I’m a PhD student in the Natural Language Processing unit at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics – NUI Galway. My research focuses on the Public Health domain, specifically on the field of disease surveillance and outbreak forecasting. I am mainly interested in the application of alternative sources of data available on the internet, such as social media and discussion fora, to assist in the monitoring and detection of disease outbreaks.
I have a Bachelors in Biology and a Masters in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, with a specialisation on Bioinformatics, from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. During the final year of my Masters, I was involved with research regarding the Chemoinformatics field which led to my thesis entitled “Mining Cardiac Side-effects of Known Drugs”. This research was based on the development of an in silico model for screening hERG inhibition, which required the application of structural molecular similarity notions, as well as machine learning techniques. The protein in question, hERG, is a potassium channel crucial for the heart’s normal function which is severely affected by a wide range of pharmaceuticals.