal organs and the environment. The precise regulation of the intestinal EB allows the maintenance of mucosal immune homeostasis and prevents the onset of uncontrolled inflammation.

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