Dr. Rocha received a Pharm.D. degree (2008), a M.S. in Neuroscience (2011) and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology (2014) from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG, Brazil). She also spent one year as a visiting Ph.D. student at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium. Her experience in basic and translational neuroscience, especially in the field of Neuroimmunology, led her to promptly identify and engage in several studies on the immunological mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, especially neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Rocha joined The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in January 2016. Since then, she has been focused on the study of immune/inflammatory parameters associated with the pathophysiology of Huntington’s disease. Due to common interests in age-related disorders and neuroimmunology/inflammation associated with neurodegeneration, she joined Dr. Soto’s group and she is currently a member of the Mitchell Center For Alzheimer’s Disease & Brain Disorders. Dr. Rocha has received numerous awards and she has published more than 90 peer review papers, which have been cited more than 1,500 times (h-index = 22; i-10 index = 42; Google Scholar).


Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Masters Degree
Neuroscience, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Doctorate Degree
Physiology & Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte - Brazil

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

  • Neuroimmunology
  • Immune/inflammatory mechanisms involved in neuropsychiatric diseases


Read my NCBI publications

1. Rocha NP, Toledo A, Corgosinho LTS, et al. Cerebrospinal Fluid Levels of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Are Associated with Amyloid-β42 Burden in Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2018;64(4):1085-1090.

2. Rocha NP, Assis F, Scalzo PL, Vieira ÉLM, et al. Reduced Activated T Lymphocytes (CD4+CD25+) and Plasma Levels of Cytokines in Parkinson’s Disease. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Feb;55(2):1488-1497.

3. Barbosa IG, Rocha NP, Alpak G, et al. Klotho dysfunction: A pathway linking the aging process to bipolar disorder? J Psychiatr Res. 2017;95:80-83.

4. Rocha NP, Teixeira AL, Scalzo PL, et al. Plasma levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors are associated with cognitive performance in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2014 Apr;29(4):527-31.

5. Rocha NP, Teixeira AL, Coelho FM, et al. Peripheral blood mono-nuclear cells derived from Alzheimer’s disease patients show elevated baseline levels of secreted cytokines but resist stimulation with β-amyloid peptide. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2012 Jan;49(1):77-84.