Paula C Mota
Post-doctoral researcher
Group at CNC

Joined the course of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro in 1995 having finished it in 2001 after a curricular trainee in clinical and small animal surgery at the Hospital Rof Codina, Lugo, Spain. After 3 years of activity as a veterinarian, in 2004, she enrolled in the Master of Cell Biology and Molecular FCTUC, developing a quick, and applicable in field situations, test to evaluate the condition of the sperm DNA. This test was subsequently adapted for the evaluation of the human sperm DNA and is currently used in the human reproduction unit in Coimbra university hospitals. In 2006 she entered the PhD in Cell Biology, starting with a 5-month internship in the endocrinology lab "Conservation and Research Center", associated with the Smithsonian National Zoo, USA, where she made determinations of hormone metabolites by no means invasive. After returning to CNC, she devoted herself to the study of spermatogenesis in domestic cats, rats and mice, both at the histological and metabolic level. In 2008 she starts a collaboration with Dr. Stefan Schlatt in Pittsburgh (UPMC), USA, with the first xenotransplantation experiments of immature domestic cat testis tissue into immuno-compromised mice. This collaboration was maintained after Dr. Stefan Schlatt moved to the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, Muenster, Germany. In the beginning of her post-doctorate at CNC in 2011, she was distinguished with a grant (Burrows Welcome Foundation) to attend the advanced course "Frontiers in Reproduction" in the prestigious MBL; Woods Hole, USA. It is also in this year that she sees approved her first R & D project as responsible researcher (PTDC/CVT/119477/2010). In 2014 expands her area of ​​research starting studies with marmoset, the animal model closer to male human reproduction, in collaboration with Dr. Stefan Schlatt.



Area of Research: 

Animal Reproduction
Species conservation - rescue methods for endangered felids
- In vitro spermatogonial stem cells culture
- Xenografting
- Organ culture
- Reproductive toxicology
- Testis histomorphometry and detection of spermatogenic abnormalities in
- Domestic cat male gamete physiology and characterization
Human/Animal Infertility
- Effect of Diabetes on reproduction
- Reproductive toxicology: endocrine disrupters
- Alternative approaches to recover human fertility: xenografting and organ

Research Summary:
Selected Publications: 

Tavares R.S.*, Portela J.*, Mota P.C., RamalhoSantos J., Amaral S. (2015) High glucose concentrations per se do not adversely affect human sperm function in vitro. Reproduction, in press. DOI: (Q1 in Reproductive Medicine)

Mota PC, Ehmcke J, Westernströer B, Gassei K, RamalhoSantos
J, Schlatt S. Effects of different storageprotocols on cat testis tissue potential for xenografting and recovery of spermatogenesis. Theriogenology. 2012 Jan 15;77(2):299310. (Q1 in Veterinary sciences)

Mota PC, Cordeiro M, Pereira SP, Oliveira PJ, Moreno AJ, RamalhoSantos
J. Differential Effects of p,p’DDE on Testis and liver mitochondria – implications for Reproductive Toxicology. Reproductive Toxicology. 2011;31:80–85 (Q1 in Toxicology)

Ramalho-Santos J, Varum S, Amaral S, Mota PC, Sousa AP, Amaral A. Mitochondrial functionality in reproduction: from gonads and gametes to embryos and embryonic stem cells. Hum Reprod Update.2009;15:55372.
(Q1 in Biology of Reproduction)

Mota PC and Ramalho-Santos J. Comparison between different markers for sperm quality in the cat: DiffQuik  as a simple optical technique to assess changes in the DNA of feline epididymal sperm. Theriogenology 2006;65:13601375. (Q1 in Veterinary sciences)

Other information: 
Financiado por Fundos FEDER através do Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade – COMPETE 2020 e por Fundos Nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia no âmbito do projecto Estratégico com referência atribuida pelo COMPETE: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007440

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