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Maria Salgado

Maria Salgado Bernal

Senior research scientist

Her scientific career has been focused on the study of HIV-1 pathogenesis and functional HIV cure models, with the ultimate goal of achieving a definitive cure for chronically HIV infected patients. She obtained my Ph.D. at the Cellular Biology and Genetics program of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in March 2010 with maximum honors. After graduation, she continued studying the natural control of HIV infection as a postdoc at the laboratory of Dr. Siliciano and Dr. Blankson at the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA). This collaboration with one of the most important laboratories in the field has yield 14 valuable publications.

In 2012, she moved to the AIDS Research Institute IrsiCaixa opening her research interest to different HIV cure strategies and being part of the team that in 2019 and 2023 presented the second and third case of HIV remission in the worldthe London and Dusseldorf Patient respectively. This work with transplanted HIV+ individuals has settle up the bases that an HIV cure is possible and since then, the new challenge to find the HIV eradication has become the main goal in the field. During her career, she has published more than 45 papers, all of them in high impact journals as Nature, Nature Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Blood, Nature Communications, Lancet HIV, Journal of Virology or Retrovirology, with more than 1100 citations total.

She has recently open a new research line focusing in the use of CAR-T cell therapy to eliminate the cells that harbor the HIV reservoir. This project has been funded by the Spanish I+D program in 2021 (PID2020-115931RA-I00) and also has iniciated the tenure track of the Miguel Servet Program. She has received a total of 10 international young investigator awardswith the special prize from the Dominique Dormont foundation given by the Nobel Prize Françoise Barré-Sinoussi.

She has been invited as speaker to several national and international symposiums, as in the CFAR (Miami), Hot Topics in HIV (Barcelona), GESIDA, or the National Bolivian Annual Medical Conference. She is or has been part of 15 competitive founded research projects, 5 of them as principal investigator from the Spanish Government, the European Commission, the American Government (National Institutes of Health, NIH) and the American Foundation for AIDS Research amfAR. She has vast experience in the coordination of European and international projects and is also part of the recently funded Spanish network in Infectious Disease (CIBER, CB21/13/00063), RIDHIV (Martin Delaney Collaboratory-NIH) and the European EU2Cure Consortium (PMID: 34141442).

She has co-directed Cristina Gálvez's thesis project, focused on the development of markers of HIV cure and sustained HIV control. Currently, two PhD students are starting their thesis projects under her supervision. She has also taught in the Master in Biomedical Sciences, Universitat de Barcelona (2020 and 2021) and participated in several national and European thesis committees .

Finally, she is highly committed to science dissemination giving invited talks in the scientific area, but also for the general public as within the TEDx TALK program, the Caixaforum divulgation activities or in a chapter from the divulgation book: “Curiosidades sobre las enfermedades infecciosas” from Fundación IO-Comunica Ciencia. 

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