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Dr Filipe Nascimento
  • Research Associate
  • Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life 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. During this period I worked for 2 years at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Lisbon) in Ana Sebastião’s Lab on the functional characterization of adenosinergic modulation of neuromuscular transmission in Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis (ALS). 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 circuits involved in recurrent excitation and inhibition and how these might be impaired in motor diseases such as ALS.

Research Summary

The spinal cord is an important centre involved in the control of movement. Spinal motor networks can generate and sustain motor patterns such as walking or running without the need for information from higher brain areas. A key to this is the functional and genetic diversity in spinal neurons which confers functional flexibility to motor networks responsible for features of locomotor output such as right-left alternation during walking or muscle co-contraction for postural control. Renshaw cells are a group of glycinergic neurons located in the ventral horn of the spinal cord that receive excitatory input from motoneuron axon collaterals and project back to motoneurons thus reducing motor output (recurrent inhibition). Motoneurons can also provide excitatory inputs to other motoneurons through their collaterals, resulting in amplified motor output (recurrent excitation). In Prof Marco Beato’s Lab, I use a variety of electrophysiological, genetic and imaging techniques to characterize the spinal circuits involved in recurrent excitation and inhibition and how these might be altered in diseases impairing motor function such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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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