What is your current role? Tell us a bit about your line of research
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, in the lab of Dr. Luisa Figueiredo. I study African Trypanosomes, which are parasites that cause sleeping sickness among other complications, upon invading the body of mammalian hosts. My aim during my postdoc is to understand the host-pathogen interactions that allow these parasites to form reservoirs in different organs of mammals. Hopefully this will give us insight into what the role of those reservoirs is, how to prevent them from forming, and what effect this would have in pathology. My main area of interest is biophysics, which makes these parasites very interesting because they are free swimmers and display very different behaviours across the body.
What are you excited about in science communication?
I started loving science as a child because of excellent science communication- scientists who made their work understandable and accessible to everyone. I think it’s important that as scientists we not only communicate our work to other scientists but to all of society. This falls into two categories I have a strong philosophy about – open science, and inclusion.
Why did you choose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program?
I wanted to know more about how, as a scientist, I can promote open science, how I can reach people of any background, and how I can address various hurdles currently existing in our system of scientific publishing. I wanted to work with like-minded colleagues and together add our small grain into making science more inclusive, more impactful, and more diverse.
Ask me about…
My three passions in life aside of science are music, sports and languages. I love the violin since I was very little. Aside of the violin, since I became a globe trotter I have tried to learn to play musical instruments typical of the countries where I live- for instance the guitar in Barcelona, the bagpipes in Scotland, or the Portuguese guitar in Portugal. I think music, like sport and languages, unites us. As for languages, I also love learning – to me it opens a very important opportunity: to get to know people in their original language, and read classical literature in its original language. I find this fascinating. As for sports, I particularly like endurance sports, and also have tried to learn sports of the countries I’ve lived in. In Mexico I did a lot of horse riding. In Scotland I did rowing. In Switzerland I did cross-country skiing and diving. In Portugal I do free-diving. In general though, I practice and compete in the three triathlon sports for fun.