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About me

I received my PhD degree in 2017 from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where I developed research on the role of sirtuins in mitochondrial function and dynamics in neurodegenerative models. During the following year I was involved in a project in collaboration with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries exploring mitochondria-ER signaling, which brought me to a research group working in this subject at KI.

I am currently developing my postdoc research at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society (NVS) at the Center for Alzheimer Research, working with Professor Maria Ankarcrona.


  • PhD in Neurosciences from Faculty of Medicine, Univeristy of Coimbra (Portugal)
  • Master in Biotecnology for Health Sciences from University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal)
  • Bachelor in Genetics from University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal)

Research description

 ´Mitochondria are the clandestine rulers of our world´

My current research aim the study of mitochondrial function, dynamics and organelle interplay (mitochondria associated membranes) in neurodegeneration, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease. The identification and characterization of mitochondrial-based molecular targets for therapeutic intervention is our ultimate goal.

Previuos research also includes mitochondria studies in Huntington´s, Machado-Joseph and insulin resistance models.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • Awarded with IBRO International Travel Grant Funding Program (2016)
  • Best poster presentation in 2nd PF2MUC Symposium, University of Coimbra (2012)
  • Prémio UTAD’, graduated with better grade in 2009/2010 school year in School of Life Sciences and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (2011)


Assessing Mitochondrial Function in In Vitro and Ex Vivo Models of Huntington's Disease
Ferreira Il, Carmo C, Naia L, I Mota S, Cristina Rego A
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 2018;1780():415-442

Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease
Carmo C, Naia L, Lopes C, Rego Ac
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 2018;1049():59-83

Comparative Mitochondrial-Based Protective Effects of Resveratrol and Nicotinamide in Huntington's Disease Models
Naia L, Rosenstock Tr, Oliveira Am, Oliveira-sousa Si, Caldeira Gl, Carmo C, et al
Molecular neurobiology 2017;54(7):5385-5399

Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Protect Against Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease
Naia L, Cunha-oliveira T, Rodrigues J, Rosenstock Tr, Oliveira A, Ribeiro M, et al
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2017;37(10):2776-2794

Mitochondrial Ca2+ handling in Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases - Role of ER-mitochondria crosstalk
Naia L, Ferreira Il, Ferreiro E, Rego Ac
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017;483(4):1069-1077

The NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT2 attenuates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction and improves insulin sensitivity in hepatocytes
Lemos V, De Oliveira Rm, Naia L, Szego E, Ramos E, Pinho S, et al
HUMAN MOLECULAR GENETICS 2017;26(21):4105-4117

Insulin and IGF-1 regularize energy metabolites in neural cells expressing full-length mutant huntingtin
Naia L, Ribeiro M, Rodrigues J, Duarte Ai, Lopes C, Rosenstock Tr, et al
Neuropeptides 2016;58():73-81

Activation of IGF-1 and insulin signaling pathways ameliorate mitochondrial function and energy metabolism in Huntington's Disease human lymphoblasts
Naia L, Ferreira Il, Cunha-oliveira T, Duarte Ai, Ribeiro M, Rosenstock Tr, et al
Molecular neurobiology 2015;51(1):331-48

Limited Effect of Chronic Valproic Acid Treatment in a Mouse Model of Machado-Joseph Disease
Esteves S, Duarte-silva S, Naia L, Neves-carvalho A, Teixeira-castro A, Rego Ac, et al
PloS one 2015;10(10):e0141610-

Overexpression of BDNF and Full-Length TrkB Receptor Ameliorate Striatal Neural Survival in Huntington's Disease
Silva A, Naia L, Dominguez A, Ribeiro M, Rodrigues J, Vieira Ov, et al
Neuro-degenerative diseases 2015;15(4):207-18

Sirtuins: double players in Huntington's disease
Naia L, Rego Ac
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2015;1852(10 Pt A):2183-94

Oxidizing effects of exogenous stressors in Huntington's disease knock-in striatal cells--protective effect of cystamine and creatine
Ribeiro M, Silva Ac, Rodrigues J, Naia L, Rego Ac
Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology 2013;136(2):487-99

Mitochondrial and metabolic-based protective strategies in Huntington's disease: the case of creatine and coenzyme Q
Naia L, Ribeiro Mj, Rego Ac
Reviews in the neurosciences 2011;23(1):13-28

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