In 2011 I started my journey in the malaria field as a PhD student at the ISGlobal (Barcelona). My thesis focused on the development of nanovectors for the targeted delivery of antimalarials to the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium spp. (DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2014.06.002). In 2014 I embarked on an internship at the Imperial College (London) where I learnt how to infect Anopheles mosquitoes with Plasmodium and how to evaluate infection throughout the different parasite stages inside the mosquito vector. The objective of this internship was to test my previously formulated nanovectors among the sexual stages of Plasmodium (DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2016.09.010).
After the completion of my PhD, in 2016, I arrived at IHMT/NOVA (Lisbon) with the mission to develop an artificial blood-free diet for Anopheles mosquitoes rearing. This work was financed by the B&M Gates Foundation and the project lasted for 2 years. After this period, our team had successfully developed Bloodless (an artificial blood-free diet that mimicked the standard bloodmeal in terms of fecundity, fertility and F1 progeny fitness. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35886-3 and DOI: 10.3791/60144).
After developing Bloodless, I have implemented a blood-free insectary that has reached the 19th generation so far, without apparent fitness loss. I have been optimizing Bloodless formulation and storage, testing it on other mosquito species in partnership with collaborators from endemic malaria regions, and I have participated in two entrepreneurship programs.
Main scientific interests: Plasmodium experimental infections, artificial membrane feeding, blood-free mosquito rearing, Anopheles physiology, microbiome and reproduction.
- J Vis Exp. 2020 Jan 31;(155). doi: 10.3791/60144.
- Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 13;8(1):17807. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35886-3.
- Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 13;6:24368. doi: 10.1038/srep24368.
- Nanomedicine. 2017 Feb;13(2):515-525.doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2016.09.010. Epub 2016 Oct 5.
- Nanomedicine. 2014 Nov;10(8):1719-28. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jun 15.