Born in Lourenço Marques (Maputo) Mozambique.
Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics (1972) Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg. Next two decades at U.C. Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as professor of cell physiology and biophysics and director of a Center for Environmental Studies. Moved to Biomedical Faculty, University of Porto as professor of biophysics and science Dean. Was, until 2010, director of both the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and chaired committee to form consortium of the three major biomedical institutions in Porto (i3S). A member of several international Academies, chaired committees at ESF, EC, OECD and other national and international research organizations. Chaired the Council of Associate Laboratories of the Ministry of Science and is President of the Ethics Committee for Clinical Research in Portugal. Has published extensively and has always been involved in science policy. Current interests in mental and public health, biological stress, risk perception and public understanding of science. Since 2015, Chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Education and Science.