Where Ideas grow
Rita Vilaça
Junior Researcher

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 in collaboration with UniLiPe Group - at IBMC. RV performed post-doc studies working with yeast model for NPC1 disease (Yeast Signalling Networks Group, at i3S). Later, RV moved to the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra, where she performed post-doc studies in Neurosciences, working with human iPSC-derived neural stem cells and 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 Trainer Accreditation in Biology and Health Sciences. Currently, she is the Communication & Training Manager of PhasAGE project (coordinated by Sandra Ribeiro). 

Selected Publications

Vilaça R., Silva E., Nadais A., Teixeira V., Matmati N., Gaifem J., Hannun Y.A., Sá Miranda M.C., Costa V.,
Sphingolipid signalling mediates mitochondrial dysfunctions and reduced chronological lifespan in the yeast model of Niemann-Pick type C1. Molecular Microbiology91(3):438-451, 2014. [Journal: Article] [CI: 20] [IF: 4,4]
DOI: 10.1111/mmi.12470 SCOPUS: 84908101723.

Oliveira A.V., Vilaça R., Santos C.N., Costa V., Menezes R.,
Exploring the power of yeast to model aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Biogerontology18(1):3-34, 2017. [Journal: Review] [CI: 20] [IF: 3,7]
DOI: 10.1007/s10522-016-9666-4 SCOPUS: 84994079430.