Meghan Beck – Behavioral Neuroscience BSc student (Northeastern University, Boston, USA) – Trainee

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I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University. As part of my program, I am working in Diana Prata’s lab. I hope to be exposed to several facets of neuroscience research and progress my technical skills to help me develop as a scientist. I am interested in neuroimaging and its ability to give insight into how brain structure and function affect each individual’s reality. In the future, I plan to pursue medical school.


Maciej Kosilo, Psychology PhD – Post-Doctoral researcher


I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and obtained a PhD from City, University of London (UK). My main interests revolve around cognition and perception, as well as the application of EEG and psychophysical methods to study these topics in health and disease, particularly in psychosis. During my PhD, I investigated how visual channels that combine and relay visual information from the retina to the brain contribute to performance on a visual working memory task, and whether the influence of each visual channel can be differentiated using EEG. As o post-doctoral researcher in Dr Diana Prata’s lab, I will continue to investigate how low-level mechanisms contribute to more complex cognition by looking into the role the neuropeptide oxytocin plays in social cognition and salience attribution.


Carlotta Cogoni, Cognitive Neuroscience PhD – Post-Doctoral researcher

IMG_1687_RAfter having obtained a degree in Experimental Biology, and an MSc in Neuroscience, I’ve completed a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy. During my first post-doc at the University of Trento, I mainly worked on objectification processes that imply the reduction of a someone into a something both at a behavioral and neural level. The focus of my research is on the perceptual, cognitive, affective and neural process of sexual objectification (e.g., analytic/configural perceptual process, sexual objectification, neural correlates of empathy). I’m currently extending my social neuroscience research interest to another aspect of social cognition: I recently embarked on a new adventure together with Diana Prata, we will investigate the oxytocin and the dopamine systems contribution to social cognition.


Joana Monteiro, Biomedical Engineering MSc student


Even though I am currently finishing my Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at FCT NOVA, I have only started to scratch the surface of the world of neurosciences with the help of the members of Diana Prata’s lab. I have started working on my thesis here at the lab, under the supervision of Diana Prata where I intend to study and understand the effect of psychosis-relevant epigenetic variability on brain structure. As a passionate student in this interdisciplinary environment, I hope to contribute to the understanding of important genetic biomarkers for psychological disorders like schizophrenia, with the goal of studying the etiology of these disorders. My intended path is to keep my work closely related to psychiatry as a future biomedical engineer, because the human brain is too interesting not be studied and still holds many answers yet to be discovered.



Vânia Tavares, Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering MSc – M2B PhD student

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I hold a MSc in Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering from Faculty of Sciences of University of Lisbon since 2014. I am a research team member at the Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering (IBEB), University of Lisbon, since 2013, with specialisation in Neuroimaging. In particular, I have been focused on developing multimodal biomarkers for clinical analysis. In 2015, I worked at the Instituto Luso-Ilírio para o Desenvolvimento Humano, where I developed museum activities using bio-signals (brain and non-brain signals) combined with user-computer interfaces. I am now a PhD Student at IBEB and teh Faculty of Medicina of the University of Lisbon and I have been granted a FCT-funded fellowship under the Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics Doctoral Programme (M2B). My research is now focused on developing a classification model based on multimodal data, including genetics, psychological assessments and magnetic resonance imaging (both structural and functional), with the final goal of predicting the onset of schizophrenia. My work is closely supervised by Diana Prata and Hugo Ferreira.

Marie Zelenina, Artificial Intelligence MSc & Neurobiology MSc – Biomedical Engineering PhD Student (shared with NIMH, USA)


I am passionate about Computational Psychiatry, and I hope to contribute to this multidimensional field with my very diverse background. I hold a MSc in Artificial Intelligence (University of Edinburgh, 2014), and Ian MSc in Neurobiology (University of Porto). After I completed my taught units, which ranged from Neuroanatomy and Molecular Biology to Genetics and Computational Neuroscience, I joined Diana Prata’s lab for my thesis work. I am currently studying resting state microstates in EEG.

