Joana Alçada is a PhD student in the Respiratory Sciences Department (Leukocyte Biology section) at the National Heart and Lung Institute and a Clinical Fellow at the Royal Brompton Hospital.
Joana graduated from the University of Coimbra (Portugal) and in 2008 moved to the UK where she has been doing her joint CCT training in Respiratory Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine. Her clinical interests include acute respiratory infection, acute lung injury and the role of ultrasound in critical care.
Joana started her PhD in July 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Hind, Dr. Charlotte Dean and Dr. Mark Griffiths. Her focus of research is on lung injury and repair pathways in human models based on ex vivo lung perfusion technology (EVLP) using a human precision lung cut slice model. She is also looking to explore how specific pathways important in embryonic development, such as retinoic acid metabolism (RA), have the potential induce regeneration of the human lung. It has been demonstrated that the lung has a far greater degree of plasticity than previously thought and that molecules such as RA might be used to prevent deterioration, promote direct repair or even tissue regeneration. This could lead to the development of disease-modifying therapies that can repair and restore lung function in diseases such as emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and ARDS.