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Vera Martins, PhD

Principal Investigator
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Oeiras, PT

Vera C. Martins is an expert in the field of T lymphocyte and thymus development. Holding the position of group leader at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência since 2015, her research primarily focuses on the early differentiation of T cells in both normal physiological conditions and in cases of malignancy, particularly in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Vera has a degree in Microbiology and Genetics from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. Vera obtained her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany. During her time there, she delved into several aspects of T lineage commitment and the induction of central tolerance in the thymus. As a postdoctoral fellow, Vera's expertise expanded further into hematopoiesis and thymus biology covering physiology and malignancy at the University of Ulm and the German Cancer Research Cancer in Ulm and Heidelberg, Germany. It was here that she made a groundbreaking discovery: Vera's work demonstrated that the thymus contains cells with the ability to self-renew, remarkably challenging a central dogma. Moreover, she described thymic cell competition for the first time, and uncovered a critical link between impaired cell competition in the thymus and the development of leukemogenesis.

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