I have been working with insects since my undergraduate studies. Firstly with agricultural pest, I then switched to mosquitoes that transmit malaria, during my first post-doc at Case Western Reserve University with Dr. Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, where we published a few proof-of-concept papers on transgenic mosquitoes, expressing anti-malarial peptides. In 2002 I got a position at FIOCRUZ, the most important Federal Research Institute in Public Health in Brazil and started working with transgenic mosquitoes, bird malaria and some aspects of neotropical Anopheline mosquitoes. In 2008 I joined Dr. Scott O’Neill’s laboratory, for a sabbatical, at the University of Queensland, Australia. There we discovered the ability of Wolbachia to block dengue virus in Aedes mosquitoes, moving towards the creation of a Worldwide Program, the Eliminate Dengue: Our Challenge. In Brazil, I am the Leading Scientist for this Program and today we already work in several localities in the State of Rio de Janeiro, involving social work for community engagement, entomology, molecular biology and field trials. More recently our group discovered the ability of Wolbachia to block Zika virus.
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