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Dr Filipe Nascimento
Dr Filipe Nascimento profile picture
  • Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

I graduated in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Sciences from the University of Porto followed by a Masters in Neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Lisbon, where I worked on the functional characterization of adenosinergic modulation of neuromuscular transmission in Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in Ana Sebastião’s Lab at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Lisbon). I then went to the University of St Andrews in Scotland to pursue my PhD in Prof Gareth Miles Lab, where I focused my studies on cholinergic modulation of spinal networks that control locomotion. After this, I moved to University College London to work with Prof Marco Beato on the characterization of spinal recurrent circuits and how these might be impaired in motor diseases. More recently, I have been awarded a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the contribution of spinal microcircuits to aberrant excitability in ALS, a project hosted by Prof Rob Brownstone’s Lab at the Institute of Neurology at UCL and involving collaborations with the University of Copenhagen. 

Research Groups
Research Summary

The spinal cord is an important centre involved in the control of movement. It contains the cells responsible for muscle contraction –motoneurons – along with functionally and genetically diverse populations of spinal interneurons, that confer flexibility to motor networks responsible for features of locomotor output such as right-left alternation during walking or muscle co-contraction for postural control. Disruption to the cellular mechanisms of motoneurons and motor circuits can result in severe functional abnormalities that could lead to disease. Using genetically-modified animal models, I employ a variety of electrophysiological, behavioural, genetic and imaging techniques to characterize dysfunctions in spinal circuits caused by diseases impairing motor function, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. 

Recently I have gained interested in understanding the role of descending brain pathways in the modulation of spinal circuits, and how these can be accessed through different stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and focused ultrasound.  

I am also working on the development of novel high-density electromyographic (HDEMG) approaches that would permit the non-invasive study of spinal circuits in human subjects. 

01-DEC-2021 – 30-NOV-2025 Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, Queen Square Institute University College London, United Kingdom
01-APR-2018 – 30-NOV-2021 Research Associate Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2018   Doctor of Philosophy University of St Andrews
2013   Masters Universidade de Lisboa
2011   Bachelor of Science Universidade do Porto
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