Dr Maria C. Puertas has 20 years of research experience in immunology and virology, with special focus on the pathogenesis of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1), the etiological agent of AIDS.
She graduated in Biology from the University of Barcelona (UB) in 2000 and in 2001 was awarded a fellowship by the Catalan government to pursue PhD studies in the Immunology Laboratory for Research and Diagnostic Applications (LIRAD) at Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital (Badalona). In 2005 she was awarded a Severo Ochoa biomedical research fellowship from the Fundación Ferrer to complete her studies on autoimmune diseases.
After obtaining her PhD in Immunology in 2006 — for which she received an Outstanding Doctorate Award from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) — she joined Dr. Javier Martínez-Picado’s group at IrsiCaixa, where she has participated in research into antiretroviral resistance, mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and new treatment strategies to achieve a potential cure of HIV-1. In recent years, she has focused mainly on measuring viral persistence in antiretroviral-treated individuals and she has been involved in clinical trials aimed at reducing residual replication and viral latency.
She has published 55 papers in high-impact journals, has participated in Spanish- and European-funded collaborative projects and currently also lectures at the University of Barcelona (UB).