Joana successfully obtained her PhD in 2011 which she pursued at the Nova University, Lisbon, with the subject Malaria Epidemiology: host genetics factor and population structure of the mosquito vector. Since then she has been working as focal point for research at the Ministério da Saúde, Cape Verde, and is currently Director of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde Pública/ Ministério da Saúde, Cape Verde. Prior to that, Joana worked as Manager of Communicable disease prevention and Control Service and as Malaria Programme Manager at the same institution. For her MSc dissertation titled Contribution for residual foci study on malaria on Santiago Island, she examined parasite genotypes and serologic studies. Joana actively worked to spread improved knowledge of the epidemiology on malaria on Santiago Island, Cape Verde. Since October 2014, Joana is also a member of the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa.