Ana Rita Garcia, a PhD student in Pharmacy at FFUL, received the Best Oral Communication Award for her work entitled “Development of a physiological and anatomically relevant human blood-brain barrier based on 3D tissue engineering”, presented at the LVI Scientific Meeting of the Portuguese Anatomical Society (SAP) 2024, which took place on April 20th. It should be noted that an integral part of this work was also awarded at the European Student Symposium on Anatomical Research 2023, organized by the European Federation of Experimental Morphology.

This study was carried out as part of her doctoral thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Alexandra Brito, at the Neurovascular Laboratory of the Research Institute for Medicines (imed), and resulted from a partnership with Prof. Peter Searson of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Nanobiotechnology.

The student’s thesis aims to uncover the main players and mechanisms involved in the interaction between triple-negative breast cancer cells and the endothelium of the blood-brain barrier, in order to modulate them as a preventive strategy against the formation of brain metastases. With this work, the studies are carried out using 3D human models, which increases their relevance and their subsequent translation to animal models.