M.S. (2003) and a PhD (2008) in Social Psychology of Health (ISCTE-IUL). Associate Professor with Habilitation (Agregação) in Psychology at the Department of Psychology of Iscte, where she started teaching in 1999. She is currently co-coordinator the multidisciplinary research group "Societal Health" of the SocioDigitalLab for Public Policies. She is the former Director of the Psychology Department, and was Vice-Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Director of the Master in Social Psychology of Health, Vice-Director of the Centre for Social Research and Intervention (CIS-IUL) and Coordinator of the Research Group Health for All (H4A).
Fascinated by the (social) mind-body relations, she has dedicated much attention to such issues in her teaching and research. Her main research interests have generally revolved around social disparities in health and the role of psychosocial influences on chronic illness adaptation processes. She has mainly explored these issues in relation to a particular health-related topic-(chronic) pain. More specifically, her current main lines of research aim to: (1) understand the psychosocial processes accounting for health-care professionals (gender and social status) biases in the assessment and treatment of a patients pain; (2) investigate the role of interpersonal dynamics in pain experiences, namely, pain-related social support interactions for the promotion of functional autonomy among (older) adults with (chronic) pain. In her research she uses a wide range of quantitative (e.g., experimental), qualitative (e.g., grounded-theory) and knowledge synthesis methodologies (e.g., scoping and systematic reviews, meta-analysis). Currently, her research interests have been moving from the investigation of psychosocial processes underlying health and illness, to the development of novel psychosocial interventions to promote chronic illness adaptation and/or health care professionals' gender awareness.
She has coordinated 11 funded projects (6 contracts and 5 grants) and collaborated as a researcher or invited scientific/research fellow in several other national (n=3), and international projects (n=8 of which 3 EU funded). She has over 80 scientific publications (books, book chapters, articles), of which > 45 papers in high impact journals (e.g., PAIN, Health Psychology) and has been an invited speaker at important international scientific meetings (e.g., World and European Pain Conferences). Several scientific awards have recognized her scientific contributions, namely, the Research Merit Award of the Portuguese Health Psychology Society (2008), Young Researcher Award of the Portuguese Psychological Association (2013), Best Paper Awards by the Portuguese Association for the Development of Pain Therapies (ASTOR) and the Grüenenthal PAIN Prize 2016.
She has provided scientific assessment services to national (e.g., Portuguese National Funding Agency, Portuguese Associations for the Study of Pain) and international organizations (e.g., ERA-NET, Dutch Cancer Society, European Pain Federation). She is regularly involved in outreach activities, e.g., healthcare professionals' training, development of health-related guidelines, consultancy services to national (pain units, pharmaceutical industry, patient associations) and international organizations (e.g., Childhood Cancer International). She is currently a member of IASP Early Career Presidential Task Force, of the Pain Psychology Working Group of the Portuguese Chapter of the European Federation of Pain (EFIC; since 2020) and has been the co-Chair of the Psychology Track of the 2nd EFIC Virtual Pain Education Summit (2021).