Academic Awarded Initiation Project for Pathogen Study

Academic Awarded Initiation Project for Pathogen Study

Within the framework of the VRID initiation 2022 contest, convened by the Vice President for Research and Development of the University of Concepciónit was the teacher leonardo gomez, from the Department of Microbiology, who was among the fifteen winners of the contest. The purpose of this is to support with funds the conduct of research by academics who are beginning a research career.

“The idea of ​​this work is to give continuity to the research I had done in the doctorate,” said Leonardo Gómez, assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology of the Faculty of Biological Sciences. The focus of the study to be carried out by the academic concentrates on identifying how some virulence factors in the endoplasmic reticulum ─which is a very important organelle for cells─, could affect the presentation of antigens in dendritic cells, a fundamental mechanism for the activation T cells of our immune system.

Studying virulence factors that affect antigen presentation means that this intracellular pathogen, called brucella abortus ─ a bacterium that produces a chronic infection─, could interfere with the activation of T cells, which are essential to develop a cellular response involved in the elimination of infected cells. In this way, the pathogen can survive inside these cells for long periods of time.

For Professor Leonardo, having won the contest funds is a kick to be able to acquire reagents, supplies, attract thesis students and develop research. “In order to develop research, one needs resources and this project is the beginning of this process,” explained the academic.

The amount available to the VRID to finance and support research is eight million pesos for two years. “I am in the process of buying reagents, antibodies and other supplies, since normally in immunology many antibodies are needed and these are relatively expensive”.

This type of contest is very important for professors, like Dr. Gómez, who are beginning a career in the research field. “When one is a student, he does not value the work that teachers do, in terms of buying reagents, supplies, etc. Now when one is in that same situation one realizes how important it is to obtain resources. These help students to write theses, develop research and be able to publish. Financial support is very important,” he concluded.

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Written by Editor TLN

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