Maria João Peixoto

  • Adipose tissue
  • Canine leishmaniasis
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Macrophage
  • Immunometabolism

Maria João Peixoto (MJP) has a bachelor’s degree in biology (2009) by University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD). In 2012 she finished a MSc in Laboratorial and Clinical Biology in a collaboration between UTAD and the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR). In 2013, she joined CIIMAR as research assistant at Growth and Quality of Fish Laboratory (LANUCE), under the supervision of Prof. Luisa Valente focusing on the optimization of sustainable practices for aquaculture by improving quality, safety and welfare of aquatic animals under a market-oriented approach. In 2014, she initiated a PhD in a collaboration between CIIMAR, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS) and ALGAPlus. The research focused on how dietary supplementation may improve immune and stress responsiveness in farmed fish. She addressed problems that arise during fish production such as stress events that are responsible for immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. She earned a research stay at the Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies (IMARES) from University of Wageningen, Holland, in the scope of an international collaboration with Prof. Arjan Palstra. During her PhD she was selected to attend the FitFish PhD-Course: Methods and practical approaches for measuring oxygen consumption in resting and swimming fish (COST FA1304). She completed her PhD in Animal Science specialized in Nutrition at Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar of Universidade of Porto (2018). In 2018 she began working at Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) – University of Minho at Professor Jorge Pedrosa research group. As a post-doctoral researcher, she focused on the immune response against infections by virulent mycobacteria. The work has focused on the mechanisms by which the bacteria infect and induces inflammation and on the characterization of such mechanisms. With that aim I used the mouse and guinea pig models of infection, as well as in vitro models, and analysed cellular recruitment and kinetics to characterize cell populations percentage throughout infection and inflammation intermediates. Nowadays she works as an investigation assistant at Ricardo Silvestre group focusing on elucidating the functional roles of Lipid Metabolism during Canine Leishmaniasis.

Scientific Highlights

– Mendes AI, Peixoto MJ, Marques AP, Pedrosa J, Fraga AG. An optimized mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus infected diabetic ulcers. BMC Research Notes. 2022;15(1):293. doi: 10.1186/s13104-022-06170-5. IF2.15; Q1
– Lopes-Marques, M., Pacheco, A. R., Peixoto, M. J., Cardoso, A. R., Serrano, C., Amorim, A., Prata, M. J., Cooper, D. N., & Azevedo, L. (2021). Common polymorphic OTC variants can act as genetic modifiers of enzymatic activity. Human Mutation, 42, 978– 989. ; Q1
– Fevereiro J, Fraga AG, Capela C, Sopoh GE, Dossou A, Ayelo GA, Peixoto MJ, Cunha C, Carvalho A, Rodrigues F et al: Genetic variants in human BCL2L11 (BIM) are associated with ulcerative forms of Buruli ulcer. Emerging Microbes & Infections 2021, 10(1):223-225. doi:10.1080/22221751.2021.1878936. IF 5.78; Q1
– Peixoto MJ, Ferraz R, Magnoni LJ, Pereira R, Gonçalves JF, Calduch-Giner J, et al. Protective effects of seaweed supplemented diet on antioxidant and immune responses in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) subjected to bacterial infection. Scientific Reports. 2019;9(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52693-6. IF 4.53; Q1


Immunometabolic networks on Leishmania infection

Innate immune cells tightly coordinate their metabolic programs to support a proper immunological function. As such, perturbed metabolic fluxes imply decisive effects on immune cell activation eventuating in their ability to control a pathogen and the disease inflicted by it.

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