MINDS
USIA relies on a team of writers, intellectuals, and art curators

They represent a dynamic and intellectually vibrant collective, bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise in the realms of literature, critical thinking, and the curation of artistic expression. They are key figures in the organization of our catalogues, exhibitions, clients and artists selection. 

Francisco Lacerda 

Francisco is both artist and curator of contemporary art. A genuine passion for art is a driving force for artcurators. This passion fuels their commitment to promoting and preserving the cultural and artistic value of the works they curate. In summary, a successful art curator possesses a combination of artistic knowledge, organizational skills, effective communication, and a deep passion for art. These qualities enable Francisco to create exhibitions that not only showcase individual artworks but also convey a larger narrative or theme to the audience. He has held exhibitions with other artists, around the world, in locations like: Rizon Jet UK, Four Seasons Portugal, Bulgari Hotel & Residences London, Katara Foundation Doha, Portugal Expo Dubai, Centro Cultural de Belém Foundation, Sky Valet Portugal and Hotusa Group/Eurostars Hotels. 

The curator holds an Accredited Jewelry Professional Diploma from GIA, the globally recognized authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. Francisco has also taken on leadership roles, having co-chaired and coordinated the GIA alumni Portugal chapter alongside Mariana Carmona and Rui Galopim de Carvalho. Francisco also studied at ISG (Lusofona Group), SNBA (Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes) and SIA (Sotheby’s Institute of Art). 

Francisco Lacerda has dedicated himself to the coverage of various artistic events and to the direction of the Portuguese magazine USIAReview, whose focus is the dissemination of world culture. When collaborating for the Hotusa group's art magazine Cooltura and other magazines, he conducted interviews with artists like: Duane Michals; Steve McCurry; Albert Watson; Gerard Fromanger; Anthony Lister; John Akomfrah; Berndnaut Smilde; Julian Marshall; Barahona Possollo; Edouard Taufenbach; Andi Picci; Jeffrey Omura; Simone Fattal; Rob Munday; Patrick Hughes; Gregory Lysak; Toshiya Watanabe; Marc Sarkis Gulbenkian; Scarlett Hooft Graafland; Flynn Talbot; Hélène Mugot and Pedro Calapez. #FranciscoLacerda Linked in.

David Azevedo Lopes

David Azevedo Lopes is a speaker at ISEG Executive Education. In addition to his diverse professional background, he founded Casa das Letras Bed&Books in 2020. Notably, he served as the Head of Mission for the Lisbon City Council during the World Youth Day Lisbon 2023. Previously, he held prominent positions including board member at Parque Expo, board member and managing director of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, and executive director of the Lisbon Oceanarium

In January 2019, Japan captured his attention. Upon his initial arrival to assume the role of senior advisor to the retail giant Aeon, the notion of experiencing the quietude amidst a bustling city lingered in his thoughts. A year later, he bid farewell to the brief monthly sojourns to Tokyo and relocated to the Japanese capital, now at the helm of Aeon Topvalu, a subsidiary of the Aeon conglomerate. It was during this transition that he commenced chronicling his encounters, observations, and reflections from his unique vantage point. Alongside the pursuits of knowing, learning, working, and traveling, he embraced sailing and reading, cherishing these endeavors when his schedule afforded him precious moments to savor life. David it is the writer of the book
"A Balcony Over Tokyo" and the President of the Strategic Council of the Embassy of Portugal in Japan. #davidlopes

Abel Pena

Abel Pena is a distinguished academic figure, serving as a Professor at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon. He is also a dedicated researcher at the Center for Classical Studies within the same faculty. Furthermore, he holds the position of Vice-President within the European research network Le phénomène littéraire aux premiers siècles de notre ère. Additionally, he coordinates the Portuguese as a Foreign Language Exam Center at the Faculty of Arts of Lisbon.

He has immersed himself in profound research within the realms of mythology and the translation of classical texts. Among his notable contributions are: "Eco e Narciso," published by Cotovia in 2017; "Les extravagances de Lucullus: écart ou norme dans les Vies de Plutarque?" authored by P.-A. Deproost and published by Extravagances, L’Harmattan, Paris, in 2014; and "Révélation et apprentissage dans les textes grecs et latins," a significant work from CEC/FCT/Sorbonne in 2012.

