Marina Pinheiro

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • biophysics
  • drug delivery
  • infectious diseases
  • tuberculosis
  • nanomedicine
  • pharmacokinetics
  • preventive medicine
  • public health
  • tropical diseases

Marina Pinheiro (MP) is an Investigator in REQUIMTE, in ICVS, University of Minho, a Public Health Resident Medical Doctor in ARS Norte (Public Heakh Unit – Cávado III) and Emergency Physician in Hospital de Guimarães. MP holds a Master Degree in Medicine from Faculty of Medicine, a Master Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences both from the University of Porto and also a European Doctorate Degree in Medicinal Chemistry. MP authored 60 publications in prestigious refereed books and journals, most in top journals (Q1) in several fields. The scientific impact and quality of these publications has given her more than 2200 citations and an h-index of 24 (Scopus). MP presented her research in more than 80 national and international conferences (Turkey, USA, China, Israel, France, Austria, Germany, Spain) with ~ 30 oral presentations and 50 posters. MP research involves an interdisciplinary approach, combining the synthesis of novel drug delivery systems of anti-infectious and anti-cancer drugs to increase the therapeutic index of the drugs and improve the treatment of infectious diseases (TB, COVID-19, toxoplasmosis, HIV, malaria) and prostate and breast cancer diseases. MP is involved in several projects, and has been in collaboration with dozens of national and international research groups. Since 2018, MP is Principal Investigator in the Nano-TB project. MP is also Management Committee Member of the Cost Action Neutropenias since 2019 and Consult for the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia since 2021. MP did several scientific internships, in Max Planck Institute Berlin, University of Cordoba Spain, King’s College London and Adolphe Merkel Institute Switzerland, among others. For the last 5 years, MP supervised 10 BSc, 2 MSc, 3 PhD and 1 Postdoctoral researcher. MP is also a member of post-graduation juries, including Doctorate jury. Since 2019, MP is also a supervisor member of the International Doctoral Programme in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology Applied to Health Sciences. MP also serves as Academic Editor in several journals. In 2021, MP was selected for the position of Project Peer Reviewer of the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia and also Lithuania, coordinating expert panels for governmental research funding allocation from the European Union.

Scientific Highlights

1. Contributing to the synthesis of novel anti-TB drugs (rifabutin derivatives, RFB1, RFB2 and RFB3) and to their characterization.

2. Mechanism of action of rifabutin accumlation in the lungs elucidated for the first time (inclusion complex between the polar head groups of the pulmonary surfactant and the drug though intermolecule H-bonds).

3.Development of a novel method to coated nanoparticles with chitosan to be selective to the alveolar macrophages.

4. Development of a streptomycin formulation designed to be delivered by the oral route due to the higher bioavailability.

5. First manuscript highlighted by the Medscape.

6. Publications in high standard journals: most of the manuscripts were published in journals with high Impact Factor, Q1 journals (>95%). First author in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews (IF=15.47), and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (IF 7.44); and co-author in Carbohydrates Polymers (IF 9.38), and The Lancet (IF=79).

7. Research Independence and Scientific Leadership: participated in national and international funds for research and participated in 12 projects and PI of the Nano-TB project (FEDER funds, 188 k euros).

8. Prizes and awards: a COST Short-Term Mission travel grant, the nomination by Gulbenkian to represent Portugal in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, a writing merit recognition attributed by Rotaract, an IACOBUS manuscript award, a poster award in a national conference.

9. Science Communicator: broader impact of research in the scientific community and general society: I co-created JuniPharma, a non-profit organization. I was Event Manager of Pint of Science, actively participating in connecting science to society. I am communication member of National Association of Public Health Medical Doctors and also Saúde+Pública, being involved in the communication of science and medicine through publications and podcasts. I have been involved in the organization of several conferences and meetings (more recently Space.Minho 2022).

10. Patent filed in a nanosensor for COVID-19 diagnosis (PT117267) (2021).