Graça Baltazar is a biologist with a Ph.D. in Cellular Biology (2000) from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology (University of Coimbra), and a Master's degree in Cellular Biology, from the same University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior. Her research interests are focused on understanding the interactions between neurons and glial cells and targeting these interactions to minimize neurodegeneration and promote repair and recovery after brain injury. She is currently exploring the following research themes: - Potential of stem cells as therapy for ischemic brain injuries. - Effects of electromagnetic stimulation on astrocytes and its impact on the function and survival of neuronal cells in ischemia models. - Role of striatal enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) in the control of synapse formation and maturation. She is a member of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Health Sciences and of the Health Sciences Research Centre of the University of Beira Interior (CICS-UBI). She is also responsible for the animal facilities Faculty of Health Sciences and coordinator of the Organ responsible for the welfare of animals at this facility. She is the director of the Ph.D. program in Biomedicine at UBI.

Personal identification

Full name
Graça Maria Fernandes Baltazar

Citation names

  • Baltazar, Graça

Author identifiers

Ciência ID

Email addresses

  • gbaltazar@fcsaude.ubi.pt (Professional)

Knowledge fields

  • Medical and Health Sciences - Basic Medicine - Neurosciences
Degree Classification
PhD in Biology (Doutoramento)
Major in Cellular Biology
Universidade de Coimbra Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Portugal
Master in Cellular Biology (Mestrado)
Universidade de Coimbra Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Portugal
Biology (Licenciatura)
Universidade de Coimbra Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, Portugal

Teaching in Higher Education

Host institution
2011/09/20 - Current Associate Professor (University Teacher) Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal
2007 - 2011/09/19 Assistant Professor (University Teacher) Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
2002/07/01 - 2007/07/01 Invited Assistant Professor (University Teacher) Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal

Positions / Appointments

Host institution
2013 - Current Conselho científico/técnico-científico ou orgão correspondente Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal


Designation Funders
2022/03/01 - Current SAIN - Segesterone Acetate Intranasal Nanoemulsion
Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
2020/11/01 - 2023/10/31 CICS4COVID - Testar, Rastrear, e Inovar no Diagnóstico da COVID-19
2021/11/01 - 2022/10/31 Intranasal Delivery of Simvastatin in Stroke
Cco-Investigador responsável
Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde
2018/07/01 - 2021/06/30 Combinação do Secretoma de Células Estaminais Mesenquimatosas (MSCs) e terapias farmacológicas para o tratamento da Doença de Parkinson
Universidade do Minho, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2019/09/01 - 2021/05/31 Novas abordagens em Encefalopatia hipóxico-isquémica: investigação translacional para diagnosticar e monitorizar resposta a terapia com células estaminais.
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Neurociências e Biologia Celular, Portugal

Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2013/05/01 - 2015/10/30 Modulação da reactividade microglial pelo GDNF: relevância para a protecção dopaminérgica
Principal investigator
Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal

Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2013/05/01 - 2015/09/30 Mecanismos de protecção neuronal contra stress oxidativo mediados pela DJ-1: implicações na doença de Parkinson
Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Neurociências e Biologia Celular, Portugal

Universidade do Minho, Portugal

Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2014/04/01 - 2015/07/31 MicroRNA-124 encapsulado em nanopartículas: promover a neurogénese para tratar a doença de Parkinson
Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal

Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2007/07/01 - 2010/12/31 Acções troficas dos factores neurotróficos: dependência da co-activação de receptores A2A da adenosina
Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes, Portugal

Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Neurociências e Biologia Celular, Portugal

Universidade de Lisboa Faculdade de Farmácia, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
2005/09/01 - 2008/08/31 Regulação dos níveis de TTR humana e de ratinho no fígado e plexo coroideu pelas hormonas esteróides
Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal

Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia


  1. Duarte, E.P.; Saavedra, A.; Baltazar, G.. GDNF: A key player in neuron-glia crosstalk and survival of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. 2007.
  2. Duarte, E.P.; Baltazar, G.; Veríssimo, P.; Carvalho, A.P.. Release of catecholamines and enkephalin peptides induced by reversal of the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger in chromaffin cells. 1996.
Book chapter
  1. Baltazra, Graça. "Experimental Tools to Study the Regulation and Function of the Choroid Plexus". 2019.
Journal article
  1. Inês Serrenho; Carla Cardoso; Mário Grãos; alexandra dinis; Bruno Manadas; Graça Baltazar. "Hypothermia Does Not Boost the Neuroprotection Promoted by Umbilical Cord Blood Cells in a Neonatal Hypoxia-Ischemia Rat Model". International Journal of Molecular Sciences 24 1 (2022): 257-257. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms24010257.
  2. Genilso Gava-Junior; Susana A. Ferreira; Cláudio Roque; Julieta Mendes-Oliveira; Inês Serrenho; Nuno Pinto; Maria Vaz Patto; Graça Baltazar. "High-frequency repetitive magnetic stimulation rescues ischemia-injured neurons through modulation of glial-derived neurotrophic factor present in the astrocyte's secretome". Journal of Neurochemistry (2022): https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15740.
  3. Melissa Mariana; Claudio Roque; Graça Baltazar; Elisa Cairrao. "In Vitro Model for Ischemic Stroke: Functional Analysis of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells". Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (2021): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10571-021-01103-5.
  4. Roque C; Pinto N; Vaz Patto M; Baltazar G. "Astrocytes contribute to the neuronal recovery promoted by high-frequency repetitive magnetic stimulation in in vitro models of ischemia.". Journal of neuroscience research (2021): http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/33522025.
  5. Gava-Junior G; Roque C; Mendes-Oliveira J; Bernardino AC; Serrenho I; Pires JP; Baltazar G. "A Cell Culture Model for Studying the Role of Neuron-Glia Interactions in Ischemia.". Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE (2020): http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/33252110.
  6. Baltazra, Graça. "A different vision of translational research in biomarker discovery: a pilot study on circulatory mitochondrial proteins as Parkinson's disease potential biomarkers.". Translational neurodegeneration (2020): https://europepmc.org/articles/PMC7118951.
  7. Campos, Jonas; Guerra-Gomes, Sónia; Serra, Sofia C.; Baltazar, Graça; Oliveira, João F.; Teixeira, Fábio G.; Salgado, António J.. "Astrocyte signaling impacts the effects of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells secretome application into the hippocampus: A proliferation and morphometrical analysis on astrocytic cell populations". Brain Research 1732 (2020): 146700. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2020.146700.
  8. Patrícia Quelhas; Graça Baltazar; Elisa Cairrao. "The Neurovascular Unit: Focus on the Regulation of Arterial Smooth Muscle Cells". Current Neurovascular Research (2019): https://doi.org/10.2174/1567202616666191026122642.
  9. C. Roque; J. Mendes-Oliveira; C. Duarte-Chendo; G. Baltazar. "The role of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 on neurological disorders". Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology (2019): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.100786.
  10. Cláudio Roque; Julieta Mendes-Oliveira; Graça Baltazar. "G protein-coupled estrogen receptor activates cell type-specific signaling pathways in cortical cultures: relevance to the selective loss of astrocytes". Journal of Neurochemistry 149 1 (2019): 27-40. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.14648.
  11. Mendes-Oliveira J; Lopes Campos F; Videira RA; Baltazar G. "GPER activation is effective in protecting against inflammation-induced nigral dopaminergic loss and motor function impairment.". (2017): http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/28450223.
  12. Roque C; Baltazar G. "Impact of Astrocytes on the Injury Induced by In Vitro Ischemia.". (2017): http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/28315110.
  13. Tomé D; Fonseca CP; Campos FL; Baltazar G. "Role of Neurotrophic Factors in Parkinson´s Disease.". (2016): http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/27928963.
