Paulo OLIVEIRA, PhD

University of Coimbra, Coimbra, PT

JPaulo J. Oliveira was born in Coimbra, Portugal in 1976 and obtained a PhD degree in 2003 in the same University.
He is the Coordinator of the Mitochondrial, Metabolism and Disease Group, at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra, and since 2016, the Vice-President of the European Society for Clinical Investigation. His investigation on the role of mitochondrial remodeling in disease and toxicology contexts is amply recognized.
Paulo Oliveira’s international scientific career started in 2001 at Kendall Wallace´s Laboratory at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD), USA, as a PhD fellow, by investigating the mitochondrial mechanisms of anti-cancer anthracycline-induced selective cardiotoxicity. He demonstrated for the first time a depletion of the mitochondrial adenine nucleotide translocator resulting from anthracycline treatment and also showed antioxidant protection mediated by the beta-adrenergic blocker carvedilol against anthracycline-induced cardiac mitochondrial toxicity.
Between 2003 and 2011, he was involved in several projects at UMD, with Kendall Wallace, Jon Holy, Edward Perkins, Patricia Scott, and Teresa Rose-Hellekant, resulting in several publications. Progressing from his Post-doctoral studies to independent researcher and Laboratory Head, his team showed that berberine and sanguinarine, two natural products, disrupt mitochondrial function in tumor cells. As a fully independent researcher and Head of the Mitochondrial Toxicology and Disease Group, he is currently addressing two relevant open questions: i) Can increased mitochondrial capacity prevent deleterious metabolic remodeling under pathological conditions? and ii) How does mitochondrial remodeling may be related with carcinogenesis, stem cell physiology and drug-induced toxicity? Paulo Oliveira demonstrated that mitochondrial remodeling, including increased mitochondrial capacity leads to differentiation of cancer stem cells in a reciprocal manner.
In 2014, he firstly introduced in Portugal the Seahorse XFe96 Extracellular Flux Analyzer for high-throughput analyses of mitochondrial respiration and glycolytic rates in cultured cells and isolated fractions. Paulo Oliveira´s research group, currently with 16 members, often receives visiting students from foreign institutions. He has contributed to early stage development of young researchers’ careers, with the supervision of 11 PhDs and 12 Masters (finished), 6 PhDs and 2 Masters on-going, and host of a Marie Curie mobility grant, being also coordinator of one ETN and one RISE H2020 Actions.