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Hernando A. del Portillo (Principal Investigator)

Hernando del Portillo studied molecular aspects of parasites at the University of Georgia, USA, where he received his PhD in 1985, followed by two WHO postdoctoral trainings at the New York University Medical Centre (USA) and the Institut Pasteur (France) where he specialized in molecular biology of malaria parasites. Since then, he has pursued molecular studies in malaria to unveil the mechanisms of virulence and to develop rational control strategies. He consolidated his independent scientific career as an Assistant/Associate Professor at the Department of Parasitology, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and as a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Heidelberg, Germany. He joined ISGlobal as an ICREA Research Professor in 2007 and co-ascribed to the Institut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) in 2015. For 6 years until 2022, he was the President of the Grupo Español de Investigación e Innovación en Vesículas Extracelulares (GEIVEX) and the Coordinator of The Spanish Network of Excellency on Extracellular Vesicles Research. Presently he is the Co-Founder of Innovex Therapeutics SL, the first Spanish company using Extracellular Vesicles as vaccines against infectious diseases. 

Carmen Fernandez-Becerra (Co-Principal Investigator)

Carmen Fernandez-Becerra received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Granada in 1996. Later, she moved to Brazil (University of Sao Paulo), where she did her first post-doctoral training, working on biological aspects of Plasmodium vivax. In 1998, she joined the Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie (ZMBH) in Heidelberg where she did her second post-doctoral stay working with Toxoplasma gondii. In 2000, she moved back to the University of Sao Paulo as a Research Associated Fellow to continue her studies on P. vivax. In 2007, she joined ISGlobal’s research centre in the malaria program as an Assistant Research Professor and co-ascribed to the Institut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) in 2015. She is presently an Associate Research Professor with a focus on functional assays to understand host-parasite interactions in the human malaria caused by P. vivax and in the development of a continuous in vitro culture for this species. Recently, she has opened a new research area on the use of extracellular vesicles as novel diagnostics in malaria and other infectious diseases.  

Nuria Sima (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Núria Sima Teruel is a molecular biologist with special interest for neglected tropical diseases. She completed her PhD in 2016 (PEBC-IDIBELL) for research on mammalian Sirtuins and the epigenetic control of the cell cycle. She then went for a post doc at Institut Pasteur Paris where she studied DNA repair and antigenic variation in Trypanosoma brucei.  

In 2019, she started a transversal project, with Institut Pasteur Paris and Institut Pasteur Guinea, to developed a CRISPR-based molecular tool kit for Human African Trypanosomiasis diagnosis.  

From January 2022, she is a member of the PvREX group at ISGlobal and her aim is to unveil the role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium vivax cryptic infections using organ-on-a-chip technology and single-cell transcriptomics.

Óscar Castillo-Fernandez (Postdoctoral Fellow - PvREX - UB)

As a post-doc, Óscar joined the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC), where he was involved in several projects related to bacteria detection and high-volume sample processing. Developing compact and feasible systems that integrate the multiple and diverse processes required for an analytical detection on a single device. Processes like sample concentration, selectivity reactions and biosensing. During this period, he joined the EPFL where he was studying hydrogels as filtering tools. Furthermore, Óscar was involved in two start-up initiatives, where he was dedicated to product development, prototyping and technology transfer.  In 2022, he joined the PvREX group at ISGlobal and will be in charge of the technology developments and protocols required for the Organ on a Chip platform. This includes the design, fabrication and validation of the microchip devices and the development of the complete bioreactor platform integrating the different cell environments. Currently, he is attached to the Condensed Matter Physics Department at the University of Barcelona in Professor Aurora Hernandez-Machado’s group. 

Alberto Ayllon Hermida (Predoctoral Fellow)

Alberto graduated in Microbiology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. After that, he obtained an MSc in Clinical Research in International Health at the University of Barcelona where he started his research career in the field of molecular biology, genetics and transcriptomics at the Plasmodium Vivax and Exosomes Research Group (PvREX), working particularly in the functional characterization of genes spleen-dependent or preferentially expressed in the bone marrow during acute malaria infection. He is enroled in the PhD programme of Medicine and Translational Research at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona and he will be researching at our group.ón-hermida-9b126912b

Berta Barnadas Carceller (Technician)

