creating a
healthier future
Joana Marques
PhD Student

Joana Moreira Marques is a PhD candidate at the University of Porto (PT), in collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Centre (NL). She graduated from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, holding a Bachelor's (2014) and a Master's Degree (2016) in Biochemistry. Currently, Joana is pursuing her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at INEB/i3S under the supervision of Prof. Bruno Sarmento and co-supervision of Prof. Domingos Ferreira (FFUP) and Prof. Helena Florindo (iMed.U.Lisboa, FFUL). Her PhD project focuses on the development of a cellular therapy for type 1 diabetes, which combines nanoparticles and stem cells. During her PhD, she had the opportunity to spend 8 months abroad at the Leiden University Medical Centre (Leiden, The Netherlands), where she performed experiments with stem cell-differentiated islets and human donor islets.

During the BSc, she worked in the Iron and Innate Immunity group (IBMC), studying the importance of oxygen and nitrogen radical species in the Leishmania infantum infection in mice. During her master's thesis, she worked in the Nerve Regeneration group (i3S), where she studied the role of Profilin in axon growth and regeneration. Afterwards, Joana worked in the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto, under a Research Fellowship, and for almost 2 years at a pharmaceutical company in Coimbra, in the Stabilities Studies Department.

So far, she has published 5 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and 1 book chapter, is co-author of 1 patent and authored 10 communications in international conferences. During her PhD, she was also involved in the i3S PhD Students Representatives. Some of her current research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, pharmaceutical nanotechnology, nanomedicines and targeted drug delivery. Her responsibility towards the scientific endeavour has not been restricted to research as she actively participates in public awareness actions for science dissemination in primary schools.

Selected Publications

Cristelo C., Nunes R., Pinto S., Marques J.M., Gama F.M., Sarmento B.,
Targeting ß Cells with Cathelicidin Nanomedicines Improves Insulin Function and Pancreas Regeneration in Type 1 Diabetic Rats. ACS Pharmacology and Translational Science6(10):1544-1560, 2023. [Journal: Article] [IF: 6 (*)]
DOI: 10.1021/acsptsci.3c00218 SCOPUS: 85176122347.


Hameedat F., Pinto S., Marques J., Dias S., Sarmento B.,
Functionalized zein nanoparticles targeting neonatal Fc receptor to enhance lung absorption of peptides. Drug Delivery and Translational Research13(6):1699-1715, 2023. [Journal: Article] [CI: 3] [IF: 5,4 (*)]
DOI: 10.1007/s13346-022-01286-4 SCOPUS: 85145230534.


Marques J.M., Nunes R., Florindo H., Ferreira D., Sarmento B.,
A demanding path from iPSCs toward pancreatic ß- and a-cells. Recent Advances in iPSC-Derived Cell Types: Volume 4 in Advances in Stem Cell Biology:227-256, 2021. [Book: Book Chapter]
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-822230-0.00002-8 SCOPUS: 85126792405.


Cristelo C., Azevedo C., Marques J.M., Nunes R., Sarmento B.,
SARS-CoV-2 and diabetes: New challenges for the disease. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice164:, 2020. [Journal: Review] [CI: 46] [IF: 5,6]
DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108228 SCOPUS: 85085527106.


Marques F., Vale-Costa S., Cruz T., Marques J.M., Silva T., Neves J.V., Cortes S., Fernandes A., Rocha E., Appelberg R., Rodrigues P., Tomás A.M., Gomes M.S.,
Studies in the mouse model identify strain variability as a major determinant of disease outcome in Leishmania infantum infection. Parasites and Vectors8(1):, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 7] [IF: 3,2]
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-015-1259-6 SCOPUS: 84950313576.