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Ana Paula Pêgo

Vice-Director for Strategy & Creation of Value of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S)

Invited Associate Professor of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 

University of Porto, Porto, Portugal 


Group Website: https://www.i3s.upNaN/research-group.php?groupid=37

Ana Paula Pêgo got her Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials from the University of Twente, the Netherlands, in 2002. In 2003 she moved to INEB – Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, where she became a Principal Investigator in 2012. In 2015, INEB joined the i3S – Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (Universidade do Porto), where Ana Paula Pêgo leads the nanoBiomaterials for Targeted Therapies (nBTT) Group.

By using nanomedicine strategies the nBTT Group, aims at providing in situ and in a targeted manner the required signals to promote nervous tissue regeneration. The research on new biomaterials for application in neurosciences includes the development of new polymers for the design of alternative vectors to viruses for efficient nucleic acid delivery, the preparation of nerve grafts for spinal cord injury treatment and the design of brain tissue engineered platforms for therapeutic targets discovery and drug testing. Societal and ethical issues that concern Regenerative Medicine and NanoMedicine are also topics in which Ana Paula Pêgo is involved. She received several distinctions that include the Neuroscience Awards by SCML (the most prestigious national award in the field).

Pêgo is very proud of her mentoring/supervision duties actively contributing to the training of the next generation of bioengineers. To date more than 100 students (PhD and MSc) have been supervised by her.

She has been appointed the Scientific Director of the Bioimaging Centre for Biomaterials and Regenerative Therapies of INEB and she is an Invited Associate Professor at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS) of the University of Porto.

Currently Ana Paula Pêgo is a member of the Board of Directors of i3S, being the Head of Strategy & Creation of Value Unit, serves as an Associate Editor of Biomaterials (Elsevier journal) and is part of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science (AAAS).

She has been in the Council of the ESB (European Society for Biomaterials) since 2015, having been the President of the Society from 2021-2023.

Representative Publications

[1] Rocha DN, Carvalho ED, Pires LR, Gardin C, Zanolla I, Szewczyk PK, Machado C, Fernandes R, Stachewicz U, Zavan B, Relvas JB, Pêgo AP. It takes two to remyelinate: A bioengineered platform to study astrocyte-oligodendrocyte crosstalk and potential therapeutic targets in remyelination. Biomaterials Advances 2023, 151, 213429

[2] Leiro V, Spencer AP, Magalhães N, Pêgo AP. Versatile fully biodegradable dendritic nanotherapeutics. Biomaterials  2022, 281. 121356 

[3] Barros D, Parreira P, Furtado J, Ferreira-da-Silva F, Conde-Sousa E, Garcia AJ, Martins MCL, Amaral IF, Pêgo AP. An affinity-based approach to engineer laminin-presenting cell instructive microenvironments. Biomaterials 2019; 192:601-11. 

[4] Santos SD, Xavier M, Leite DM, Moreira DA, Custodio B, Torrado M, Castro R, Leiro V, Rodrigues J, Tomas H, Pêgo AP. PAMAM dendrimers: blood-brain barrier transport  and neuronal uptake after focal brain ischemia. J Control Release 2018; 291:65-79.

[5] Lopes CDF, Goncalves NP, Gomes CP, Saraiva MJ, Pêgo AP. BDNF gene delivery mediated by neuron-targeted nanoparticles is neuroprotective in peripheral nerve injury. Biomaterials 2017; 121:83-96.