DPhil student at the Jenner Institute, NDM: Pseudotype-based Neutralization Assay for MERS-CoV
Pseudotype-based neutralization assays represent a power tool for testing specific humoral responses of vaccines. My current work is to install a pseudotype-based neutralization assay for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the laboratory. MERS is an important infectious disease that originated in 2012. Since then, around 1474 people in the world have been infected with 554 have died. Surprisingly, a licensed vaccine is yet to come and the development of a pseudotype-based neutralization assay would be of valuable help in this regard. In addition, current strains of MERS-CoV circulating in the world are being analysed in silico for their potential incorporation in the pseudotype-based neutralization assay.
Before starting my DPhil at NDM I completed my B.Sc. program in Biotechnology engineering at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico. After that, I moved to Saudi Arabia to study a master’s degree in Bioscience at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. My research was focused on the screening and identification of enteric viruses from the Hajj, the largest annual mass gatherings in the world, by applying molecular biology techniques and next-generation sequencing. I also obtained the NDM Summer Internship Award that allowed me to get involved in the application of Virus-like Particles (VLPs) as vaccination agents for Plasmodium vivax in the laboratory of Prof. Arturo Reyes-Sandoval. Currently, I am studying a DPhil in Clinical Medicine in the Jenner Institute and my research interests are in Vaccinology, Virology and Translational Medicine.