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Dr Andreia De Almeida

Dr Andreia De Almeida

Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellow

School of Medicine

Email
dealmeidaa@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2068 7342
Campuses
Tenovus Building, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Overview

You can find the most up to date information on my website: www.craftyscientist.co.uk

Research

My research focuses on identifying the role of small transmembrane water and glycerol channels, Aquaporins, in cancer development using known inhibitors rather than a genetic approach. I aim at mapping the function of glycerol and hydrogen peroxide, via glycerol channels, in cancer development, cell migration, differentiation and metabolism. I am particularly interested in how function, expression and localisation of glycerol channels are affected by the tumour environment and how their expression, in turn, affects cancer progression. I am also interested in the mechanism of action of metal-based drugs, as potential anti-cancer therapies.

Public Engagement 

Science Stitches - Communicating Science through Fashion www.science-stitches.co.uk

With this project, I want to bring cancer research to deprived communities, by engaging with Textile's pupils (years 9/10), with the aim of increasing awareness for cancer screenings and prevention. The project also focusses on sustainable fashion, as this is a major contributor to socio-economical and health factors nationally, and worldwide. I am currently working on bringing this project to other communities in a digital form.

Native Scientist Coordinator for the Portuguese Language in Wales

Organising science workshops in Portuguese, to promote science and language integrated learning for migrant or second-generation Portuguese-speaking children.

Biography

You can find the most up to date information on my website: www.craftyscientist.co.uk

I graduated in Portugal, with a BSc and MSc in Biochemistry, at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. I did several internships during my studies, where I worked in molecular biology, mathematical modelling, microbiology, and biophysics. Afterwards, I moved to The Netherlands, where I was awarded my PhD degree in April 2016. My PhD work was focused on metallodrugs as protein modulators, especially on metal-based compounds as possible anticancer agents. I then moved to Cardiff, working as a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Chemistry, Cardiff University.
In 2018, I was awarded a Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellowship to investigate glycerol channels’ role in cancer progression. Since then, I am part of the Tissue Microenvironment Group at the Division of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University.

In my spare time, you can find me dancing, dressmaking or photographing things around me.

Honours and awards

Funding as Principal Investigator

  • 2019 - Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Engagement Proof-of-Concept Award (£7.2k)
  • 2018 - Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellowship (£75k)
  • 2018 - Aspiring Fellows fellowship as a part of Future Leaders in Cancer Research (FLiCR) initiative (£5000)

Funding as Co-Investigator

  • 2019 - Co-Investigator in GW4 Initiator Grant (GW4 NanoMedicine) (£14k)
  • 2018 - Co-Investigator in a project awarded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal (220k €)

Travel grants and awards

  • 2018 - Best Poster Presentation at Chemical Tools for Systems Biology III (RSC Conference), London, U.K.
  • 2018 - Best Oral presentation at EUROBIC14 (European Biological Inorganic Chemistry Conference), Birmingham, U.K.
  • 2018 - RSC Travel grant (Chemistry-Biology interface division), to attend Gordon Research conference in June 2018 (£400)
  • 2017 - Selected Participant for the 67th annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (5000€)
  • 2014 - Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) fellowship in the Scope of COST Action CM1106 “Chemical Approaches to Targeting Drug Resistance in Cancer Stem Cells“ (1800€)
  • 2013 - Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) fellowship in the Scope of COST Action CM0902 “Translocation of metallic ions across the biomembrane and their fate after uptake” (1800€)
  • 2012 - Best Presenter, Pharmacy Day of Groningen Institute of Pharmacy, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Biochemical Society
  • Member of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS)
  • Ambassador and Member of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)
  • Member of the Portuguese Cancer Research Society (ASPIC)

Academic positions

  • 2020 - Present - Postdoctoral Research Associate (British Lung Foundation), School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2018 - 2020 - Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellow, School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2016 - 2018 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University
  • 2012 - 2016 - PhD candidate, Groningen Institute of Pharmacy, Groningen University, The Netherlands

Speaking engagements

  • 14th European Biological Inorganic Chemistry Conference (EUROBIC14), 26-30 August 2018, Birmingham, U.K.
  • South West structural Biology Consortium, June 2018, Exeter, U.K.
  • South West structural Biology Consortium, July 2017, Cardiff, U.K.
  • 1st International Symposium on Clinical and Experimental Metallodrugs in Medicine: Cancer Chemotherapy (CEMM), 12th-15th December 2015, Honolulu, USA
  • 6th European Conference of Chemistry in Life Sciences, 10th-12th June 2015, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Medicinal Chemistry and Bioanalysis (MCB) Symposium, 25th August 2014, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 15th edition of the FIGON Dutch Medicines Days, 30 September - 2 October 2013, Ede, The Netherlands
  • Whole Action Meeting of the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action CM1105 “Functional metal complexes that bind to biomolecules”, 9-10th September 2013, Barcelona, Spain
  • Molecular Machinery COST Training School, 15-18th May 2013, Lisbon, Portugal
  • WG1+ WG5 Joint Meeting COST Action CM1105 “Functional metal complexes that bind to biomolecules”, 25-26 February 2013, Groningen, The Netherlands

Committees and reviewing

  • March 2021 - Present - Chair of the DCG NeRD committee
  • 2020 - 2021 - DCG NeRD committee member: a committee from the Division of Cancer and Genetics, run by ECRs, dedicated to the training and development of fellow ECRs across the division
  • 2017 - 2018- Athena Swan committee member, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University

Reviewer for Chemical Communications (1), ChemMedChem (1), Chemistry - A European Journal (1), International Journal of Molecular Sciences (6), Amino Acids (1), Cells (3), Molecules (2), Inorganica Chimica Acta (1)

Publications

2021

2019

2018

2017

2016

2014

2013

You can find the most up to date information on my website: www.craftyscientist.co.uk

Aquaporins in cancer development

My research focuses on identifying the role of small transmembrane water and glycerol channels, named Aquaglyceroporins, in cancer development. For this, I use known inhibitors rather than genetically altering cells, in order to determine their function and effects when inhibited. I aim at mapping the function of glycerol and hydrogen peroxide, via glycerol channels, in cancer development, cell migration, differentiation and metabolism. I am particularly interested in how function, expression and localisation of glycerol channels are affected by the tumour environment and how their expression, in turn, affects cancer progression.
Currently, I am focused on understanding the Spatio-temporal patterns of aquaglyceroporin expression in prostate cancer, under hypoxia and how this contributes to prostate cancer metastasis.

Metal-based drugs as anticancer agents

I am also interested in the mechanism of action of metal-based drugs, as potential anti-cancer therapies. More specifically, my work focuses on metal-based drugs with fluorescence properties, that can be used as probes or trackers, for various cell functions, as well as have anti-cancer properties.

Engagement

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