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Dr Dora Pereira

Biography:

Dora Pereira gained an MEng in Biochemical Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon in 1997 and a PhD in Gut Microbiology from the University of Reading in 2003. Prior to her PhD she worked for 2.5 years as an R&D bioprocess engineer in the pharmaceutical industry. After her PhD, Dora joined the MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit in Cambridge, initially with a 1-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship to study blood biomarkers of manganese exposure and later as an Investigator Scientist working on the development of a novel nanoparticulate oral iron supplement (namely IHAT – iron hydroxide adipate tartrate). She was an MRC Senior Investigator Scientist leading the ‘Oral Iron’ research theme in the MRC HNR Unit until March 2016.

In April 2016 she become a Research Group Leader at the University of Cambridge and leads the Phase II clinical development of IHAT in collaboration with the MRC Unit The Gambia and the MRC International Nutrition Group.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the risks and benefits of dietary and supplemental iron, particularly in what relates to gut health and the gut microbiome. I lead collaborative research projects on mechanisms of intestinal iron absorption, impact of oral iron on the gut microbiome and intestinal infection, association between oral iron and colon cancer risk, and health economics of oral iron supplementation in the UK.

My main role is to lead the Phase II clinical development of a novel nano iron supplement I co-invented, named IHAT, in collaboration with the MRC Unit The Gambia and the MRC International Nutrition Group.  With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, under their Grand Challenge New Interventions for Global Health scheme, we are conducting one large field trial in anaemic young children living in some of the most deprived and rural communities in The Gambia, where we will test the efficacy and safety of IHAT– recently awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technology Award

(see http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2014/12/solving-iron-solubility-problem-profile-mrc).

 

The Centre supports collaborative partnerships and scientific training activities in basic biomedical and health-related research. This is achieved through coordinated cross-faculty research across departments and research institutes in Cambridge including The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute