Osborne F.X. Almeida

  • stress
  • reproduction
  • neurodegeneration
  • aging
  • stigma associated with mental illness

Osborne F.X. Almeida is professor at the University of Minho’s School of Medicine and scientist emeritus at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich. He studied comparative physiology (BSc Hons, London) and zoology (MSc, Cardiff) and was awarded a PhD in medicine (Edinburgh) and the Dr. rer. Nat. habil (Munich). His research, using physiological, pharmacological, anatomical, cellular and molecular approaches, has focussed on the regulation of brain structure (neuronal cell birth and death, size and connectivity) and function (from reproduction, addiction, feeding, mood, emotion, and cognition to neurodegeneration) by biological clocks, exogenous stress from early development to old age. Key contributions include: elucidation of the role of melatonin in clockwork regulating seasonal reproduction; opioid mediation of sex steroid negative feedback on the hypothalamus; corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) control of gonadotropin releasing hormone secretion; a method for culturing postnatal primary neuronal cultures in a chemically-defined medium; mechanisms of lactation-associated reversible hypercorticalism; description of glucocorticoid-induced age-related apoptosis and suppression of neurogenesis in the hippocampus; identification and functional characterization of NR3C1 (GR), NR3C2 (MR) and NR1C3 (PPARϒ) receptors in brain; soluble amyloid β-triggered synaptic degradation; mechanism linking stress, depression and Alzheimer pathology; demonstration of demethylation of a stress-regulating neuroendocrine peptide during development. More recently, Almeida’s attention has turned to understanding the neurobiology of stigma around mental health (covarying with age, gender and socioeconomic status) with the help of neuropsychological and -imaging tools. In parallel, he is developing anti-stigma interventions in a low-middle income Portuguese-speaking country (Mozambique).

Scientific Highlights

1. Almeida OFX, Sousa N (2022) Leveraging Neuroscience to Fight Stigma Around Mental Health. Front Behav Neurosci. 15:812184. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.812184.
2. Kobayashi S, Tanaka T, Soeda Y, Almeida OFX, Takashima A (2017) Local Somatodendritic Translation and Hyperphosphorylation of Tau Protein Triggered by AMPA and NMDA Receptor Stimulation. EbioMedicine 20:120-126. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.05.012
3.Gaali S, Kirschner A, Cuboni S, Hartmann J, Kozany C, Balsevich G, Namendorf C, Fernandez-Vizarra P, Sippel C, Zannas AS, Draenert R, Binder EB, Almeida OFX, Rühter G, Uhr M, Schmidt MV, Touma C, Bracher A, Hausch F (2015) Selective inhibitors of the FK506-binding protein 51 by induced fit. Nat Chem Biol 11:33-7. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1699
4.Harb MR, Sousa N, Zihl J, Almeida OFX (2014) Reward components of feeding behavior are preserved during mouse aging. Front Aging Neurosci 6:242. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00242
5. Sotiropoulos I, Catania C, Pinto LG, Silva R, Pollerberg GE, Takashima A, Sousa N, Almeida OFX (2011) Stress acts cumulatively to precipitate Alzheimer’s disease-like tau pathology and cognitive deficits. J Neurosci 31:7840-7. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0730-11.2011
6. Murgatroyd C, Patchev AV, Wu Y, Micale V, Bockmühl Y, Fischer D, Holsboer F, Wotjak CT, Almeida OFX, Spengler D (2009) Dynamic DNA methylation programs persistent adverse effects of early-life stress. Nat Neurosci 12:1559-66. doi: 10.1038/nn.2436
7. Almeida OFX, Condé GL, Crochemore C, Demeneix BA, Fischer D, Hassan AH, Meyer M, Holsboer F, Michaelidis TM (2000) Subtle shifts in the ratio between pro- and antiapoptotic molecules after activation of corticosteroid receptors decide neuronal fate. FASEB J 14:779-90. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.14.5.779
8. Almeida OFX, Hassan AH, Holsboer F (1993) Intrahypothalamic neuroendocrine actions of corticotropin-releasing factor. Ciba Found Symp 172:151-69; discussion 169-72. doi: 10.1002/9780470514368.ch8
9. Tamarkin L, Baird CJ, Almeida OFX (1985) Melatonin: a coordinating signal for mammalian reproduction? Science 227(4688):714-20. doi: 10.1126/science.3881822.
10. Renfree MB, Lincoln DW, Almeida OFX, Short RV (1981) Abolition of seasonal embryonic diapause in a wallaby by pineal denervation. Nature 293(5828):138-9. doi: 10.1038/293138a0


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