Dr. Carvalho, a principal investigator at the CNC/UC since 2005, studies the underlying mechanisms that are in the origin of insulin resistance and diabetes and related complications, across the lifespan. She has discovered that low insulin receptor substrate-1 protein levels in adipose tissue are predictors of pre-diabetes. She investigates specific biomarkers and pathways that are associated with insulin action and metabolic dysfunction in adipose tissue, from bench to bedside. Recently, she has started to investigate the effect of nutraceuticals/functional foods to improve insulin action and metabolism, including essential amino acids (protein) and sulforaphane (a phytochemical), among other. In the context of early insulin resistance development, in part due to obesity development early in life, she is interested in disseminating health literacy across populations at need.
She has published over 80 scientific papers (h-index=39; over 4000 citations: google scholar). Over the years she has mentored many Post-Docs, PhD, Master and Erasmus students. In addition, she has secured several million in funding from Europe: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016; EFSD; Diabetes UK; NIH: NIGMS-NIH P20GM109096; and National funds: INFARMED; FCT; SPD; SPT. She is a board member for the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS) and a senior editor for the J of Endo; J Mol Endo. Dr. Carvalho is a reviewer for multiple journals and funding agencies.