Joana Rocha-Pereira has been recently appointed Assistant Professor at the Rega Institute (KU Leuven), in Leuven, Belgium. She obtained her PhD at the University of Porto (Portugal) in 2013. Her research focuses on understanding viral replication and identifying small molecule antivirals. To that end, she has established a collection of in vitro assays and small animal models of viral replication for human noroviruses, rotaviruses, bunyaviruses and more recently for COVID-19. Her attention recently turned to zebrafish as an exciting new model to study virus replication and intestinal enteroids. She received two scientific prizes in recognition of her contribution to the antiviral field, the McGuigan Rising Star Award (Cardiff University, 2019) and the Astrazeneca Foundation Award for New discoveries in antiviral therapy (FWO/FNRS, 2020).
Joana is the leader of Work Package 6 (TREAT).
Within GUTVIBRATIONS she will be supervising postdoctoral researcher Jana Van Dycke.
KU Leuven is the largest university in Belgium, ranking 45th in the Times Higher Education ranking (2020) of worldwide universities and 1st as European University in the Reuters Top 100 of the World’s most innovative institutions. KU Leuven employs ~9.000 researchers on its academic staff. KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) is the technology transfer office (TTO) of the KU Leuven where a multidisciplinary team of experts’ guide researchers in their interaction with industry and society, and the valorisation of their research results (101 spin offs). The Rega Institute for Medical Research (KUL-REGA) host part of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation and the Medicinal Chemistry section of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, having a long-standing expertise in antiviral drug discovery (Brivudine, Tenofovir).