Sónia Melo

Sónia is a Principal Investigator and Affiliate Professor at Faculty of Medicine Porto. Her entire career has revolved around cancer biology, with specific training and expertise in key areas pertaining her current line of research, the biology of cancer exosomes. She has finished my PhD in 2010, and followed to a postdoctoral period of four years at Harvard Medical School and at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2014 Sónia started an independent research line at i3S (Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde)/IPATIMUP (Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto). The main scientific motivation of her team is to demonstrate that cancer exosomes are a central piece in intercellular communication, play a key role in cancer progression, and to take advantage of this knowledge to improve the clinical management of cancer patients. The two major contributions that drive the current research are the understanding that cancer exosomes have the capacity to effectively reprogram recipient cells through their cargo, and that they can be sustained in circulation with the potential to travel short as well as long distances. Her team takes great care in making sure that their research contributes both to the scientific recognition of the team, as well as to the build-up of a team of students and postdocs with clear perspectives of a successful career. Ultimately, and following on the potential clinical application of their scientific advances of the past 5 years, the team hope that their research will be translated into clinical relevant information that can help cancer patients. They are a strong and dedicated team with the focus to keep on doing high-profile cancer research with the highest impact that brings significant progress to the field. The team is dedicated to translate their research into clinically relevant information that can help patient survival.