Dr. Goncalves specialises in preclinical cancer research, focusing especially on nanomedicine and natural products

She has experience leading different projects on biomedical research, from skin wound healing to cancer, from natural products to nanomedicine tools. Her most ambitious goal is to contribute for overcoming the cancer therapy-related challenge of avoiding the severe adverse effects caused by toxic drugs on healthy tissues, seeking to obtain the maximum efficiency of diverse therapeutic systems in the absence of toxicity. On one side, she investigates the power of oncology nanomedicine, by discovering/designing simple, relatively low cost and efficient nanoparticles that could either have intrinsic antitumor action or specifically deliver drugs into tumor sites in a controlled manner. On the other side, she looks for molecules found in nature (plants, fungi, animals) that can either directly fight tumors or stimulate the immune system to do so. Nowadays, she focuses on her investigation on the role of extracellular vesicles and their specific molecular components that can interact with the tumor microenvironment, in order to explore them and develop nanomedicine devices for cancer diagnosis and therapy.

​Dr. Goncalves started her researcher career in Brazil in 2009 by experiencing different laboratory activities and research fields, including an international graduation exchange period at Coimbra University (Portugal) to investigate the role of lymphocytes in the skin wound healing process of healthy and diabetic mice. She graduated as Bachelor in Biological Sciences in 2013 at Federal University of Paraná (UFPR, Brazil) investigating the use of natural complexes formulations for skin wound healing. In 2016, she received a Master degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the same university studying the use of natural complexes to change malignancy parameters of metastatic melanoma. Her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology was concluded in 2020 at UFPR, which focused on developing and validating nanomaterials made of different biocompatible materials, mainly for metastatic cancer treatment, and included an international PhD exchange period at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Germany) to develop and validate aqueous-core silica nanocacapsules for applications in biocatalysis. In 2022, Dr. Goncalves joined the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, where she investigates the roles of molecular components of extracellular vesicles for cancer immunosuppression.


  • 2022: Chief investigator of a successful Medical Research Future Fund 2021 Early to Mid-Career Researchers Grant (AUD$1,682,693 in cash + AUD$406,750 in-kind from government and partner funding) for Personalising Innate-immunotherapy for Superior Treatment Outcomes with Large anticancer applicability (PISTOL).
  • Full PhD scholarship (2016-2020, approximately AUD$26,861) from the Brazilian Coordination of Improvement of Higher Level Personnel (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - CAPES) to validate different gold nanoparticles functionalized with a natural polysaccharide (gum arabic) as biomedical tools for melanoma treatment at Federal University of Parana, Brazil.
  • International PhD Program scholarship (Oct 2018-Mar 2019, approximately AUD$14,361) from CAPES to develop a straightforward approach for in situ encapsulating enzymes by constructing aqueous-core mesoporous-shell silica nanocapsules under bioorthogonal conditions at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany.

Key Publications

Pendiuk Goncalves, J.; Walker, S.A.; Aguilar Díaz de león, J.S.; Yang, Y.; Davidovich, I.; Busatto, S.; Sarkaria, J.; Talmon, Y.; Borges, C.R.; Wolfram, J. Glycan Node Analysis Detects Varying Glycosaminoglycan Levels in Melanoma-Derived Extracellular Vesicles. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24, 8506. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24108506 

Jenifer P. Goncalves, Vatsal J. Deliwala, Daniel Kolarich, Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Joy Wolfram, The cancer cell-derived extracellular vesicle glyco-code in immunoevasion, Trends in Immunology, Volume 43, Issue 11, 864 - 867, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.it.2022.09.004.

Jenifer P. Gonçalves, Anderson F. da Cruz, Ábner M. Nunes, Mario R. Meneghetti, Heloise R. de Barros, Beatriz S. Borges, Lia C.A.S. de Medeiros, Maurilio J. Soares, Mayara P. dos Santos, Marco T. Grassi, Gustavo R. Rossi, Daniel L. Bellan, Stellee M.P. Biscaia, Aline M. Cristal, João L.A. Buzzo, Yasmin C. Ribeiro, Alexandra Acco, Mateus B. Cardoso, Fernanda F. Simas, Edvaldo S. Trindade, Izabel C. Riegel-Vidotti, Carolina C. de Oliveira, Biocompatible gum arabic-gold nanorod composite as an effective therapy for mistreated melanomas, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 185, 2021, Pages 551-561, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.06.172.

Jenifer Pendiuk Gonçalves, Anderson Fraga da Cruz, Heloise Ribeiro de Barros, Beatriz Santana Borges, Lia Carolina Almeida Soares de Medeiros, Maurilio José Soares, Mayara Padovan dos Santos, Marco Tadeu Grassi, Anil Chandra, Loretta Laureana del Mercato, Gustavo Rodrigues Rossi, Edvaldo da Silva Trindade, Izabel Cristina Riegel-Vidotti, Carolina Camargo de Oliveira, Beyond gold nanoparticles cytotoxicity: Potential to impair metastasis hallmarks, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 157, 2020, Pages 221-232, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2020.10.019.

D.L. Bellan, S.M.P. Biscaia, G.R. Rossi, A.M. Cristal, J.P. Gonçalves, C.C. Oliveira, F.F. Simas, D.A. Sabry, H.A.O. Rocha, C.R.C. Franco, R. Chammas, R.J. Gillies, E.S. Trindade, Green does not always mean go: A sulfated galactan from Codium isthmocladum green seaweed reduces melanoma metastasis through direct regulation of malignancy features, Carbohydrate Polymers, Volume 250, 2020, 116869, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.116869.