Gonçalo Cosme, Biomedical Engineering MSc – Lab Technician  & FCT PhD student


I graduated in 2016 from Universidade Nova de Lisboa with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. My thesis entitled “Image reconstruction for Ultra-Fast PET systems” allowed me to enter the research world in which I want to pursue a career in, specifically in engineering applied to neurosciences. Right now my role in Diana Prata’s Lab is to provide technical support in EEG, ECG, fMRI and Eye Tracking, setup troubleshooting, task development and data analysis. My ambition is to do a PhD related to machine learning with multi-modal data applied to biomarker discovery in mental disorders.

Vasco Sá – Behavioural Neuroscience BSc –  ISCTE-IUL Pychology PhD Student

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I am currently finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University. I am now working at Diana Prata’s lab as a part of my curricular program, where I mostly assist with task design and development, while learning the tools and concepts of research in cognitive neuroscience. I am particularly interested in research on diagnostic heterogeneity in psychiatry and mental illness etiology. I intend to conduct research on these topics by analyzing MRI data using machine learning tools.



Bárbara Querido Oliveira, Medicine MSc – Trainee

ana bárbara querido oliveira_14767 (1)I graduated from Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade de Lisboa in 2018 and I’m currently working as a trainee in Diana Pratas’ Lab. When I first contacted with Psychiatry, during my course, I had great expectations and I imagined that we knew much more about the interfaces between mind and brain than we actually did. Besides that, I noticed other big issue around these disorders: stigma and marginalization. I believe that knowledge is the way to fight these phenomena, particularly human behaviour research. That’s what motivated me not to start my medical practice right away and be part of this team, to find answers and to grow as a scientist. I intend do my specialisation in Psychiatry, Pedopsychiatry or Pediatrics.

Nuno Vouga Ribeiro, Medical Student MSc – Trainee

untitled 2I am currently finishing my Master’s degree in Medicine at Faculdade de Medicina (Universidade de Lisboa). Having had an interest in neuroscience research – particularly regarding the neurobiological basis of psychiatric pathology – I started to collaborate as a trainee at Diana Prata’s Lab since late 2018. For the moment being, I intend to develop skills in study design and implementation and statistics, as well as to contact with different tools for assessing neurobiological phenomena (MRI, fMRI, EEG and eye-tracking).

Rafael Esteves – Biomedical Sciences Bsc – Biopharmaceutical Sciences MSc student

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, from where I gained a passion for Neurobiology, more specifically for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences. So to better understand how molecul42994764_1832858270095077_3052113376692928512_n.jpgar changes in the brain can affect our own behavior, I enrolled in the Biopharmaceutical Sciences Master’s degree in Faculdade de Farmácia (Universidade de Lisboa), with several units having a focus on Neurobiology (i.e. Neuroinflammation and Neuropharmacology), and also joined Diana Prata’s Lab for my thesis work. I intend do study Oxytocin and it’s relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Sara Lopes Ferreira – Clinical Psychology Msc – Neuroscience Msc Student and Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics Phd Student

In 2017, I got my Msc in Clinical Psychology from Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon. I have also developed clinical practice among generIMG_3236al population and at-risk populations, namely subjects with patterns of substance abuse and refugees. Attached to that, I embrace a great interest on the neural basis of psychological trauma and personality traits, and their effects on social cognition. Therefore, I decided to enrol in a Msc in Neuroscience and in a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Lisbon. From now on, I intend to do research in Affective and Social Neuroscience among populations with severe social impairments, particularly with psychopathology. Exploring that through neuroimaging and psychophysiological techniques made me join Diana Prata’s Lab, where I have been conducting my current Msc and PhD thesis projects. 

Hugo Ferreira, Medicine MSc & Physics MSc, Physics PhD, Assistant Professor – Guest Scientist

I hold a medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and a physics engineering degree from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) of the TechnicalUniversity of Lisbon. I also hold a PhD degree in physics from IST, whereas my doctoral studies were done at INESC-MicrosysteHugo-Ferreirams and Nanotechnologies and at the BioEngineering Research Group – IST. I was a founder and the CEO of Haloris Nanotechnologies, a biosensor start-up and later I was a clinical education and application specialist for magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography at Siemens Healthcare. I then returned to academia as a researcher on neuroimaging at the Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering (IBEB) of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (FCUL). Now I am an assistant professor at FCUL where I teach Neurosciences and Neuromodeling, Nanotechnology in Biomedicine, Tissue Engineering and Artificial Organs, Medical Robotics, and Mechanisms of Disease. I am also the coordinator of the Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics at FCUL. At IBEB my current research topics include Brain Connectivity and classification of Neuroimaging and Neurophysiological signals, Physiological and Affective Computing, and Neuromarketing. Further information: ,

Andreia Santiago, Health Science BSc – Neuroscience MSc Student

1583092312488.JPEGI hold a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, lectured in five faculties of the University of Lisbon, which allowed me to learn about the general functioning and pathology of the human body as well as its relationship with the brain. I always had an interest in neuroscience research, particularly for neuropsychiatric diseases, which led me to enroll in the MSc in Neuroscience (Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon) and join Diana Prata’s Lab. I’m currently working on my master’s thesis where I explore oxytocin and social salience attribution using behavioral and neural measures. My aim is to contribute to the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry and, as a future neuroscientist, study how Biology, (Epi)Genetics and Behavior relate to one another through neuroimaging and psychophysiological tools.


Ana Leonor Neto – Neuroeconomics MSc student – Trainee

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As a psychology student I have always been fascinated by the multiple ways in which our social lives shape how we think and how we behave. I am currently collaborating with Diana Prata’s Lab while also taking a Neuroeconomics MSc at Maastricht University. More specifically, I aim to go deeper in the understanding of human decision making, with a focus on the influence of social cognition on our behaviour, tapping into the concepts of justice, fairness and morality.

Leslie Hassanein – Behavioural Neuroscience Bsc student (Northeastern University,  Boston, USA) – Trainee 

image.pngI am in the process of finishing my undergraduate degree in Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University, working in Diana Prata’s Lab as part of my curriculum.  I was drawn to this lab for several reasons, mainly due to its focus on oxytocin and research that has the potential to improve the lives of many. Here, I have been exposed to many different phases of research, primarily task development. After completing a long relationship with academia, I hope to pursue a career in pharmaceutical research, focusing mainly on neuroendocrine disorders.

Angelica Fiuza – Health Science Bsc student (Northeastern University,  Boston, USA) – Trainee 

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I am currently finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Health Science at Northeastern University. As a part of my curricular program, I am now working at Diana Prata’s Lab where I am learning the process of research of cognitive neuroscience through assisting with paradigm design. Through working on different projects in the lab, I aim to develop my skills in statistics and various software programs, while gaining a deeper understanding of how neuroimaging tools can be used to better comprehend clinical presentations by looking at the structure of the brain. With the goal to pursue medicine in the future, I am interested in learning more about this field not only to discern the brain body connection, but also obtain insight into patient’s behavior.

João Malhadas Martins, MD, Psychiatrist & Psychopathology MSc Student – PhD Student


I am a consultant psychiatrist at the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health in Santarém Hospital. I hold a Master’s degree in Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon. Currently, I am finishing the thesis for my Master’s degree in Psychopathology from University of Lisbon, titled as “Subjective Well-Being in the Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders”. My research interest lies in the area of Social Cognitive Neurosciences in Mental Disorders. I joined Diana Prata’s Lab in 2019.

Beatriz Simões, Biomedical Engineering MSc student – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! (Mark: 18 in 20)

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I am a Biomedical and Biophysics Engineering MSc student in Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. At Diana Prata’s Lab, I analyze DTI data in order to comprehend how a poligenetic risk impacts the white matter microstructure in healthy subjects, schizophrenia and bipolar patients. Previously, I have worked as a student at TUM-NIC, Technishe Universitat Munchen – Neuroimaging Center, where I studied dopamine and volumetric changes in the brain of schizophrenia patients when compared with healthy subjects.  I am particularly interested in comprehending the structural and functional alterations that occur in the brain of people with neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mónica Costa, Psychology BSc – Neuroscience MSc student – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! (Mark: 19 in 20)


I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and am currently taking a Neuroscience Masters Degree at the University of Lisbon. I’m interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary approach with psychology, biology and computation on cognitive processes. Specifically, decision making, theory of mind and conscience, as well as their dysfunction in mental illness. My ultimate goal is to explore decision making, opening the path to understanding how we make the decision of what is reality and what is hallucination and its biological underlying mechanisms. Science communication is another interest of mine, having developed a ‘science storytelling’ blog where I explain Neuroscience findings in an artistic way (

