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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Advanced proteomics and systems biology to study a food allergy

Lead Researcher:
Mónica Carrera Mouriño

Research Centre:
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM). CSIC. Vigo.


Mónica Carrera MouriñoFish is the third cause of food allergy in the whole world. In sensitised patients, the clinical symptoms are expressed as urticaria, rhinitis, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, giving rise in the worst cases to anaphylactic shock minutes after ingestion. All species of fish are liable to cause allergies. Likewise, during the last 10 years there has been a marked increase in allergic reactions to parasites present in fish muscle, mainly to parasites of the Anisakis type. Diagnosing fish allergy and excluding fish from the diet is the only suitable treatment to prevent future reactions. Finding new therapies apart from simply suppressing ingestion of the allergenic food is the main aim of this project.

This research project is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary proposal in which current Advanced Proteomic techniques and new Systems Biology tools will be used to develop new immuno-therapies for the treatment and control of fish allergy.

The two main objectives of this project are:

  • Advanced Proteomics using antigen epitopes. The design of peptide vaccines.
  • Systems Biology. In-Silico modelling of fish allergy.

In general, the results of this project will make it possible to achieve greater understanding of the molecular bases of a food allergy. Likewise, it is expected that these results will be used by scientific organisations as well as pharmaceutical industries and healthcare centres to identify, develop and use the new targets for pharmacological and therapeutic intervention (new vaccines).

Mónica Carrera Mouriño

Postdoctoral Juan de la Cierva researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM-CSIC), Vigo (2015-to date). Doctor in Biology with Honours, University of Vigo (2008). She worked as Postdoctoral Marie Curie IEF Researcher in the IIM-CSIC (2013-2015) and also as a postdoctoral researcher from 2008-2013 in the proteomics group of the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology (IMSB) of the ETH-Zürich (Zürich, Switzerland).

She has excellent experience in Bottom-Up and Top-Down proteomics applied to food quality control and security. She is an expert in the de novo sequencing of proteins and post-translational modifications by means of mass spectrometry and molecular systems biology. She is the author of many papers in high impact scientific publications, such as Proteomics, J. Proteome Res. and Anal. Chem., she has presented at numerous international conferences and has taken part in more than 15 national and international research projects. Her scientific work has given rise to the registration of a new patent and the inclusion in databases of new sequences of allergenic proteins. Likewise, her scientific career has been recognised with the awarding of 3 research prizes, she is an editor with several scientific journals and works actively with different proteomics societies.

*All intellectual property rights belong to the author. Reproduction of all or part of the work without permission from the author is prohibited.
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