Raquel M. Gonçalves graduated in Chemical Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa in 2001 and got a PhD in Biotechnology in the same institution, in collaboration with the Department of Animal Biotechnology at University of Nevada, Reno, USA (2006). She worked in Bioteca (Lisboa), a private cord blood bank where she implemented the procedures of cell isolation and characterization in 2006. I 2007, she moved to INEB as a postdoc and in 2009, she became assistant investigator. Her engineering background and expertise in stem cells and biomaterials has been combined to develop therapeutic strategies, first to the hematopoietic system and nowadays to osteo-articular tissues, namely the intervertebral disc. Her ultimate goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies that can guide human bone marrow stem cells in tissue regeneration. She is currently dedicated to: i) identify and expand progenitor cells within the disc; ii) explore mesenchymal stem cells on intervertebral disc regeneration and iii) design a strategy to control inflammation in the degenerated disc.