  14. Kurup, P.K.; Xu, J.; Videira, R.A.; Ononenyi, C.; Baltazar, G.; Lombroso, P.J.; Nairn, A.C.. "STEP61 is a substrate of the E3 ligase parkin and is upregulated in Parkinson's disease". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 4 (2015): 1202-1207. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84921725758&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  15. Esteves, M.; Cristóvão, A.C.; Saraiva, T.; Rocha, S.M.; Baltazar, G.; Ferreira, L.; Bernardino, L.. "Retinoic acid-loaded polymeric nanoparticles induce neuroprotection in a mouse model for parkinson's disease". Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 7 MAR (2015): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84926392573&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  16. Bessa, A.; Campos, F.L.; Videira, R.A.; Mendes-Oliveira, J.; Bessa-Neto, D.; Baltazar, G.. "GPER: A new tool to protect dopaminergic neurons?". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease 1852 10 (2015): 2035-2041. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84938151582&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  17. Baltazra, Graça. "Analysis of Citalopram in Plasma and Hair by a Validated LC MS/MS Method". Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques (2015): http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2157-7064.1000274.
  18. Rocha, S.M.; Pires, J.; Esteves, M.; Baltazar, G.; Bernardino, L.. "Histamine: A new immunomodulatory player in the neuron-glia crosstalk". Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 8 1 APR (2014): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84899699754&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  19. Fonseca, C.P.; Gama, S.; Saavedra, A.; Baltazar, G.. "H2O2- or l-DOPA-injured dopaminergic neurons trigger the release of soluble mediators that up-regulate striatal GDNF through different signalling pathways". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease 1842 7 (2014): 927-934. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84897372841&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  20. Campos, F.L.; Carvalho, M.M.; Cristovão, A.C.; Je, G.; Baltazar, G.; Salgado, A.J.; Kim, Y.-S.; Sousa, N.. "Rodent models of Parkinson's disease: Beyond the motor symptomatology". Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience NOV (2013): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84888382835&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  21. Rocha, S.M.; Cristovão, A.C.; Campos, F.L.; Fonseca, C.P.; Baltazar, G.. "Astrocyte-derived GDNF is a potent inhibitor of microglial activation". Neurobiology of Disease 47 3 (2012): 407-415. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84863442753&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  22. Campos, F.L.; Cristovão, A.C.; Rocha, S.M.; Fonseca, C.P.; Baltazar, G.. "GDNF Contributes to Oestrogen-Mediated Protection of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurones". Journal of Neuroendocrinology 24 11 (2012): 1386-1397. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84867668559&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  23. Ferreira, R.; Santos, T.; Gonçalves, J.; Baltazar, G.; Ferreira, L.; Agasse, F.; Bernardino, L.. "Histamine modulates microglia function". Journal of Neuroinflammation 9 (2012): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84860618694&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  24. Cristóvão, A.C.; Saavedra, A.; Fonseca, C.P.; Campos, F.; Duarte, E.P.; Baltazar, G.. "Microglia of rat ventral midbrain recovers its resting state over time in vitro: Let microglia rest before work". Journal of Neuroscience Research 88 3 (2010): 552-562. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-73949143395&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  25. Heredia, A.; Bdikin, I.; Baltazar, G.; Kholkin, A.. "Ferroelectric Properties of Dried Rat Embryonic Neurons from the Substantia nigra by the Piezoresponse Force Microscopy". European Cells and Materials 20 SUPPL.3 (2010): http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84860891306&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  26. Quintela, T.; Gonçalves, I.; Baltazar, G.; Alves, C.H.; Saraiva, M.J.; Santos, C.R.A.. "17ß-estradiol induces transthyretin expression in murine choroid plexus via an oestrogen receptor dependent pathway". Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 29 4 (2009): 475-483. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-67449156413&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  27. Cristóvão, A.C.; Choi, D.-H.; Baltazar, G.; Beal, M.F.; Kim, Y.-S.. "The role of NADPH oxidase 1-derived reactive oxygen species in paraquat-mediated dopaminergic cell death". Antioxidants and Redox Signaling 11 9 (2009): 2105-2118. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-68949200471&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  28. Alves, C.H.; Gonçalves, I.; Socorro, S.; Baltazar, G.; Quintela, T.; Santos, C.R.A.. "Androgen receptor is expressed in murine choroid plexus and downregulated by 5a-Dihydrotestosterone in male and female mice". Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 38 1 (2009): 41-49. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-68949213641&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  29. Quintela, T.; Alves, C.H.; Gonçalves, I.; Baltazar, G.; Saraiva, M.J.; Santos, C.R.A.. "5a-dihydrotestosterone up-regulates transthyretin levels in mice and rat choroid plexus via an androgen receptor independent pathway". Brain Research 1229 (2008): 18-26. