Paula da Costa Martins was born in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1976 and has a Portuguese nationality. Paula received her Master degree in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, in 1998 and her specializations were cell and molecular biology. From 2000 until 2005, she was appointed as a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam (Sanquin Research), investigating the therapeutic value of targeting platelet-monocyte interactions in atherosclerosis and inflammation.
Right after receiving her PhD degree, Paula started has a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hubrecht Institute, in the group of Prof. Leon de Windt, where she focused her research in unraveling (post)transcriptional mechanisms in pathological cardiac remodeling. In 2008 she continued her research at the Department of Medical Physiology (University Medical Center Utrecht) as a senior post-doctoral fellow. By creating an heart-restricted gene deletion of the microRNA processing endoribonuclease Dicer she could establish the crucial role of maintaining microRNA homeostasis in the adult heart. This project was awarded with a European Society of Cardiology Fellowship.
In 2009, Paula was appointed as a junior group leader at the Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands (Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences). Currently, she is a faculty member at the Department of Cardiology (CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases), Maastricht University. Her research group mainly studies the role of microRNAs in different cellular processes that take place during pathological cardiac remodeling such as hypertrophic growth, angiogenesis and cell death.
Paula is a recipient of several awards and grants such as:
- European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
- Career Development Award from the Leduqc Foundation
- Dutch Heart Foundation (NHS)
- Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)