Renata Baptista Vieira de Sá is a postdoctoral researcher at uniQure. She was born in the Azores islands in Portugal and moved to Lisbon early on. She studied Biology at the University of Lisbon and then moved to The Netherlands where she did her MSc in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences at Maastricht University. For her PhD, Renata joined the group of Prof. Jeroen Pasterkamp at the UMC Utrecht where she focused on iPSC-derived models to study repeat expansion in Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis.
Within GUTVIBRATIONS, Renata will be supervised by Dr. Morgane Wartel (uniQure) and Dr. Katja Wolthers and Dr. Dasja Pajkrt (Amsterdam Academic Medical Center).
Renata will be active in Work Package 4 (SPREAD) and will be responsible for establishing the blood-brain barrier (BBB) model and the BBB-brain model. For this, she will use iPSC lines to establish all the cell types necessary for a physiologically relevant BBB model (brain microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, astrocytes and microglia). Once the BBB model is established and characterized she will co-culture the BBB with brain organoids and use the BBB-brain model to test viral infection and antiviral therapies. Renata’s work will be carried out at the OrganoVIR labs at the AMC.
Amsterdam University Medical Centers (Amsterdam UMC) is one of the foremost research institutions in the Netherlands and one of its largest hospitals, with 1500 staff members employed in medical research. The Amsterdam UMC research is organized in 7 themes within the AMC Research Institute, where AMC Principal Investigators (PIs) are appointed to develop their own research lines. The AMC Graduate School organizes doctorate level academic training of AMC PhD students (209 PhD rewarded in 2016). This concentration of expertise makes the center a breeding ground for fruitful scientific collaborations.