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-49849091809&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  30. Saavedra, A.; Baltazar, G.; Duarte, E.P.. "Driving GDNF expression: The green and the red traffic lights". Progress in Neurobiology 86 3 (2008): 186-215. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-55049090172&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  31. Gonçalves, I.; Quintela, T.; Baltazar, G.; Almeida, M.R.; Saraiva, M.J.M.; Santos, C.R.. "Transthyretin interacts with metallothionein 2". Biochemistry 47 8 (2008): 2244-2251. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-39749120520&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  32. Gonçalves, I.; Alves, C.H.; Quintela, T.; Baltazar, G.; Socorro, S.; Saraiva, M.J.; Abreu, R.; Santos, C.R.A.. "Transthyretin is up-regulated by sex hormones in mice liver". Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 317 1-2 (2008): 137-142. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-53149110036&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  33. Saavedra, A.; Baltazar, G.; Duarte, E.P.. "Interleukin-1ß mediates GDNF up-regulation upon dopaminergic injury in ventral midbrain cell cultures". Neurobiology of Disease 25 1 (2007): 92-104. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-33751090113&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  34. Saavedra, A.; Baltazar, G.; Santos, P.; Carvalho, C.M.; Duarte, E.P.. "Selective injury to dopaminergic neurons up-regulates GDNF in substantia nigra postnatal cell cultures: Role of neuron-glia crosstalk". Neurobiology of Disease 23 3 (2006): 533-542. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-33747186125&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  35. Saavedra, A.; Baltazar, G.; Carvalho, C.M.; Duarte, E.P.. "GDNF modulates HO-1 expression in substantia nigra postnatal cell cultures". Free Radical Biology and Medicine 39 12 (2005): 1611-1619. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-27844562650&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  36. Baltazar, G.; Carvalho, A.P.; Duarte, E.P.. "Differential expression of syntaxin 1A and 1B by noradrenergic and adrenergic chromaffin cells". Neurochemical Research 28 10 (2003): 1453-1457. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-0141816760&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  37. Baltazar G; Tomé A; Carvalho AP; Duarte EP; Baltazar, G.; Tomé, A.; Carvalho, A.P.; Duarte, E.P.. "Differential contribution of syntaxin 1 and SNAP-25 to secretion in noradrenergic and adrenergic chromaffin cells.". European Journal of Cell Biology 79 12 (2000): 883-891. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/11152280.
  38. Fonseca, C.P.; Montezinho, L.P.; Baltazar, G.; Layden, B.; Freitas, D.M.; Geraldes, C.F.G.C.; Castro, M.M.C.A.. "Li+ influx and binding, and Li+/Mg2+ competition in bovine chromaffin cell suspensions as studied by 7Li NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy". Metal-Based Drugs 7 6 (2000): 357-364. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-0034445829&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  39. Amari, L.; Layden, B.; Nikolakopoulos, J.; Rong, Q.; De Freitas, D.M.; Baltazar, G.; Castro, M.M.C.A.; Geraldes, C.F.G.C.. "Competition between Li+ and Mg2+ in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells: A fluorescence and 31P NMR study". Biophysical Journal 76 6 (1999): 2934-2942. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-0032586726&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  40. Baltazar, G.; Ladeira, I.; Carvalho, A.P.; Duarte, E.P.. "Two types of ¿-agatoxin IVA-sensitive Ca2+ channels are coupled to adrenaline and noradrenaline release in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells". Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology 434 5 (1997): 592-598. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-0030841281&partnerID=MN8TOARS.
  41. Duarte, E.P.; Baltazar, G.; Carvalho, A.P.. "Differential stimulation of noradrenaline release by reversal of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger and depolarization in chromaffin cells". European Journal of Neuroscience 6 7 (1994): 1128-1135. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-0028321821&partnerID=MN8TOARS.

Committee member

Activity description
Institution / Organization
2018/09/25 - Current Member of the Ethics Committee of the University of Beira Interior
President / Vice-president
Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal
2018/09/07 - Current Member of the Course Committee for the 3rd cycle in Biomedicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior.
Universidade da Beira Interior Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Portugal
2018/04/10 - Current Member of the Animal Welfare Board (ORBEA) of the Animal Facility of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Beira Interior
Universidade da Beira Interior Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Portugal