Maria Isabel Veiga, PhD. holds a degree in Biotechnological Engineering. In 2011 sheconcluded her PhD in Medical Sciences at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm contributing to the knowledge of the importance of transporter genes in the mechanism of drug resistance in the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. In 2012 she wentto Columbia University, New York as postdoctoral fellow to perform transfection-basedmethods to validate if hypothetical single nucleotide polymorphisms found arereliable molecular markers, important for early and accurate detection of resistance.
At present she at ICVS, University of Minho, exploring the developmentof drug resistance in the malaria parasite, concentrating primarily on transporter mechanisms that pump the drugs out of the cell.
Overall, published 21 papers evidencing a unique and translational approach tackling howthe malaria parasite escapes the action of a therapeutic drug. Her work also contributes to reinforce the concept of malaria drug resistance as amulti-factorial and complex phenomenon that not only relates to the parasite’s handling of the incoming drug, but also concomitant responses of its basic physiology and the human host factors.
In recognition of her work, she was awarded this year by L'Oréal Portugal with an Honor Medals for Women in Science and in 2014 awarded by the ESCMID/FEMS with excellent rated project.
International impact of her research can be accessed by the over 550 citations with 77 co-authors rendered into a strong collaborative network translated into funds and students overseas to proceed with post-graduation at the ICVS, UMinho.
Veiga MI, Dhingra SK, Henrich PP, Straimer J, Gnadig N, Uhlemann AC, Martin RE, Lehane AM, Fidock DA. "Globally prevalent PfMDR1 mutations modulate Plasmodium falciparum susceptibility to artemisinin-based combination therapies". Nat Commun. 2016 May 18;7:11553.
Veiga MI, Ferreira PE, Malmberg M, Jörnhagen L, Björkman A, Nosten F, Gil JP. pfmdr1 amplification is related to increased Plasmodium falciparum in vitro sensitivity to the bisquinoline piperaquine. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Jul;56(7):3615-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.06350-11. Epub 2012 Apr 16.
Jovel IT, Ferreira PE, Veiga MI, Malmberg M, Mårtensson A, Kaneko A, Zakeri S, Murillo C, Nosten F, Björkman A, Ursing J. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum V type H+ pyrophosphatase gene (pfvp2) and their associations with pfcrt and pfmdr1 polymorphisms. Infect Genet Evol. 2014 Mar 20;24C:111-115. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.03.004
Veiga MI, Osório NS, Ferreira PE, Franzén O, Dahlstrom S, Lum JK, Nosten F, Gil JP. Complex polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum Multidrug Resistance Protein 2 gene and its contribution to antimalarial response. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Sep 29. pii: AAC.03337-14. [Epub ahead of print]