Maria da Costa, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Research Assistant Professor, Neurology

4027 BSRB 109 Zina Pitcher Pl
Ann Arbor MI 48109



Maria do Carmo Pereira da Costa, Ph.D. is a research assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan.

Carmo joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology in 2013 and was promoted to research assistant professor in 2017. Using biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, high-throughput small-molecule and genetic screens, and mouse models, the Costa laboratory focuses its research on drug and target discovery for neurodegenerative diseases, and on investigating molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration with an emphasis on Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), also known as Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3).

Carmo received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Porto (2000) and her Ph.D. in Life and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Minho (2008) in Portugal.

Areas of Interest

MJD/SCA3, function and dysfunction of polyglutamine proteins, translational approaches for neurodegenerative diseases, molecular mechanisms and biomarkers of neurodegeneration, and genetics of dynamic repeat disorders.


  • Ph.D. in Life and Biomedical Sciences, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Medicine, University of Minho, Portugal, 2008
  • Research Fellowship (Proj.33759/99), Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, 2001-2003
  • Doctoral Fellowship, (SFRH/BD/9759/2003), Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, (2003-2007)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, (SFRH/BPD/28560/2006), Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, (2008-2011)
  • National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 2011 

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