Berta completed her Human Biology degree from Pompeu Fabra University when she joined the Proteomics and Protein Chemistry group at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) for a summer internship. There, she specialized in the synthesis, purification and characterization of peptides. Her bachelor’s thesis was carried out at the Chagas, Parasitic and Imported Diseases Program of ISGlobal, under the supervision of Dr Julio Alonso Padilla. She also did her Master’s thesis in the same laboratory when she studied for her MSc in Clinical Research in Clinical Microbiology from the University of Barcelona. In the Chagas Disease group, Berta focused on identifying compounds with activity against Trypanosoma cruzi and validating B-cell epitopes for their inclusion in vaccine candidates. Since November 2022, Berta has been a Plasmodium Vivax and Exosomes Research Group (PvREX) member at ISGlobal. She is focused on molecular biology while validating the immunogenicity of several proteins that have been found in extracellular vesicles of patients with Chagas Disease.

Marc Nicolau i Fernández (Technical Fellow)

Marc Nicolau i Fernández obtained the CFGS on clinical diagnostic laboratory at Institut La Guineueta, in Barcelona in 2015. He carried out the practical program in a microbiology laboratory in Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) for 4 months. From October 2015, he has been working as a laboratory technician in the Malaria Vivax and Exosomes group at Institut Germans Tries I Pujol (Badalona). During this time, he has been focused on in vitro malaria culture., obtention and characterization of extracellular vesicles while doing functions of lab managing. He is interested in learning more about parasitology, extracellular vesicles and new techniques to develop his scientific career.

Paula Crego Méndez (Laboratory Technician)

Paula Crego Méndez obtained the clinical diagnostic laboratory CFGS at the Institut La Guineueta, in Barcelona, Spain, in 2016.  As a clinical diagnostic laboratory technician at the company Innovex Therapeutics SL., she has provided support, for the last 6 years, in a research and development project that investigated extracellular vesicles as new vaccines against infectious diseases.  In December 2022 she joined the PvREX group at ISGlobal as a laboratory technician supporting techniques such as in vitro cell cultures, obtaining and characterizing extracellular vesicles in the HIDDENVIVAX project whose objective is to observe the role of extracellular vesicles in Pasmodium vivax cryptic infections using organ-on-a-chip technology.  She is interested in learning more about extracellular vesicles, parasitology and new techniques to develop her career.

Cristian Moncho Romero (Masters student)

Cristian graduated in Biology at the University of Alicante in 2022 and is currently enrolled in the MSc in Advanced Microbiology at the University of Barcelona. At the end of 2022, Cristian joined the PVREX group at ISGlobal to carry-on his final Master´s project working on enabling technologies using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to create transgenic parasites facilitating studies on the role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium vivax cryptic infections.

Ebenezer Bolaji Agbana (Masters student)

Ebenezer Bolaji Agbana obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery in 2016 at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He has a level of experience in the clinical and programmatic management of HIV, TB, Malaria, COVID 19 and other infectious diseases. He is currently studying Masters of Clinical Research: International Health at the University of Barcelona. He is currently a clinical research intern at the PvREX group and his research interest is on the molecular study of cryptic infections in human malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax.

Nil Maso Castro

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Javier Martinez-Picado, IrsiCaixa

Aurora Hernandez-Machado, Physics, University of Barcelona 

Ricardo Lauzurica, Maria Comas, Ines Velasco Lopez, Pedro Luis Fernandez Ruiz, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol 

Alfred Cortés, ISGlobal

Marco Fernandez, Sara Capdevila, Maria Pilar Armengol and Lauro Sumoy, Institut Germans Trias i Pujol 

Eduard Sabidó and Eva Borrás, Proteomics Unit, University Pompeu Fabra

Maria calvo, Imaging Unit, IDIBAPS, Hospital Clinic


Cristina Barrias – i3S Institute, Porto, Portugal

Carole Schaefer and Stefan Kappe – Chimeric humanized mouse models, CIDR Children´s Hospital, Seattle, USA 

Maria Fernanda Yasnot, Universidad de Córdoba, and Jaime Carmona Fonseca, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia, Marcus VG Lacerda and Wuelton Monteiro, FMT-HVD Manaus, Brazil

Wanlapa Roobsoong and Jetsumon Pramunsri, Mahidol Vivax Research Unit, Bangkok, Thailand