Ana Paula Arez is Principal Investigator (with Habilitation) at the Medical Parasitology Unit of Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT) and at Global Health and Tropical Medicine Center (GHTM) of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (UNL). She holds a PhD in Biology (2000) and a BSc in Biology (1992) by the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. At IHMT, she is vice-President of the Institute Council, member of the Scientific Council, Coordinator of the GHTM’s Cross Cutting Issue Diagnostics and General Coordinator of the GHTM biobank – Biotropical Resources. She teaches at Biomedical Sciences, Parasitology and Global Health PhD and MSc courses and have supervised three post-docs, and/or co-supervised seven PhD and 12 MSc students. Academic Editor of PLoS ONE since 2011 and Regular peer-reviewer in several scientific journals (ID publons.com/a/806560). Expert-Reviewer of scientific projects in national and international funding agencies: The Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding, Romania; Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Belgium; Foundation of Science and Technology, Portugal and Wellcome Trust (training fellowships), United Kingdom.
Ana Paula Arez is focused on three main lines of research:
1) Molecular epidemiology of malaria and characterisation of parasite populations’s transmission dynamics;
2) Human host and parasite interactions, namely human factors of susceptibility and resistance against malaria;
3) Development of new diagnostic methods for early and multifunctional detection and characterisation of the malaria infection.
Due to a strong background on Ecology acquired during the BSc degree, her first interest has been parasite epidemiology, especially malaria, transmission dynamics, interactions and ecological relationships between different parasites co-infecting the same host. Within this scope, she conducted several research projects in malaria endemic areas, namely Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Equatorial Guinea. The interesting observations made in Cape Verde led to a new line of research investigating which human host factors and mechanisms, especially related to the Red Blood Cell metabolic pathways, may affect the susceptibility or resistance to the malaria infection. Additionally, in this search for new effective tools to fight malaria and being aware that prompt and accurate diagnosis is essential to prevent a mild malaria case from developing into severe disease or death, she has been involved in studies to develop new simple, rapid and sensitive molecular diagnostic tests to characterise malaria infected isolates
- Guerra M, Neres R, Salgueiro P, Mendes C, Ndong-Mabale N, Berzosa P, de Sousa B, Arez AP. (2017). Plasmodium falciparum Genetic Diversity in Continental Equatorial Guinea before and after Introduction of Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapy. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 61: e02556-15. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.02556-15
- Guerra M, Machado P, Manco L, Fernandes N, Miranda J, Arez AP (2015). Triosephosphate isomerase gene promoter variation: -5G/A and -8G/A polymorphisms in clinical malaria groups in two African populations. Infection. Genetics and Evolution, 32: 271–279. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2015.03.020
- Mendes C, Salgueiro P, Gonzalez V, Berzosa P, Benito A, do Rosário V.E., Sousa B., Cano J., Arez AP (2013). Genetic diversity and signatures of selection of drug resistance in Plasmodium populations from both human and mosquito hosts in continental Equatorial Guinea.Malaria Journal, 12: 114. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-12-114
- Machado P, Manco L, Gomes C, Mendes C, Fernandes N, Salomé G, Sitoe L, Chibute S, Langa J, Ribeiro L, Miranda J, Cano J, Pinto J, Amorim A, do Rosário VE, Arez AP (2012). Pyruvate kinase deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa: identification of a highly frequent missense mutation (G829A;Glu277Lys) and association with malaria. PLoS ONE, 7: e47071. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0047071
- Mendes C, Dias F, Figueiredo J, Gonzalez VM, Cano J, de Sousa B, do Rosário VE, Benito A, Berzosa P, Arez AP (2011). Duffy negative antigen is no longer a barrier to Plasmodium vivax – molecular evidences from the African West Coast (Angola and Equatorial Guinea).PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5: e1192. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001192