Claudia Cavadas

Cláudia Cavadas is PharmD, Master in Cell Biology, and PhD in Pharmacology (2002), University of Coimbra. She is Assistant Professor. During her PhD, she spent 3 years at the Division of Hypertension, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland. Since 2002, she is Assistant professor, with tenure, at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Coimbra and Group Leader of “Neuroendocrinology and Aging group” at CNC - Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology. Recently, her group has been investigating the hypothalamus and the impact of neuropetides on age related mechanisms. Cláudia Cavadas has 50 publications. She was the principal investigator of 9 funded projects. She was supervisor of 6 PhD that already finished the thesis. Since May 2011 until June 2013 she was the Director of Institute for Interdisciplinary Research of the University of Coimbra. Since 2013, she is the Vice-President of the Portuguese Society of Pharmacology. At the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cláudia Cavadas is professor of Histology and Human Embryology, and Pharmacology. Cláudia focuses mostly on dietary manipulations of aging, brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Hypothalamus is a brain region known to regulate basic life functions, such as growth, development, reproduction, circadian rhythms, sleep and is critically involved in feeding, glucose homeostasis and metabolism. The hypothalamus neurons are capable to sense energy and peripheral signals (glucose, insulin, leptin), modifying energy status accordingly. Evidence suggests that the integrity of metabolic sensing mechanisms in hypothalamic neurons is crucial for maintaining metabolic homeostasis and normal aging. It is therefore exciting to suggest that hypothalamic neurons could drive aging and age-related diseases. Cláudia's team investigate the hypothalamus as an underlying mediator and a target for interventional strategies in counteracting aging and related diseases. In this context the group focuses the research on the following scientific questions and strategies: i) Does caloric restriction (CR) delay aging and age-related diseases through hypothalamus-related mechanisms? ii) Could we delay premature aging of Hutchinson Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) rodent models, and normal aging, by targeting the hypothalamus? iii) Hypothalamic changes related to obesity, depression and ageing.