Embryonic Development of Vertebrates Unit
We would like to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the left-right asymmetric placement of internal organs and the bilateral symmetric formation of musculoskeletal elements in vertebrates. In addition we are interested in make the bridge between the fundamental developmental processes that we have been studying with the mechanisms that have to be activated during regeneration upon severe injury.
» Research areas
» Group Leader
Organ / Tissue Regeneration
» Research Team
PhD (2001) in Developmental Biology at University College London, UK
Post-doctoral research at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
Group Leader at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (2005-2007) and at IMM since 2008
Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon
Awarded the Pfizer Award for Basic Research in 2005
» Ongoing Research Projects
Uncovering cellular mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish and their modulation with aging.
Funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/BIM-MED/1375/2012)
Uncover the molecular mechanism downstream of Dmrt2a/Terra that coordinates symmetry versus asymmetry along the left-right axis
Funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/SAU-BID/119627/2010)
Searching for RNA regulators that control the segmentation clock
Funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/BIA-BCM/101282/2008)
Uncover the importance of cilia as signaling structures during regeneration
Funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/SAU-OBD/100202/2008)
» Science and Society Activities
Margarida Gama Carvalho (FCUL, Lisbon, Portugal)
António Jacinto (CEDOC, Lisbon, Portugal)
Sharon Amacher (The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA)
Simon Hughes (King´s College, London, UK)
Fiona Wardle (King´s College, London, UK)
Carl Phillippe Heisenberg (IST, Viena, Austria)
Our research team engages in events that promote the benefits of science and technology, which are absolutely necessary to enhance the understanding and support of the general public and our politicians. It is crucial that the community is able to relate science to everyday life and in this way appreciate how science improves our economic, social and cultural wellbeing.
In brief, we have engaged in informal meetings with science journalists to foster communication links; we have participated in workshops for schoolteachers to narrow the knowledge gap between the labs and schools; we have organized school visits from 5 year-old children to 18 year-old students designed to increase their enthusiasm for biology.
Additionally, Leonor Saúde is one of the founders and the president of “Associação Viver a Ciência” (http://viveraciencia.org), a non-profit organization, created in 2004 by a group of young scientists with two main objectives, engaging the public with science and fundraising for research in Portugal.
Publication on Science Communication:
Rodrigues S., Mota M., Saúde L., Vidal S. and Trindade M. Philanthropy in Portugal. EMBO reports (2007) Vol.8(7), 613-615.
» Selected Publications
2012 L'Óréal Portugal Medals of Honor for Women in Science awarded to Ana Ribeiro
2011 Olympus BioScapes Competition, Honorable Mention awarded to Rita Fior
2005 Pfizer Award for Basic Research awarded to Leonor Saúde
» Useful Links
Mateus R., Pereira T., Sousa S., de Lima J.E., Pascoal S., Saúde L. and Jacinto A. In vivo cell and tissue dynamics underlying zebrafish fin fold regeneration. PloS ONE (2012) 7(12): e51766.
Fior R., Maxwell A.A., Ma T.P., Vezzaro A., Moens C.B., Amacher S.L., Lewis J. and Saúde L. Differentiation and movement of presomitic mesoderm progenitor cells are both controlled by Mesogenin1. Development (2012) 139(24): 4656-65.
Azevedo A.S., Sousa S., Jacinto A. and Saúde L. An amputation resets positional information to a proximal identity in the regenerating zebrafish caudal fin. BMC Developmental Biology (2012) 12(1):24 (hot topic of August issue).
Cutty S.J., Fior F., Henriques P.M., Saúde L. and Wardle F.C. Identification and expression analysis of two novel members of the Mesp family in zebrafish. The International Journal of Developmental Biology (2012) 56(4): 285-94.
Azevedo A.S., Grotek B., Jacinto A., Weidinger G. and Saúde L. The regenerative capacity of the zebrafish caudal fin is not affected by repeated amputations. PloS ONE (2011), Vol. 6(7); e22820.
Lourenço R., Lopes S.S. and Saúde L. Left-right function of dmrt2 genes is not conserved between zebrafish and mouse. PloS ONE (2010), Vol. 5(12); e14438.
Lopes S.S., Lourenço R., Pacheco L., Moreno N., Kreiling J. and Saúde L. Notch signalling regulates left-right asymmetry through ciliary length control. Development (2010), Vol.137(21); 3625-32 (evaluated by Faculty of 1000).
Lourenço, R. and Saúde, L. Symmetry OUT, Asymmetry IN. Symmetry (2010) Vol.2; 1033-1054.
Andrade P. R. and Saúde L. First meeting of the Portuguese Society for Developmental Biology. The International Journal of Developmental Biology (2007) Vol.51(3); 177-182.
Saúde L.***, Lourenço R., Gonçalves A. and Palmeirim I. terra is a left-right asymmetry gene required for left-right synchronization of the segmentation clock. Nature Cell Biology (2005) Vol.7(9), 918-920. ***corresponding author