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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Detection of molecules related to the mechanism of protection against canine Leishmaniasis. Differential gene expression in cells activated during the protection response induced by the LACK vaccine

Lead Researcher:
Vicente Emilio Larraga Rodríguez de Vera 

Research Centre: 
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas. CSIC. Madrid.

Vicente LarragaLeishmaniasis, an endemic disease caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania, affects 15 million people, with 2 million new cases and fifty thousand deaths a year in 88 countries in tropical and temperate zones. The Molecular Parasitology Laboratory (CIB-CSIC) is determining the differential gene expression between cells in the lymph node in protected and sick animals, using a vaccine as a discrimination tool. The use of cDNA microarrays is allowing the detection of genes activated by the disease-resistance process. A decrease in parasite load in protected dogs has been detected, as have differences in the expression of cytokines (IL 12 and IFN g) and in the ratio of specific IgG1/IgG2 anti-Leishmania antibodies.


4 articles published in Journals 
4 papers at national conferences
6 papers at international conferences 

Vicente Emilio Larraga Rodríguez de Vera 
Degree in Biological Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid (June 1991). He completed his post-doctoral studies at the Hebrew University and the Weizmann Institute in Israel and at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He has been a visiting scientist at the Medical School of the University of New York. His scientific career at the National Scientific Research Council (CSIC) has focused on the structure of biological membranes and cellular activation mechanisms in bacteria and eukaryotic cells. He launched the Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology at the CSIC's Biological Research Centre. He has also worked in the development of recombinant vaccines against Leishmania infantum and mechanisms of infection. He is currently working on gene activation of the cells responsible for the mechanism inducing a protective response against the parasite in the main host of Leishmaniasis, dogs. He has been Vice-President of the CSIC and is currently the director of the Centre for Biological Research in Madrid. He has published around a hundred papers in international journals and books. He belongs to several scientific societies, including the New York Academy of Sciences, the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Spanish Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health. Member of the Royal Academy of Pharmacy.

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