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HeartGenetics welcomes three new team members

HeartGenetics welcomes three new team members

HeartGenetics is pleased to welcome the three new members who joined the team to foster continued innovation and know-how. They are already committed to assist delivering the “knowledge through genetics” with us and you can meet them below.


Helena Vazão, Laboratory Director

Helena Vazão received her PhD in Cellular Biology (2012) from University of Coimbra (PT) and in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). She developed platforms to translate scientific discoveries in medical applications. The main area of study involved vascular diseases, diabetes and myocardial infarction. She described the first platform for high-throughput identification of small molecules that affect human embryonic vascular development. The discovery includes the combination of toxicology and microfluidics technology. Several papers have been published as result of this expertise.

Prior to working at HeartGenetics, Helena worked as Post Doctoral researcher at the Biomaterials and Stem Cell-Based Therapeutics Laboratory from Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology. Her project was focused in the development of approaches to improve the differentiation, maturation and biological activity of vascular cells derived from human stem cells. She also has a previous experience in Hematology – red blood cells abnormalities. The project was developed in two Hospital Hematology Units (Coimbra (PT) and Oxford (U.K.)). At the same time she was involved in the development, implementation (planning, theoretical and practical training of doctors and nurses) and laboratorial execution of a hemoglobinopathies screening in Portugal.

Helena was awarded with fellowships and prizes attributed by Aveiro University (2002), the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (2007, 2008 and 2012), Eurosystem (2010), Marie Curie (2009) and Award Professor Doutor Amândio Tavares (2008).


Gonçalo Antunes, IT Director

Gonçalo Antunes received his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering (2015) from the Instituto Superior Técnico of the Universidade de Lisboa (PT). His main area of focus was on knowledge representation and analysis techniques, conceptual modelling, and system architectures. He has published several papers in international peer reviewed journals and conferences on these topics. He holds a BSc and an MSc in Computer Science and Engineering from the same university.

Prior to working at HeartGenetics, Gonçalo was a Post-Doctoral researcher at Information and Decision Support Systems group at the Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa (INESC-ID). He was responsible for coordinating the technical infrastructure of the group and for providing technical support to several projects of the group.

From 2008 to 2016, Gonçalo was involved in several projects, at the national and European levels. National projects include DataStorm and GRITO. International projects include SHAMAN, TIMBUS, BenchmarkDP and ELIXIR Excelerate. His tasks many times involved the preparation of the preparation of the project proposals, and the coordination and execution of work packages and tasks.

From 2009 to 2012, Gonçalo was an Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (PT).


Hugo Lopes, Software Engineer

He received his MSc in Computer Science from Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, having Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence as expertise areas.
Hugo is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship and he participated in several entrepreneurship gatherings where he gained experience on accelerating and pitching ideas. He went through the business model design of some of his own projects, trying to bring them to life, experiencing the iterative and entropic nature of customer-driven development, having also collaborated with other startups.
After concluding his master he was a grant holder at INESC-ID continuing his Master Thesis research work on Social Network Analysis and Big Data.

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