NMS Student Wins Best Poster at iMED Conference

Marta Cação, MSc student and researcher at NOVA Medical School, won the best poster presentation of Basic Research at the Medicine and Life Sciences student conference.

The student, from the Master's Degree in Biochemistry for Health, is supervised by researchers Luísa Lemos (Degeneration and Aging Laboratory) and Cláudia Nunes dos Santos (Molecular Nutrition and Health Laboratory), and obtained this prize with a value of €1000 on the 16th of October, at Teatro Camões in Lisbon.

The award was won for the project "Evaluating the protective role of berry-derived polyphenols on mouse retina degeneration", with the aim of unveiling the role of polyphenols present in the diet in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, in this case focusing on degeneration of the mouse retina. We spoke with the investigated parties involved to find out more about this project.

What is the main discovery of this work and why is it important?

By analysing the retinas of the mice, we observed that MPTP induces the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inflammation, and degeneration of some retinal cells. Not much is known about the effect of MPTP on the retina, so with this work we were able to contribute with the characterization of this model. 

We also discovered that in the retina, the berry-enriched diet prevents the formation of ROS induce by MPTP, meaning that the polyphenol metabolites derived from the berry-enriched diet are able to reach the eye and exert a protective role against oxidative stress.

What questions will you pursue next, in the scope of this work? 

The next questions rely on whether the berry-enriched diet can attenuate the retina inflammation and degeneration induced by MPTP.

How does it relate with SDGs?

Our results can have impact on PD nutritional intervention, improving patients’ quality of live. Therefore, it is aligned with the SDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being.

Marta Cação
MSc Student
Sandra Tenreiro
Principal Investigator
Luisa Lemos
PhD/Post-doctoral Researcher
Cláudia Nunes dos Santos

Degeneration and Ageing

Sandra Tenreiro