“I was asked to write a short report to discuss the ways in which accepting a Fulbright grant has contributed to greater personal growth, which I am doing with pleasure.

I am assistant professor of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal, since June of 1999. Currently I am carrying out a project on neurotoxicology aimed at understanding the mechanisms of neurodegenaration induced by drugs of abuse which is also the project for my Ph. D. dissertation.

Obtaining a Fulbright grant allowed me the opportunity to spend 8 months in the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)/FDA. My main research goal is to develop pharmacological tools leading to prevention of neurotoxicity induced by drugs of abuse.

It is a privilege to be in NCTR which is a research facility dealing with fundamental and applied research specifically designed to define cellular and molecular mechanisms of action underlying the toxicity of products regulated by the FDA.

Since last August I have been living and working in Jefferson, a quiet, rural community in south central Arkansas next to Little Rock, the state capital. Overlooking the Arkansas River, this place is located in the midst of a beautiful pine forest dotted with dears, squirrels, armadillos and quails.

From a cultural point of view, the scientific community where I am living in is the mirror of the multicultural society of U.S.A..

So far I can foresee that the project that I am undertaking in NCTR will strongly contribute to my Ph.D. work. Moreover this cooperative work with neurotoxicology experts will provide Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra with strong tools to further understand drug addiction.”

Student Research Abroad Grantee at the FDA’s National Center for Toxilogical Research, AY 2000/2001