Mariana Balseiro – Biomedical Engineering MSc student – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! (Mark: 18 in 20)


I am studying Biomedical Engineering in Instituto Superior Técnico since 2012. I am now working on my Master Thesis here at iMM, under the supervision of Diana Prata and Patrícia Figueiredo (IST). My goal is to study how polygenetic risk may influence structural and functional brain phenotypes in a sample of healthy individuals, schizophrenia patients and schizophrenia non-affected relatives. I will also work on a sample of bipolar patients, since there is a large overlap between the genetic risk factors for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

Sandro Nunes, Biomedical Engineering MSc – Researcher

I am a Biomedical Engineer, having obtained the MSc degree from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon, in 2014. Since then, I have worked as an associate researcher at the Evolutionary Systems and Biomedical Engineering Lab IMG_0411(LaSEEB), IST, in the field of high-resolution resting-state functional magnetic resonance. Specifically, I have been focused on improving the functional connectivity metrics by characterizing, modelling and removing the sources of physiological noise in the brain. In DPrata Lab I worked on the role of oxytocin on social decision making with a focus on the modelling and neuroimaging components.

Daniel Martins, Medicine MSc – Researcher

13391031_1094248227288374_1138537599_n copyI graduated in Medicine at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto (MD, MsC – 2015). Between 2010-2015 I worked as a trainee at the Department of Experimental Biology (FMUP)/IBMC – Isaura Tavares’s lab, studying the neurobiological mechanisms underlying chronic pain, where I facilitated the first evidence regarding GABA involvment in spinal 5HT3R-mediated pronociception during diabetic neuropathic pain and explored the role of endovaniloid system in RVM-mediated pain processing in acute and chronic pain paradigms. My research in DPrata Lab was focused on the neurobiological basis underpining human social behavior (with a particular emphasis in the brain oxytocin system, empathy, trust, cooperation, social decision making and social reinforcement learning) and its dysfunction during mental illness (autism and schizophrenia). 

Duarte Ferreira, Biological Engineering MSc – Researcher

I am a Biological Engineer, having completed the MSc degree from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), University of Lisbon in 2015. I have done varied research work, ffotorom biological studies in autoimmune diseases, to cell biology studies in Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition; and worked at DPrata Lab applying computational reinforcement learning models, in order to study the effect of oxytocin in (non-)social behavior and brain activation; and designing experimental psychological paradigms and psychophysiological and neuroimaging recordings.

Carina Mendes, Biomedical Engineering MSc – Researcher

I am im_perfilfinishing a Biomedical Engineering MSc from The Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. During my thesis, I specialised in the integration of several neuroimaging modalities (MR, PET and DTI) to better understand the brain connectivity of glioblastoma patients. At DPrata, I performed fMRI analysis, experimental psychological paradigm design and psychophysiological and neuroimaging recording set up.

Bernardo Moura, Medicine MSc and Psychiatry resident – Researcher

eu china cropI’m a resident in Psychiatry at Hospital de Santa Maria, University of Lisbon, starting a PhD at DPrata Lab. I’m interested in finding more informative and less stigmatizing frameworks for psychiatric disorders, combining dynamical networks of symptoms and biological markers. 

Gonçalo Oliveira, Psychology MSc, Psychobiology PhD – FCT Post-doc

GO-2017.jpgI was a Postdoc in Diana Prata’s lab (iMM Lisboa) researching neuropeptide and androgen interactions in key brain areas underlying social and cognitive phenomena in humans. I am supported by an FCT Post-doctoral fellowship. Before joining DPrata lab, I worked under the supervision of Dr. Rui F. Oliveira (ISPA/IGC), first as a research assistant (2009-2010) and later as a Psychobiology Ph.D student (2011-2015; also funded by FCT fellowship). During my Ph.D, we have addressed theoretical and empirical questions on the social modulation of androgens levels, from the underlying mechanisms triggering androgen responses to social challenges, to what are the adaptive functions of these transient changes in androgen levels. After that, I continued at the Oliveira lab with a Post-doctoral position, investigating the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary implications of social plasticity. My initial training is in Clinical Psychology (ISPA-IU) and I’m also a licensed Psychologist (Full-member of Order of the Portuguese Psychologists).