Additionally, his entries on "Apolo" and "Musas" in Vítor Aguiar e Silva's Dicionário de Luís de Camões, published in 2011, stand as exemplary contributions. Noteworthy translations include Aristotle's "Retórica," rendered by M. A. Júnior, A. Pena, and P. F. Alberto, initially published by INCM in 1998 and later by São Paulo, Martins Fontes, in 2012. His involvement extends to works such as Abelard and Heloise's "História Calamitatum — Cartas," published by FCG in 2008; "Mito, Literatura, Arte-Mitos Clássicos no Portugal Quinhentista," a profound exploration published by CEC/FCT in 2007; and Achilles Tatius's "Os Amores de Leucipe e Clitofonte," which graced the shelves in 2005 under the imprint of Cosmos. #abelpena 

Clara Pinto-Correia

Clara Pinto-Correia embarked on her professional journey at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, serving as a trainee assistant in cellular biology, histology, and embryology, all while pursuing her PhD at the Gulbenkian Institute of Science's Cellular Biology Laboratory, under the mentorship of Professor J. David-Ferreira. Subsequently, as a Fulbright Fellow, Pinto Correia spent the 2014 to 2015 academic year engaged in research at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She held the esteemed position of adjunct professor in Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also contributed significantly to research as a research associate under Stephen Jay Gould at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and as a research associate under John Murdoch at Harvard University's Department of History of Science. Moreover, she engaged in scholarly pursuits as a researcher at the Center for Studies in the History of Natural Sciences and Health at the Rocha Cabral Institute. Notably, she shared her insights and knowledge through a weekly column in the Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias. 

Clara Pinto Correia, born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1960, boasts a prolific literary career spanning over 50 books of both fiction and non-fiction. Her literary journey commenced with her debut novel "Agrião!" (Watercress) in 1984, swiftly followed by "Adeus, princesa: crime imperfeito" (Farewell Princess) in 1985, which garnered cinematic adaptation in 1992. Much of her non-fiction repertoire delves into biology, a field in which she earned her doctoral degree. Notable among her scientific works is "Ovary of Eve: Egg and Sperm and Preformation" (1997), translated into English, alongside "Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo" (2003), which found publication in English. In addition to her literary pursuits, Pinto Correia wears multiple hats as a newspaper columnist, actress, and translator, rendering works such as Flannery O’Connor’s complete stories and "Gulliver’s Travels" into Portuguese. #clarapintocorreia

Maria José Lourenço

Maria José Lourenço is a distinguished academic figure, serving as a Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry within the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lisbon. She is also an esteemed member of the Centro de Química Estrutural.

Maria José Lourenço's journey in the realm of scientific exploration is a testament to her unwavering commitment to advancing knowledge and addressing societal challenges. With a rich tapestry of experiences in training, research, and laboratory development, Maria José has earned both national and international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the field. Maria José's career has been marked by a collaborative spirit, forged through partnerships with leading scientists, company R&D directors, and Government Laboratories Research Programs. These collaborations have broadened her perspective on the critical intersection between science, technology, and real-world applications, emphasizing the importance of bridging theory with practical solutions.

A shining example of Maria José's collaborative ethos is her recent collaboration with BASF, a prominent chemical company. This partnership underscores her dedication to leveraging scientific research for tangible societal impact. Rooted in her background in instrumentation group development, Maria José possesses a keen understanding of the complexities of modeling real-world scenarios and evaluating uncertainty with precision and pragmatism. This foundational knowledge has been instrumental in shaping her approach to scientific inquiry.

Beyond her research pursuits, Maria José is deeply committed to education and mentorship. As a lecturer in various fields including Chemical Industries, Technological Chemistry, Nanomaterials, and Quality, she imparts her expertise to the next generation of scientists. Additionally, her supervision of PhD theses, MSc theses, and final year training projects reflects her dedication to nurturing the future leaders of scientific inquiry. In all aspects of her career, Maria José remains steadfast in her belief that scientific research has the power to drive positive change in society. Through her relentless pursuit of knowledge and her collaborative mindset, she continues to push the boundaries of scientific exploration, leaving an indelible mark on the field and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. #mariajoselourenco

Rui Jorge Agostinho

Rui Jorge Agostinho is a respected academic, holding the position of Professor at the Department of Physics within the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lisbon. Additionally, he is an active member of the The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA).

Dr. Rui Agostinho has a PhD in Astronomy from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Additionally, he holds the esteemed position of director at the Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon and is recognized as a founding member and researcher at the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of UL, now known as the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences. His contributions extend beyond academia as he plays an active role in several professional societies, including founding and membership in the Portuguese Society of Astronomy and the International Astronomical Union.

Agostinho's expertise is further acknowledged through his membership in the European Astronomical Society and the Portuguese Society of Physics. A notable achievement in his career is his role as the scientific coordinator of the YALO project, facilitating the utilization of the Yale telescope at the Inter-American Observatory of Cerro Tololo in Chile. 

Beyond his institutional roles, Agostinho's passion for science outreach is evident through his development of exhibition modules at prestigious institutions such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Science Museum of the University of Lisbon. His dedication to scientific communication extends to his collaboration with the magazine Quo and his co-authorship of the book "Life: Origin and Evolution." Through his multifaceted contributions to academia, research, and science communication, Rui Agostinho continues to inspire and enlighten both colleagues and the broader community with his expertise and passion for astronomy. #ruijorgeagostinho

Luca Moncaleano Shiaron 
Carolina Moncaleano
Maria Jover
Helena Jorreto 
Abigail Lopez Enrech
Damien Arness-Dalton
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