Helena Pereira has a degree in Chemical-Industrial Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and a PhD (Dr. rer. Nat.) from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Hamburg, Germany. Helena Pereira is a full professor at the School of Agriculture of the University of Lisbon.
Her research has mostly focused on forest products, including biomass and biorefineries, in an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective. She authored about 400 international publications and two international patents, one of which was finalist in the European Patent Inventor Award 2013. She has vast experience in coordinating collaborative, multi-institutional and multi-institutional R&D projects, as well as in performing as a national and international scientific evaluator.
She held several academic and scientific management and co-ordination positions: Rector (2011–2012) and Vice-rector (2007–2011) of the Technical University of Lisbon, and Pro-reactor of the University of Algarve (1989–1992). She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) since April 2019, after serving as Vice-president since 2017.