Team - Bárbara Leal, PhD

Bárbara Leal, PhD

Bárbara Leal, PhD

Integrated PhD Researcher

ORCIDiD icon0000-0003-0936-4719

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Current position(s): Integrated PhD Researcher

Academic degrees

PhD in Biomedical Sciences

Master in Biochemistry

Graduation in Biochemistry

Other positions
  • Research Fellow
Research interests
  • Neuroinflammation and Epilepsy development
  • Interplay between neuroinflammation and neurotransmission
  • Epigenetic mechanisms in epilepsy
  • Biomarkers for epilepsy
  • Epigenetic mechanisms in autoimmunity
  • Neuroinflammatory reactions and depression development
Major Scientific Achievements
  • Collaboration in a multicentric study in which polymorphisms in the SCN1A locus were identified as susceptibility factors, and potential prognostic factors, for Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) development after Febrile Seizures in childhood. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt233
  • Investigator in the research team that identified the HLA-DRB1*13 allele as a protective factor for several autoimmune disease doi: 10.1155/2015/948723.
  • Demonstration that febrile seizures and genetic factors such as ApoE e4 isoform could hasten the development of MTLE what could be associated with more severe neuronal damage and a worse epilepsy prognosis (doi: 10.1080/00207454.2016.1264396)
  • Demonstration that human MTLE is associated with a pro-inflammatory profile that could contribute to its development and progression (doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2017.10.014, doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1349122.). These findings could lead in new direction in epilepsy treatment
Selected publications
  • Leal B, Chaves J, Carvalho C, Rangel R, Santos A, Bettencourt A, Lopes J, Ramalheira J, da Silva BM, Martins da Silva A, Costa PP. Brain Expression of Inflammatory Mediators in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Patients. Journal of Neuroimmunology. 2017 Dec;313: 82–88. Doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2017.10.014
  • Leal B, Chaves J, Carvalho C, Bettencourt A, Freitas J, Lopes J, Ramalheira J, Costa PP, Mendonça D, Martins da Silva A, Silva BM. Age of onset of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis: the effect of apolipoprotein E and febrile seizures. Int J Neurosci. 2017 Sep;127(9):800-804. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2016.1264396.
  • Kasperavičiūtė D, Catarino CB, Matarin M, Leu C, Novy J, Tostevin A, Leal B, et al. Epilepsy, hippocampal sclerosis and febrile seizures linked by common genetic variation around SCN1A. Brain. 2013 Oct;136(Pt 10):3140-50. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt233
  • Bettencourt A, Carvalho C, Leal B, Brás S, Lopes D, Martins da Silva A, Santos E, Torres T, Almeida I, Farinha F, Barbosa P, Marinho A, Selores M, Correia J, Vasconcelos C, Costa PP, da Silva BM. The Protective Role of HLA-DRB1(∗)13 in Autoimmune Diseases. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:948723. doi: 10.1155/2015/948723.
  • Leal B, Chaves J, Carvalho C, Bettencourt A, Brito C, Boleixa D, Freitas J, Brás S, Lopes J, Ramalheira J, Costa PP, da Silva BM, Martins da Silva A. Immunogenetic Predisposing Factors for Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with Hippocampal Sclerosis. Int J Neurosci. 2017 Jul 4:1-16. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1349122
Ongoing projects

Tecnifar, BICE 2015. PI: João Chaves. Investigator: Bárbara Leal 80%

Concluded projects
  • Public Funding

FCT, PTDC/PIC/IC/82746/2007. Lupus and its compensation in unaffected relatives by T-cell regulation. PI Constantin Fesel. Investigator: Bárbara Leal 15%

FCT, PFIC/IC/83297/2007. The relevance of HHV-6B in patients with Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (MTLE) due to Hippocampal Sclerosis (HS): implications in prevention and treatment. PI: Berta Silva. Research Fellow: Bárbara Leal 100%

  • Other Funding

Tecnifar-Industria Técnica Farmacêutica, SA, BICE2013. Factores Genéticos de Susceptibilidade à Epilepsia Idiopática Generalizada . PI: João Chaves. Investigator: Bárbara Leal 80%

Tecnifar-Industria Técnica Farmacêutica, SA, BICE2012. Variabilidade genética do sistema serotonérgico na epilepsia. PI: João Chaves. Investigator: Bárbara Leal 80%

Tecnifar-Industria Técnica Farmacêutica, SA, BICE2005. Esclerose Mesial do Hipocampo e Polimorfismos do Gene ApoE. PI: João Chaves. Investigator: Bárbara Leal 80%

Prizes, honors, awards

2017- “Travel Bursary” to attend the 3rd European Academy of Neurology Congress, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. European Federation of Neurological Sciences

2017- Best Research Poster Congresso Nacional Medina Interna 2017- C Carvalho, A Bettencourt, B Leal, L S Pinto, C Vasconcelos, B Silva, J A Correia, P P Costa. “MicroRNA-146a: possível biomarcador na doença de Behçet”. Congresso Nacional Medina Interna

2016- “Travel Bursary” to attend 12th European Congress on Epileptology,Prague, Czech Republic, International League Against Epilepsy

2016- “Travel Bursary” to attend the2nd European Academy of Neurology Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark,European Federation of Neurological Sciences

2015- “Travel Bursary” to attend the1st European Academy of Neurology Congress, Berlin, Germany. European Federation of Neurological Sciences

2014- “Travel Bursary” to attend the Joint Congress of European Neurology, stanbul, Turkey. European Federation of Neurological Sciences

2013- “Travel Bursaries” to attend the ao XXI World Congress of Neurology, Vienna, Austria. European Federation of Neurological Sciences

2010- NEDAI Award for Research in Autoimmunity with the paper entitled “HLA in Portuguese Sistemic Lúpus Erythematosus Patients and Their Relation to Clinical Features.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2009 Sept;1173:575-580.

2009- Prémio da Liga Portuguesa contra a Epilepsia (LPCE) “Genes do cromossoma 6p21.3 e epilepsia do lobo temporal com esclerose mesial do hipocampo”.

2006- 2º Prémio da Liga Portuguesa contra a Epilepsia (LPCE) “Polimorfismos da ApoE e Epilepsia do Lobo Temporal com Esclerose Mesial do Hipocampo”.

International collaborations
  • Professor Sanjay Sisodiya,MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCL Institute of Neurology. We participate in a multicentric study for the validation of a genome-wide association study. It was observed a genome-wide significant association for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures at the sodium channel gene cluster on chromosome 2q24.3. These findings were published in Brain: Kasperavičiūtė D, Catarino CB, Matarin M, Leu C, Novy J, Tostevin A, Leal B, et al. Epilepsy, hippocampal sclerosis and febrile seizures linked by common genetic variation around SCN1A. Brain. 2013 Oct;136(Pt 10):3140-50. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt233
PhD thesis supervision (concluded)

 

PhD thesis supervision (ongoing)

 

MSc thesis supervision (concluded)
  • Ricardo Ferreira, Mestrado em Bioquímica, DNA methylation profiles and development of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with Hippocampal Sclerosis, 2017
  • Ana Marta Ferreira, Mestrado em Medicina Legal, Papel da variabilidade genética na depressão em doentes auto-imunes, 2016
MSc thesis supervision (ongoing)

 

Science and Society

 

Newspaper articles
Newspaper articles (authorship)
Interviews
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