Fernanda Marques, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Minho University

Dr. Marques received her Ph.D. in 2008 from Minho University, Portugal, where she studied the choroid plexus (CP), a brain immune barrier. During that period, she found that CP act as a sensor of peripheral inflammation. So, she wanted to know what happens to CP when inflammation is coming from the brain, rather than from the periphery. To answer that question, Dr. Marques went to Aloisi’s lab at Sapienza University, Italy. There, she studied Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in mice, a model of brain inflammation. Then, based on the experience gained from her PhD, Dr. Marques decided to deepen her studies on MS and also in Alzheimer´s disease (AD). Most importantly, she found that lipocalin 2 (LCN2), a protein from the CP that she found during her PhD, known to be altered in peripheral inflammation, is able to modulate the cellular response to amyloid beta.  In 2013, Dr. Marques acquired funding from the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) to study LCN2 and to establish herself as an assistant researcher. With the addition of several MSc and PhD students, her portfolio has expanded to a wide array of projects focused around two main research themes: (i) role of CP in physiological conditions and (ii) in pathological conditions such as MS and AD. Particularly, in AD, she has demonstrated that CP is pathologically altered. Besides its role in the formation and secretion of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), she found that molecules produced by the CP may contribute to neuro inflammation, amyloid pathology and cognitive impairment. In 2018, Dr. Marques acquired funding from the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) as Principal Investigator to continue the studies in the CP and in the role of inflammatory response perpetuation by local glia in brain physiology and in brain disease such as AD.




Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.