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Ana Rita Mendes, MSc 

PhD Student
Neuroethology Lab
Champalimaud Foundation

Lisbon, Portugal

Ana Rita Mendes is a PhD candidate from the International Neuroscience Doctoral Programme. Since 2018, she has been actively engaged in research at the Lima Lab, part of the Champalimaud Research. Her primary interests lie in comprehending the intricate neural circuits governing instinctive socio-sexual behaviors and how the brain modulates these behaviors, tailoring them according to the internal state of the animal.

Ana Rita Mendes completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Coimbra. Subsequently, she pursued a Master's degree in Biomedical Research with a specialization in Neurobiology at the same institution. During her master's studies, she worked with Susana Lima, employing anatomical methods to investigate the spinal circuits responsible for controlling ejaculation in mice, using the bulbospongiosus muscle as an entry point.

Later on, Ana Rita rejoined the Lima Lab for her PhD research, working in collaboration with Constanze Lenschow. She is currently focusing on unraveling the specific role of a cluster of galanin-positive cells within the mouse lumbar spinal cord that are supposed to govern ejaculation and sexual behavior. Moreover, Ana Rita's research seeks to elucidate the interactions between this cell group, the peripheral nervous system, and the brain, and how these interactions collectively give rise to complex behaviors, such as copulatory actions and ejaculation.

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