The Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) Coimbra

The Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) is a nonprofit research institute founded in 1990, aiming to foster biomedical research and multidisciplinary graduate teaching at the University of Coimbra. CNC was the first established “Laboratório Associado” in Portugal, and it has steadily increased the scope of scientific competences over the years, with a strong focus on the exploitation of the fundamental mechanisms of aging and brain diseases.

To cope with the main expected societal impact of biomedical research a strong integrative effort was made to link our basic research achievements to the biotechnology and applied research, and to the regional economical and productive tissue. The strong partnership developed between CNC and the Clinical Faculty allows for the translation of basic knowledge into clinical applications, enhanced by partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry. As a founding partner of Biocant - Biotechnology Innovation Center, and of the Health Cluster Portugal, CNC shows a clear commitment towards promoting technology transfer and the creation of novel biomedical and biotechnology enterprises.
In parallel to fundamental and applied research, CNC is committed to the training of a new generation of researchers and clinicians. CNC established an international PhD Programme in 2002, and strongly collaborates with the MIT-Portugal PhD Program. CNC is part of the European Neuroscience Campus Network (ENC-Network) for postgraduate training, the Network of European Neuroscience Institutes (ENInet), and is also involved in the Harvard Medical School-Portugal Program in Translational Research and Information.

As a research institution where the scientific challenges arise, the CNC has also the responsibility of developing and establishing strategies that foster positive attitudes towards science and scientists. The Outreach Programme developed by CNC is of utmost relevance to the dissemination of scientific information to the community, to broaden the public’s access to science, and to engage students in science studies.

Team Lead

Professor Rodrigo A. Cunha – Neurochemistry/Electrophysiology


  • Young Investigator
Dr. Ines Araujo – Neurodegeneration and Injury-Induced Neurogenesis
  • Young Investigator
Dr. Attila Köfalvi – Dysregulation of neural communication and glucose metabolism by neuromodulators in brain disorders.