About The Speaker
Arsélio Pato de Carvalho
University of Aveiro
Arsélio Pato de Carvalho was born in 1934, in Oliveira do Bairro. With a degree in biochemistry from the University of Berkeley, a doctorate in cellular physiology from the same university and more than 200 scientific articles published, particularly in the areas of biology and cell physiology, biochemistry and neurobiology, Arsélio Pato de Carvalho has undoubtedly made significant contributions to the development of neuroscience in Portugal.
A pioneer in the development of cellular and molecular neurobiology in Portugal, he has carried out studies on the mechanisms of the regulation of neurosecretion and cellular neurotoxicity by calcium and nitric oxide as triggering agents, using synaptosomes and neurons in culture as models of study. The scientific contribution of his group defined, in molecular terms, how these two agents can have physiological functions or be toxic; knowledge which also served as a basis for a toxicity control study of antiepileptic drugs produced by BIAL, one of which has already been launched onto the market.
Arsélio Pato was a researcher at the Institute of Muscle Disease, a professor at the Department of Biology at Columbia University and a professor and director of the Department of Zoology at the University of Coimbra. He launched the first degree course in biochemistry here, the country’s first biochemistry department, the Centre for Neurosciences and Cell Biology of Coimbra and the innovative and visionary programme of post-graduate training, which brought together doctors, biologists, biochemists and pharmacists in research projects. He also conceived the concept of a “research faculty”, which materialised in the form of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Coimbra.
He played a crucial role in the establishment of Biocant, in Cantanhede, and was responsible for the creation of the Education and Citizenship Institute in Mamarrosa, a town in the municipality of Oliveira do Bairro, where he comes from. He was a member of the advisory board of the Science Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and of the advisory board of COTEC, a member of the Board of Education and Scholarships of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, a member of the Scientific Council for Health of the Foundation for Science and Technology and Rector of the University of Coimbra.
After having been distinguished by the President of the Republic and honoured with the Stimulus Award for Excellence in Scientific Research and with the “Seeds of Science” Career, the University of Aveiro awarded him the title Doctor Honoris Causa in 2017.