Filipa Simões is a Group Leader and British Heart Foundation Intermediate Basic Science Fellow at the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Her research is focused on understanding how immune cells, in particular macrophages, can be programmed by their neighbouring cells to repair the damage caused by a heart attack. Her team uses genomics, spatial omics and functional in vivo and in vitro assays to dissect the spatiotemporal dynamics of cellular microenvironments, identify intercellular signalling networks and decipher how these converge to define macrophage identity, plasticity and function in the healthy and diseased heart.
Filipa has a degree in Microbiology and Genetics from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal, which research was undertaken at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Here she used the zebrafish embryo to uncover the molecular cues driving cardiovascular specification and differentiation. Filipa did her postdoctoral work at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK, where she identified distinct functional cell subpopulations in the developing and the regenerating epicardium, an essential lineage for heart development across species. Through a British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence Transition Fellowship, Filipa identified macrophages as direct collagen contributors to the forming scar during both zebrafish heart regeneration and mouse heart repair. This seminal work reveals paradigm-shifting insights into the source of collagen deposition during cardiac scar formation and is likely applicable across organ systems and fibrotic disease.