Maria Leonor Gonçalves joined the Foodphenolab group as a Research Intern in October 2021. Her work will be focused on studying the interaction between salivary proteins and phenolic compounds and relating this interaction with two major unpleasant taste properties: astringency and bitterness.
She is graduated in Biochemistry (2017) at the University of Madeira, and hold a master's degree in Biochemistry in Health (2020) at the School of Health of Polytechnic Institution of Porto. Her master's thesis, entitled "Food polyphenols interaction with bitter taste receptors", took place at i3S. In this project, she was challenged to express and purify bitter taste receptors in yeast and insect cells to further screen their interactions with phenolic compounds, in order to better understand the mechanisms toward bitterness perception.