Sara Ramalhosa Guerreiro

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Down Syndrome
  • Machado-Joseph disease
  • Preclinical trials
  • Therapy
  • Neuronal circuits

Sara Francisca Ramalhosa Guerreiro is a research assistant at the ICVS, University of Minho, in the project “Determining the efficacy of NLX-112 in a mouse experimental model of cerebellar ataxia”. She started her career working on clarifying the role of the Tau protein in several conditions, such as chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease and stress-induced pathology. To accomplish that, she worked with several mice models lacking (TauKO) and overexpressing (P301L) Tau protein. Currently she is focusing in the study of movement disorders, more specifically, Machado Joseph disease (MJD), and their possible therapeutic targets. Since 2020, she is testing a new serotonergic receptor targeting drug, NLX-112, to unravel its effect on motor function and neuropathology, using the CMVMJD135 mouse model. This is a pre-clinical experiment that can support advancement of this compound to the clinical trial stage. Also, she is involved in the testing of citalopram, another serotonergic compound, in a mouse model of frontotemporal dementia and parkinsionism-17 (FTDP-17), expressing containing the most common FTDP-17 causative mutation, the P301L model, and, in parallel, in evaluating the potential beneficial effect of intermittent fasting in MJD, as a onset or progression-delaying intervention for the disease. In the future, she wants to better understand the mechanisms underlying the development and progression of movement disorders since it allows to choose more adequate therapeutic targets and, consequently, to develop better compounds. She received one travel award, presented her work in several scientific meetings – including one oral presentation, and published one article and one abstract as first author, another as co-author.

Scientific Highlights

Guerreiro, S., Sotiropoulos, I., Leite-Almeida, H., 2018. A novel role for Tau protein in the mechanisms of brain damage caused by peripheral neuropathy. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 28(1), pp.56, doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.12.084

Dioli, C., Patrício, P., Sousa, N., Kokras, N., Dalla, C., Guerreiro, S., Santos-Silva, M. A., Rego, A. C., Pinto, L., Ferreiro, E., & Sotiropoulos, I. (2019). Chronic stress triggers divergent dendritic alterations in immature neurons of the adult hippocampus, depending on their ultimate terminal fields. Translational psychiatry, 9(1), 143.

Guerreiro, S. R., Guimarães, M. R., Silva, J. M., Dioli, C., Vamvaka-Iakovou, A., Sousa, R., Gomes, P., Megalokonomou, A., Campos-Marques, C., Cunha, A. M., Almeida, A., Sousa, N., Leite-Almeida, H., & Sotiropoulos, I. (2022). Chronic pain causes Tau-mediated hippocampal pathology and memory deficits. Molecular psychiatry, 27(11), 4385–4393.

Funding and Awards
2018 Travel Award, ECNP Workshop for Junior Scientists, Nice, France.
2019 Oral presentation, 14th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease (AD/PDTM), Lisbon, Portugal.