Carolina Barillas-Mury

National Institutes of Health

Election Year: 2014
Primary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Secondary Section: 61, Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences
Membership Type: Member


Dr. Barillas-Mury heads the Mosquito Immunity and Vector Competence Section of the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is recognized for her work on mosquito immune responses that limit Plasmodium infection and the discovery of a mechanism of parasite immune evasion that enables malaria transmission. Dr. Barillas-Mury was born in Guatemala City and obtained her BS degree from “Universidad del Valle de Guatemala” and her MD from “Universidad Francisco Marroquín”. She obtained her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 1991 in Dr. Michael Wells Laboratory, studying Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits dengue fever. She did her post-doctoral training in Dr. Fotis Kafatos laboratory at Harvard University and at European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany characterizing transcription factors that mediate mosquito immune responses. She obtained a Faculty position at Colorado State University in 1998 and joined NIH in 2003. Dr. Barillas-Mury received the 2010 Bailey K. Ashford Medal Awarded by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for distinguished work in tropical medicine, the 2013 Sanofi/Pasteur Award in Tropical and Neglected Diseases and was elected as member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.

Research Interests

Carolina Barillas-Mury’s laboratory is interested in understanding the interactions between the mosquito immune system and Plasmodium parasites that are critical for malaria transmission, with the ultimate goal of disrupting the parasite’s life cycle and preventing human disease. Her program has four major areas of interest: Interactions between Plasmodium parasites, the gut microbiota, and mosquito midgut epithelial cells; Immune pathways that mediate antiplasmodial responses; Hemocyte differentiation and innate immune memory in mosquitoes; and Plasmodium evasion of the mosquito immune system.

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