Portuguese American Journal

Vanessa Oliveira winner of the Bayer Hemophilia Award – Portugal

Portuguese researcher, Vanessa Oliveira, of the Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), based in Lisbon, Portugal, won the prestigious and competitive Early Career Bayer Hemophilia Award.

Oliveira is working at developing a strategy to reprogram the immune system of hemophilia patients to avoid immune targeting of the most used clotting therapeutics.

She was the only European researcher to win this interncational award in 2010, out of  a total of 5 candidates worldwide. The Portuguese researcher will receive a €170.000 (US$240.000) grant to develop a two year project aimed to reprogram the immune system of hemophilia patients to avoid immune targeting of the most used clotting therapeutics.

The project will further developed clinical studies with the goal of helping to improve the efficacy of current treatments. The project will be fully developed in Portugal, at the IMM’s Cellular Immunology Unit, led by senior researcher Luis Graça.

Vanessa Oliveira holds a PhD from the Oxford University, UK, (2006). Her post-doctoral research at the IMM’s  Cellular Immunology Unit, since 2006, has focused on the use of monoclonal antibodies to induce immune tolerance.

The IMM’s Cellular Immunology Unit has been developing cutting edge research in the area of immune-mediated diseases, such as asthma, transplantation and autoimmunity. The Unit’s research has already resulted in a star-up company created to develop a novel therapy to prevent liver transplant rejection.

Since 2002, Bayer Hemophilia Awards (BHA) has funded researchers, medical doctors and health professionals to improve treatment and education in hemophilia. The program has already funded 176 international candidates.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. The company’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life.

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM) is a reference biomedical research center in Portugal, having acquired the special status of Associate laboratory of the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Technology. IMM’s mission is to promote basic, translational and clinical biomedical research with the aim to understand the mechanisms of disease and develop novel therapeutic approaches.

Luis Graça is a medical doctor and researcher, currently Director of the Cellular Immunology Unit of Instituto de Medicina Molecular and Assistant Professor of Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon University. Luis Graça holds a PhD from Oxford University, UK, (2002) and has developed post-doctoral research in Oxford, UK, and Perth, Australia. The research team led by Luis Graça at IMM focuses on the study of cellular mechanisms in immune tolerance, with the aim of reprograming the immune system in immune-mediated diseases such as asthma, transplant rejection and autoimmunity.

Source Instituto de Medicina Molecular >>


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