Maria Inês Almeida is a Project Leader at Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S) and an Assistant Investigator at Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto. Her research interests are centered on molecular engineering, particularly on the use of non-coding RNAs (microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs) as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Her scientific career has been devoted to the study of biological processes and molecular pathways associated with non-coding RNAs. In 2006, Maria Ines Almeida completed her University Degree in Biology from the University of Minho, Portugal. After an internship at Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, she joined Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) where she worked in microbiology and cancer research. In 2009, she enrolled on a PhD program in Health Sciences and moved to MDAnderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas, USA, aiming to investigate the role of non-coding RNAs in colorectal cancer. While working on her PhD, she was involved in several projects in different tumor types. She studied microRNAs and long-non-coding RNAs in order to find new tumor targets and novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. She completed her PhD in 2012. She then joined Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica (INEB) to search how non-coding RNAs could promote tissue regeneration and repair, and modulate inflammation. She is also interested in using extracellular vesicles/exosomes-mediated microRNA and RNA molecules for regenerative medicine. Her current ambition is to develop alternative treatments using non-coding RNA as tools to improve recovery time and quality of life for patients who suffer bone fractures, or have been diagnosed with osteoarticular conditions, including bone diseases.
Main research topics: Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Regenerative Medicine and Cancer.