creating a
healthier future
Vasco Galhardo
Group leader
I have been involved in Pain Research for 20 years; my training was in classical neuroanatomy performing detailed studies on the neuronal populations of the spinal cord dorsal horn, and from there I pushed my research to include a systems neuroscience focus on pain networks. In 1997-1998 I learnt the novel techniques of multielectrode neurophysiology in the laboratory of A.V. Apkarian (SUNY Upstate Medical University, presently at Northwestern). Upon my return to Portugal, I started one of the first european labs of awake animal neurophysiology, and began training a small group of young researchers. Over the last 8 years, I made important contributions to the understanding of the neural mechanisms behind pain-induced cognitive deficits, focusing on the study of malplasticity in the functional connectivity of prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus of adult rats and mice, and on how this faulty reorganization affects behavioural performance in tasks dependent on learning, memory, and emotional decision-making. Since receiving my PhD, I have been P.I. in 7 research projects and team coordinator in another 4 collaborative projects; all these projects were obtained in competitive open calls and were funded by public and private national and European entities, totaling an amount over 1.3 million euros (987.000 euros of direct independent administration). In addition, I am a tenured professor of Morphophysiology in the Medical School of the University of Porto. In the Medical School, I sit at the Executive Council of the PhD Program in Neuroscience, I am a member of the scientific advisory board for undergraduate research meetings, and I am deeply involved in the local programs for integration of young medical students in basic research labs.

Selected Publications

Barroso J., Branco P., Pinto-Ramos J., Vigotsky A.D., Reis A.M., Schnitzer T.J., Galhardo V., Apkarian A.V.,
Subcortical brain anatomy as a potential biomarker of persistent pain after total knee replacement in osteoarthritis. Pain164(10):2306-2315, 2023. [Journal: Article] [CI: 1] [IF: 7,4 (*)]
DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002932 SCOPUS: 85171394145.


Cardoso-Cruz H., Paiva P., Monteiro C., Galhardo V.,
Selective optogenetic inhibition of medial prefrontal glutamatergic neurons reverses working memory deficits induced by neuropathic pain. Pain160(4):805-823, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 5,5]
DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001457 SCOPUS: 85063251954.


Cardoso-Cruz H., Paiva P., Monteiro C., Galhardo V.,
Bidirectional optogenetic modulation of prefrontal-hippocampal connectivity in pain-related working memory deficits. Scientific Reports9(1):, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 4]
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47555-0 SCOPUS: 85069907317.


Monteiro C., Cardoso-Cruz H., Matos M., Dourado M., Lima D., Galhardo V.,
Increased fronto-hippocampal connectivity in the Prrxl1 knockout mouse model of congenital hypoalgesia. Pain157(9):2045-2056, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 7] [IF: 5,4]
DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000611 SCOPUS: 84984605078.


Cardoso-Cruz H., Dourado M., Monteiro C., Matos M.R., Galhardo V.,
Activation of dopaminergic D2/D3 receptors modulates dorsoventral connectivity in the hippocampus and reverses the impairment of working memory after nerve injury. Journal of Neuroscience34(17):5861-5873, 2014. [Journal: Article] [CI: 30] [IF: 6,3]
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0021-14.2014 SCOPUS: 84899483174.


Cardoso-Cruz H., Lima D., Galhardo V.,
Impaired spatial memory performance in a rat model of neuropathic pain is associated with reduced hippocampus-prefrontal cortex connectivity. Journal of Neuroscience33(6):2465-2480, 2013. [Journal: Article] [CI: 94] [IF: 6,7]
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5197-12.2013 SCOPUS: 84873294842.


Pais-Vieira M., Aguiar P., Lima D., Galhardo V.,
Inflammatory pain disrupts the orbitofrontal neuronal activity and risk-assessment performance in a rodent decision-making task. Pain153(8):1625-1635, 2012. [Journal: Article] [CI: 25] [IF: 5,6]
DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2012.04.011 SCOPUS: 84863720383.


Ji G., Sun H., Fu Y., Li Z., Pais-Vieira M., Galhardo V., Neugebauer V.,
Cognitive impairment in pain through amygdala-driven prefrontal cortical deactivation. Journal of Neuroscience30(15):5451-5464, 2010. [Journal: Article] [CI: 307] [IF: 7,3]
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0225-10.2010 SCOPUS: 77951005803.


Pais-Vieira M., Mendes-Pinto M.M., Lima D., Galhardo V.,
Cognitive impairment of prefrontal-dependent decision-making in rats after the onset of chronic pain. Neuroscience161(3):671-679, 2009. [Journal: Article] [CI: 97] [IF: 3,3]
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.04.011 SCOPUS: 67349243662.


Pais-Vieira M., Lima D., Galhardo V.,
Orbitofrontal cortex lesions disrupt risk assessment in a novel serial decision-making task for rats. Neuroscience145(1):225-231, 2007. [Journal: Article] [CI: 69] [IF: 3,4]
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.11.058 SCOPUS: 33846872787.