The Portuguese-American Post-graduate Society is an independent, non-profit organization, with no political affiliations. Its objectives are to stimulate the development of strong relationships between the Portuguese postgraduate community living in North America and the American society while, simultaneously, promoting their home country. Welcome!
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Rogério Candeias - March 2010
on Monday, 22/02/2010 — Rossana Andrea Novo Lopes Henriques

Nome: Rogerio Candeias
Year of Birth: 1980
Place of birth: Évora, Portugal
City of residence: Montemor-o-Novo (Portugal), Cambridge, MA (USA)
Personal webpage/blog:
Time in the US: 3 years
Undergraduate Degree: Biochemistry – University of Coimbra, Portugal
Postgraduate Degree: Bioinformatics – Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
Current professional status: Visiting graduate student at Harvard University / Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professional interests: Biology, Computer Science and Entrepreneurship

What brought you to the USA?

I came to the US in the context of my PhD program in Computational Biology which allowed me to do the research requirement anywhere in the world. Although I’d never specifically been set on the US, I soon found out that my field’s cutting edge research was being conducted mostly in Boston, hence the move. After interviewing with several research groups I decided to cross the Atlantic.

What are you currently working on?

My research project centers on functional properties of biological networks, more precisely transcription regulation but also on protein-protein interactions. In living organisms, genes are expressed in complex spatiotemporal patterns encoded in several biological mechanisms which include topological motifs of regulation. I study the temporal properties of these motifs, using true biological data that will enable us to understand and predict gene expression. Concurrently, I’m also involved in analysing the downstream network of proteins to which gene expression leads to, with the ultimate goal of discovering new interactions that encode novel functions.

What conditions do you have here that you do not have in Portugal?

There is a strong cultural aspect to my work environment that drives and empowers a person to accomplish goals that was hard to come by back in Portugal. Two interconnected factors play a major role in this. First, the highly motivated foremost experts in their respective field that I have the privilege to interact with and secondly the prompt access to collaborators working on amazing novel methods to gather biological data in levels never before seen. All this is backed up with strong economic support from several sources of financing.

What are your future plans?

Finish my PhD, get some more work experience (either in industry or academia) and start innovating.

Why did you join PAPS?

To connect with other attune minds going through the same experience while keeping the best part of my Portuguese identity alive during the following years. And also to be able to go to a random place to sheer the National Soccer Team while having a beer.

Favourite source of news from Portugal: Publico, Sic Noticias (online), Visao, friends and family.

Daily life (weekdays): As everyone else I work, which means staring at a computer way too long, and occasionally going to other labs to check with collaborators. After that, I always seem to get into some other random project organizing something.

Daily life (weekend): The same as above. But with several exceptions were I try to hang out with friends and do new things almost every week. Boston is great for that as you can go skiing in the winter or swimming in the summer.

Other interests: History, Philosophy, Economics, cinema, web development and squash.