Joana Loureiro graduated in Biology from the University of Porto and was a student of the Gulbenkian PhD Program in Biomedicine (PGDB). She developed her doctoral thesis at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she investigated viral immune system evasion strategies. As a postdoctoral researcher, she studied hepatitis C virus infectivity at Rockefeller University in New York, and later studied autonomous cellular immunity responses against Toxoplasma gondii at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). In 2019, Joana joined the Public Engagement Unit of IGC’s Science & Society Initiative, where she initially developed activities for the dissemination and teaching of science within the scope of the Oeiras Educa project.
In 2010 Joana became a member of the “Tri-Institutional Improv group”, an improvisation theater group aimed at scientists and doctors from 3 New York city universities (Rockefeller University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering) to improve their science communication skills. In 2014, in Portugal, she founded the IGC Improvisational theater group, “84Po”, whose name invokes the element Polonium and is a tribute to Marie Curie. In addition to leading the IGC IMPROV group, Joana spends some of her free time on a science outreach project entitled “Evolution, a dance as old as time”, a dance piece and video on butterfly adaptation to environmental changes , for which she secured funding from the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB).