I obtained a degree in General Medicine and Surgery at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in 1987. Soon, I left clinical praxis to engage in Scientific Research. At this stage I performed a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), which I concluded in 1991. I then moved to the laboratory of Thomas Gridley at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ (USA), where I performed my postdoctoral work studying the mechanisms of mammalian embryonic development, mostly focusing on the formation of the craniofacial region. In 1995, I moved to the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg (Germany), where I began my work as an independent researcher, still studying different aspects of mammalian development. In 2001, I moved to the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Oeiras (Portugal) to lead the research group “Patterning and Morphogenesis” and to head the Transgenics Unit. Here, my studies have focused on different aspects of pattern formation in the vertebrate embryo, including the specification of the vertebral column and the spinal cord. From 2004 to 2013 I was also involved in teaching Developmental Biology to Medical Students at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (Portugal).