Eugenia Carvalho

Supervisor ESR8

Dr. Carvalho is Principal Investigator at the Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology, at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She also holds an Assistant Professorship at the Department of Geriatrics, in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Carvalho is an expert in insulin action and fat cell biology. She has been doing research in the obesity and type 2 diabetes fields for over 15 years. She has held funding for her work from several European Funding Agencies, including the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and the Portuguese Science Foundation. More recently she secured funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions – Innovative Training Networks (ITN) from the European Commission, for studies addressing the effect of drugs on glucose and lipid metabolism. She has currently been awarded an ABI Discovery Acceleration Initiative award from the Arkansas Children Research Institute and a COBRE principal investigator award from NIH to assess oxidative capacity in obese children.

Dr. Carvalho has supervised several students over the years, including post-doctoral fellows (15), PhD’s (6), Master’s (11) Erasmus’ (7) and several other undergraduate students. She has published over 55 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Carvalho obtained her PhD in Molecular Medicine in 2000, from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She completed her post-doctoral training in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in 2005, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

In her spare time Dr. Carvalho makes public presentations, including in schools about obesity and diabetes awareness. She enjoys the outdoors and traveling and has been to over 35 countries. She is an avid reader and enjoys good movies.

1. Group description

Obesity, diabetes and complications

2. Major research interests

  • Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance
  • Molecular pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and obesity
  • The adipocyte as a source and target for inflammation and atherosclerosis
  • Signal transduction pathways in the cardiovascular system
  • The complications of diabetes, angiogenesis and wound healing

3. TREATMENT project

  • ESR8

    ESR8 will assess the metabolic impact of antipsychotic drugs on the CNS and in the regulation of whole body metabolism (hypothalamic-periphery axis) in order to evaluate the alterations in behavior and in hypothalamic neurogenesis, as well as the effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues after in vivo treatment with olanzapine or aripiprazol in rodents. The ESR will study the two different models of schizophrenia, the transgenic mouse DISC1 and the neurodevelopmental rat model of neurogenesis disruption with prenatal administration of the cytostatic agent methylazoxymethanol (MAM). Besides behavioral and neurogenic alterations, we will evaluate insulin action in the CNS and peripheral tissues. The ESR will measure insulin-stimulated 14C-glucose uptake, lipolysis insulin signaling in isolated fat cells. In addition, the ESR will use high-resolution respirometry to study mitochondrial respiration as well as cellular “fitness” in BAT, WAT, skeletal muscle and the different isolated brains regions. The ESR will identify altered pathways in the CNS that may correlate with the changes observed in the periphery and validate the findings through human studies on antipsychotic drugs.

4. Currently funded projects

  • 2017-2019: INFARMED – Microbiome of the diabetic ulcer (Co-PI)
  • 2017-2019: COBRE/CCOP – Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention Award (PI)
  • 2017-2019: ABI Discovery Acceleration Initiative/Program Project Planning Grants (Co-PI)
  • 2017-2020: Programme/Call: H2020 – H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016/H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016 Proposal: 721236 – TREATMENT (Co-PI)
  • 2016-2017: Award from Portuguese Transplantation Society (PI)
  • 2016-2017: Award by the GIFT/Portuguese Diabetes Society (PI)
  • 2016-2018: EFSD/European Research Complications Diabetes Novartis (PI)

5. Group members

  • Ermelindo Leal – Post-Doctoral Fellow, Funded by FCT
  • Ana Catarina Fonseca – Post-Doctoral Fellow, Funded by FCT
  • Joao Moura Alves – Post-Doctoral Fellow, Funded by HealthyAging2020
  • Ana Burgeiro – Post-Doctoral Fellow, Funded by SPD/EFSD
  • Ana Rita Moreira – PhD Student, Funded by FCT
  • Marija Petkovic – PhD Student, Funded by HealthyAging2020
  • Ana Rita Gomes – Master Student

6. Links