Where Ideas Grow
Rita Vilaça
Project Manager

Rita Vilaça (RV) has a Master degree in Biochemistry from the University of Porto where she explored the protective effect of polyphenols in oxidative stress and lifespan using yeast as a model organism. In 2014 RV finished her PhD in Biomedical Sciences with studies on the role of nutrient and sphingolipid signalling pathways in the pathophysiology of Niemann-Pick type C1  lysosomal storage disease (NPC1) at the Redox Cell Signaling Group and UniLiPe Group (IBMC). RV performed post-doc studies working with yeast model for NPC1 disease (Yeast Signalling Networks Group, at i3S). In 2019, RV moved to the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra, where she performed post-doc studies in the field of Neurosciences, working with human iPSC-derived neural stem cells and differentiated neurons and their derived exosomes to evaluate mitochondrial (dys)function in Huntington's disease and to develop potential nanodelivery system for microRNA-based therapeutics. RV has a solid research background on cell signalling modulation in aging and age-related disorders, particularly lysosomal storage diseases and polyglutamine disorders. RV has strong know-how in science education and communication and has national Trainer Accreditation in Biology and Health Sciences. Currently, she is the Training and Communication Manager of the PhasAGE project (coordinated by Sandra Ribeiro). 

Selected Publications

Fão L., Coelho P., Duarte L., Vilaça R., Hayden M.R., Mota S.I., Rego A.C.,
Restoration of c-Src/Fyn Proteins Rescues Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease. Antioxidants and Redox Signaling38(1-3):95-114, 2023. [Journal: Article] [CI: 3] [IF: 6,6 (*)]
DOI: 10.1089/ars.2022.0001 SCOPUS: 85139751619.

Martins T.S., Costa R.S., Vilaça R., Lemos C., Teixeira V., Pereira C., Costa V.,
Iron Limitation Restores Autophagy and Increases Lifespan in the Yeast Model of Niemann–Pick Type C1. International Journal of Molecular Sciences24(7):, 2023. [Journal: Article] [IF: 5,6 (*)]
DOI: 10.3390/ijms24076221 SCOPUS: 85152334210.

Beatriz M., Vilaça R., Lopes C.,
Exosomes: Innocent Bystanders or Critical Culprits in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology9:, 2021. [Journal: Review] [CI: 27] [IF: 6,1]
DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.635104 SCOPUS: 85107024804.

Magalhães J.D., Fão L., Vilaça R., Cardoso S.M., Rego A.C.,
Macroautophagy and mitophagy in neurodegenerative disorders: Focus on therapeutic interventions. Biomedicines9(11):, 2021. [Journal: Review] [CI: 7] [IF: 4,8]
DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines9111625 SCOPUS: 85121851862.

Vilaça R., Barros I., Matmati N., Silva E., Martins T., Teixeira V., Hannun Y.A., Costa V.,
The ceramide activated protein phosphatase Sit4 impairs sphingolipid dynamics, mitochondrial function and lifespan in a yeast model of Niemann-Pick type C1. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease1864(1):79-88, 2018. [Journal: Article] [CI: 10] [IF: 4,3]
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2017.10.010 SCOPUS: 85031804747.