creating a
healthier future
Sofia Duque Santos
Junior Researcher

Sofia Duque Santos graduated in Biochemistry in 2000 at the University of Porto. Her initial research studies, were developed at Stockholm University, Sweden, under the ERASMUS mobility program.

After, SD Santos developed her Ph.D. in the Neuroscience field, under the supervision of Professor Mª João Saraiva at IBMC, Porto, addressing a neurodegenerative disease of the PNS - Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy (FAP). SD Santos studied the stress response, the ubiquitin proteasome system and the unfolded protein response in FAP mice models. During her Ph.D., she also went to Columbia University (USA) , to further study transthyretin (TTR) amyloidogenesis.

As a Postdoctoral researcher, in 2005, at the Molecular Neurobiology group, SD Santos focused on Brain research. She explored molecules involved in injury and repair during the ischemic pathological cascade, using a new mouse model of stroke with permanent focal ischemia.

Later, as an assistant researcher at the Glial Cell Biology group  (2009-2014), with João B. Relvas, she addressed the mechanisms of Rho GTPases signaling (Rac1 and RhoA) in cerebral ischemia. SD Santos used Cre-LoxP technology to inducibly and conditionally ablate genes in mice with stroke.

SD Santos moved in 2015 to the Nanobiomaterial Targeted Therapies group,  from Ana Paula Pêgo, at INEB/i3S, in 2015, to start in vivo pre-clinical studies in the area of ​Stroke. She is currently developing a nanomedicine to deliver RNAi therapy to the ischemic brain. This genetic neurotherapy is being evaluated in a permanent ischemic mouse model using biocompatible nanobiomaterials.

SD Santos' research focuses on Neuroscience in general and the brain in particular, targeting knowledge relevant to Nanobiomedicine with the aim of obtaining neuroprotection and neurorepair in stroke.

Selected Publications

Leiro V., Duque Santos S., Lopes C.D.F., Paula Pêgo A.,
Dendrimers as Powerful Building Blocks in Central Nervous System Disease: Headed for Successful Nanomedicine. Advanced Functional Materials28(12):, 2018. [Journal: Article] [CI: 27] [IF: 15,6]
DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201700313 SCOPUS: 85019665316.


Leiro V., Santos S.D., Pêgo A.P.,
Delivering siRNA with dendrimers: In vivo applications. Current Gene Therapy17(2):105-119, 2017. [Journal: Review] [CI: 19] [IF: 1,9]
DOI: 10.2174/1566523217666170510160527 SCOPUS: 85027834551.


Gomes J.R., Nogueira R.S., Vieira M., Santos S.D., Ferraz-Nogueira J.P., Relvas J.B., Saraiva M.J.,
Transthyretin provides trophic support via megalin by promoting neurite outgrowth and neuroprotection in cerebral ischemia. Cell Death and Differentiation23(11):1749-1764, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 43] [IF: 8,3]
DOI: 10.1038/cdd.2016.64 SCOPUS: 84982105742.


Rosa A.I., Grade S., Santos S.D., Bernardino L., Chen T.C., Relvas J., Hofman F.M., Agasse F.,
Heterocellular contacts with mouse brain endothelial cells via laminin and a6ß1 integrin sustain subventricular zone (SVZ) stem/progenitor cells properties. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience10(DEC2016):, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 15] [IF: 4,6]
DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00284 SCOPUS: 85007483072.


Barateiro A., Miron V.E., Santos S.D., Relvas J.B., Fernandes A., Ffrench-Constant C., Brites D.,
Unconjugated bilirubin restricts oligodendrocyte differentiation and axonal myelination.. Molecular Neurobiology47(2):632-644, 2013. [Journal: Article] [CI: 31] [IF: 5,3]
DOI: 10.1007/s12035-012-8364-8 SCOPUS: 84894303554.


Santos S.D., Fernandes R., Saraiva M.J.,
The heat shock response modulates transthyretin deposition in the peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. Neurobiology of Aging31(2):280-289, 2010. [Journal: Article] [CI: 54] [IF: 6,6]
DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.04.001 SCOPUS: 71349088766.


Santos S.D., Lambertsen K.L., Clausen B.H., Akinc A., Alvarez R., Finsen B., Saraiva M.J.,
CSF transthyretin neuroprotection in a mouse model of brain ischemia. Journal of Neurochemistry115(6):1434-1444, 2010. [Journal: Article] [CI: 64] [IF: 4,3]
DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.07047.x SCOPUS: 78650023374.


Magalhães J., Santos S.D., Saraiva M.J.,
aB-crystallin (HspB5) in familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. International Journal of Experimental Pathology91(6):515-521, 2010. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 2,1]
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2613.2010.00735.x SCOPUS: 78649515958.


Santos S.D., Magalhães J., Saraiva M.J.,
Activation of the heat shock response in familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology67(5):449-455, 2008. [Journal: Article] [CI: 15] [IF: 5,1]
DOI: 10.1097/NEN.0b013e31816fd648 SCOPUS: 43249124993.