I obtained my PhD degree in 2018 at one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Coimbra in Portugal. During my scientific path I have worked on projects related to neuropsychiatric disorders, glioblastoma, drug addiction and neurophsychopharmacology, where brain vasculature and blood-brain barrier function have a critical importance.

I have developed a strong interest in understanding the development of the microvasculature. Its role in brain immune surveillance is connected with brain disorders occurring during development, in particular, pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders. Dysfunction of the brain vasculature is likely an early event in many neurodevelopmental conditions. So it is no surprise that there is a growing interest in the vasculature as a therapeutic target. Before this can happen, however, it is important to first understand the mechanisms underlying normal brain microvascular development. To feed my craving to learn more and be better scientist, I joined the Shih Lab for my Postdoctoral fellowship. During this time, I have developed and refined methodologies to access brain development in great detail with minimal disruption of the process. This allows us to visualize how cells behave and assemble the neurogliovascular unit during the critical postnatal period with imaging of live mouse pups. What an amazing time to be alive!

Besides being a workaholic lab rat, since my brain never stops thinks about science, I love travel and eat. As a good Portuguese citizen, exploring the world and its diversity of food culture it is one of my passions.

Contact:  vcsantos@uw.edu