Bernardo Neves, Medicine MSc & Psychiatry resident – Researcher

I received my MD/MSc from New University of Lisbon in 2012,Foto1 followed by a postgraduate diploma in Neuropsychology from Ordem dos Psicólogos in 2013. After my medical degree, I started working as a resident in Psychiatry at Júlio de Matos Hospital. Seeing so many people struggling with a brain illness due to the lack of effective treatments was the boost that I needed to become interested in research. I am interested in understanding how mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, produce biases in the recognition of emotional expressions and how these impact social functioning. For this reason, I joined Diana Prata’s Lab team as a research collaborator with the goal of applying for a PhD position. I hope our work will give us new insight into our capacity to interact with other people in health and disease, and provide us with new therapeutic tools for disorders with defective social functioning.

Alessia Ávila, Psychology MSc – Researcher


I am a Clinical Psychologist by background, graduated in Italy with a dissertation on schizophrenia rehabilitation. I have been working as a clinician in an Early Intervention and Early Detection Service in Milan (Italy) and then moved to London to complete my training with an Msc in Neuroscience, specifically focused on psychosis. I have been working as a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, for 3 years before moving to Diana Prata’s lab. My main research and clinical interests are early phase of psychosis and at-risk mental state, as well as cognitive and imaging correlates of anorexia and brain stimulation techniques.

Katja Brodmann, Psychology MSc, Behaviour and Cognition PhD – Post-doc

Image_newI studied psychology with the focus on cognitive neuroscience at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (BSc 2009, MSc 2012) and I received my PhD in systems neuroscience at the Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany, in 2016.  Currently I am working as a postdoc in Diana Prata’s lab. In her lab, I have the chance to continue and to expand my research regarding the neurobiological basis of social cognition and behaviour. I am especially interested in exploring the interplay between neuropeptides and neurotransmitter during social cognitive tasks and how the interaction is reflected on a neural level by variations in brain activation and functional connectivity.

Marie Zelenina, Artificial Intelligence MSc – Neurobiology MSc student – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! (Mark: 18 in 20)

André Sousa, MD – MSc Neuroscience – Researcher

Guilherme Nobre – Medical Sciences BSc student – Researcher

Marco Carvalho – Ciência Cognitiva MSc student (co-supervision with FPUL)

Luís Guerra – Information & Computer Engineering MSc student (co-supervision with IST) – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! (Mark: 17 in 20)

Diogo Tecelão – Biomedical Engineering BSc student – Researcher

João Pizarro – Neuropsychology MSc, PhD student (co-supervision with ISCTE-IUL)

Svetlana Postarnak – Cognitive Science MSc student – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! (Mark: 18 in 20)

Inês Fernandes – Biomedical Engineering BSc student – trainee

Teresa Maia – Cellular and Molecular Biology BSc student – trainee

Rita Lóios – Cellular and Molecular Biology BSc student – trainee

Alexandra Cabrita – Cellular and Molecular Biology BSc student – trainee

Emma-Jane Mallas, Psychiatric Research MSc student – MSc THESIS COMPLETED!

Matilde Pato – Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa professor – Researcher

Andrew Rees – Luso-American Development Foundation trainee

Rodrigo Prista – Biology BSc student – trainee

Catarina Sequeira – Cellular and Molecular Biology BSc student – trainee

Rita Couto, Biological Engineering MSc student – trainee

Diogo Fernandes, Biological Engineering MSc student – trainee

Tiago Castanheira, Biomedical Engineering MSc student – trainee

Salwador Cyranowski – Erasmus trainee

Mateusz Gielata – Erasmus trainee

Julia Rogoska – Erasmus trainee

Rubina Gurung, Neuroscience MSc – MSc THESIS COMPLETED! 

Evangelina Bernard, Mental Health Studies Programme MSc – Msc THESIS COMPLETED!

Senita Rani-Robinson, Neuroscience MSc – MSc THESIS COMPLETED!

Andreina Pauli, Medicine BSc – Trainee

Lailee Zhuo, Medicine BSc – Trainee

Inês Casqueiro, Psychology BSc – Researcher


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