Cláudia Miranda

PhD Candidate


M.Sc. in Biotechnology, IST, 2011
Graduation in Biochemistry, FCT-UNL, 2009

Research Activities

My research at SCBL is focused on the expansion and neural differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESC and iPSC). ESC are pluripotent cells that can be isolated from the inner cell mass of embryos and have the capacity for prolonged self-renewal and the potential for differentiation into all cell types. Due to these properties, human ESC can potentially be used as starting material to obtain differentiated cells for a myriad of applications. More recently, the breakthrough technology of cell reprogramming has also enabled the derivation of the so-called iPSC from somatic cells, which share the remarkable properties of ESC but avoid the ethical dilemma of destroying human embryos. hiPSC may be an ideal source for therapy because they can be derived from the patient to be treated, avoiding immune rejection, and they are also ideal for constructing disease models. However, to realize this enormous potential, it is necessary to develop robust and reproducible bioprocesses for hPSC expansion and controlled differentiation at large scale. The main aim of my work is the development of a scalable and cost-effective culture platform for production of Neural Progenitors from hPSC under xeno-free chemically-defined conditions.

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