Maria Isabel Veiga

  • Malaria
  • drug resistance
  • drug discovery
  • diagnostics
  • gene editing

My research interests, focus on the malaria parasite factors that mediate resistance to antimalarial drugs and the physiological changes and biological processes behind drug exposure, fostering on the development and formulation of future therapies and innovative malaria diagnostic tools.

I am exploring these factors in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, taking advantage of the advances in genome editing and other genetic tools.

Allying fundamental with clinical research, my team also studies parasite and host genetics across malaria endemic countries, the temporal changes and putative functional implications in drug response, providing evidence base to inform decision-making on optimal treatment programs.

My timeline:

2022 – Team coordinator of PEvoGen research line at ICVS; University of Minho

2019 – Distinction. Endorsed “Women in Science” book.

2018 – Distinction. Honorary Titular Researcher. Ministry of Science and Technology from Dominican Republic

2017 – Award. L’Oréal Portugal Medals of Honor for Women in Science 2016.

2014 – Team leader at ICVS; University of Minho

2012 – Post-doctoral fellow at David Fidock lab, Columbia University

2011 – PhD in Medical Sciences at Karolinska Institute

2004 – Biotechnology Engineering degree at Instituto Politécnico de Bragança.

Scientific Highlights

Research articles:

2023 – Optical Spectrophotometry as a Promising Method for Quantification and Stage Differentiation of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites.

Baptista V, Silva M, Ferreira GM, Calçada C, Minas G, Veiga MI, Catarino SO.

ACS Infect Dis. 2023 Jan 13;9(1):140-149. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.2c00484.


2022 – Plasmodium falciparum Drug Resistance Genes pfmdr1 and pfcrt In Vivo Co-Expression During Artemether-Lumefantrine Therapy.

Silva M, Malmberg M, Otienoburu SD, Björkman A, Ngasala B, Mårtensson A, Gil JP, Veiga MI.

Front Pharmacol. 2022 May 24;13:868723. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.868723.


2021 – The Future in Sensing Technologies for Malaria Surveillance: A Review of Hemozoin-Based Diagnosis.

Baptista V, Costa MS, Calçada C, Silva M, Gil JP, Veiga MI, Catarino SO.

ACS Sens. 2021 Nov 26;6(11):3898-3911. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.1c01750.


2021 – OmniSARS2: A Highly Sensitive and Specific RT-qPCR-Based COVID-19 Diagnostic Method Designed to Withstand SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Evolution.

Carvalho-Correia E, Calçada C, Branca F, Estévez-Gómez N, De Chiara L, Varela N, Gallego-García P, Posada D, Sousa H, Sousa J, Veiga MI*, Osório NS*.

Biomedicines. 2021 Sep 26;9(10):1314. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9101314.


2020 – Expansion of a Specific Plasmodium falciparum PfMDR1 Haplotype in Southeast Asia with Increased Substrate Transport.

Calçada C, Silva M, Baptista V, Thathy V, Silva-Pedrosa R, Granja D, Ferreira PE, Gil JP, Fidock DA, Veiga MI.

mBio. 2020 Dec 1;11(6):e02093-20. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02093-20.


2020 – Multigenic architecture of piperaquine resistance trait in Plasmodium falciparum.

Silva M, Calçada C, Teixeira M, Veiga MI, Ferreira PE.

Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Jan;20(1):26-27. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30689-9.


2019 – Plasmodium falciparum K13 expression associated with parasite clearance during artemisinin-based combination therapy.

Silva M, Ferreira PE, Otienoburu SD, Calçada C, Ngasala B, Björkman A, Mårtensson A, Gil JP, Veiga MI.

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2019 Jul 1;74(7):1890-1893. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkz098.


2017 – Hexahydroquinolines are antimalarial candidates with potent blood-stage and transmission-blocking activity.

Vanaerschot M, Lucantoni L, Li T, Combrinck JM, Ruecker A, Kumar TRS, Rubiano K, Ferreira PE, Siciliano G, Gulati S, Henrich PP, Ng CL, Murithi JM, Corey VC, Duffy S, Lieberman OJ, Veiga MI, Sinden RE, Alano P, Delves MJ, Lee Sim K, Winzeler EA, Egan TJ, Hoffman SL, Avery VM, Fidock DA.

Nat Microbiol. 2017 Oct;2(10):1403-1414. doi: 10.1038/s41564-017-0007-4.


2016 – Globally prevalent PfMDR1 mutations modulate Plasmodium falciparum susceptibility to artemisinin-based combination therapies.

Veiga MI, Dhingra SK, Henrich PP, Straimer J, Gnädig N, Uhlemann AC, Martin RE, Lehane AM, Fidock DA.

Nat Commun. 2016 May 18;7:11553. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11553.