Luís is a PhD student presently devoted to understanding the impact of DNA methylation in the clinical and pathological expression of Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder affecting families worldwide that reaches high values of prevalence in the Portuguese Azores. MJD is currently untreatable and identifying its underlying molecular alterations can facilitate the development of novel therapies, which are urgently needed. As a visiting student researcher at the University of Michigan, Luís will analyse methylation patterns in frozen post-mortem brain samples from MJD patients and healthy controls to identify DNA methylation changes characteristic of the disorder. His research period in the United States will allow him to interact with a diverse team and learn several experimental techniques in biochemistry and cellular biology.

Universidade do Porto – University of Michigan

Grant duration: 4 months