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I hold a first class honors degree in Microbiology from Heriot-Watt University (HWU) Edinburgh (awarded in 1987) and a PhD in Applied Microbiology from (HWU) awarded in 1990. I have accumulated more than 30 years of experience in the field of microbiology applied to human and animal health, acquired during my career as a research scientist in Scotland (microbiological and molecular diagnostics for infectious disease of importance to aquaculture; vaccine development and innovative cell culture methods for the study of host (fish) and pathogen (bacterial and viral) interactions (funded by UK and EU governments and Private sector funding for Vaccine development); England (University of Plymouth), molecular diagnostics for aquaculture; funded by UK Government), Spain (University of Barcelona, bacteriophages as indicators of water quality; supervised by Professor Joan Jofre (Funding by Royal Society of London); Brazil Oswaldo Cruz Institute (FIOCRUZ) (1999-2002) EU funded project (INCO/DEV contract, ICA4-CT- ICA4 CT-2000-30032; in collaboration with The University of Surrey, UK and The Institute Pasteur, France); that resulted in the patent EP2407545 – “Auxotrophic, recombinant BCG strain Pasteur and use thereof for combating human infections caused by parasites” granted by the European Patent Office in July 2016.
During the period 2003 to 2005, I was employed by the Canadian Government, as vice-head of the Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture section of the Research and Productivity Council of New Brunswick (a contract research organization), where I developed collaborative studies with multinational companies including Novartis, Schering Plough, InterVet and Dow Agrosciences, in human and animal health. In addition, I implemented and coordinated a molecular surveillance service for the diagnosis of existing and emerging diseases of importance to the North American Aquaculture Industries. Prior to obtaining my current position at UFRRJ, I was employed (2006-2007) as a Visiting Specialist in Molecular Vaccinology at FIOCRUZ to develop a novel recombinant vaccine for Schistosomiasis in humans and fasciolosis in production animals (with funding from the Brazilian Government and Private sector); Lecturer in Food Safety at the University of Limerick, Republic of Ireland (2008 -2010), where I coordinated research on the risk of transmission of antibiotic resistance genes from bacteria associated with imported seafood products, with funding provided by the Irish government. I am currently employed as a Senior Lecturer (Molecular Biology Applied to the Veterinary Sciences), Department of Animal Parasitology, within the Veterinary Institute of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2010—present). During the last eight years, I have developed research in two distinct areas; I molecular diagnostics, and systematics of protozoan parasite of domestic, wild and production animals) and the development and application of molecular techniques to the study of tick and flea borne diseases (principally Rickettsioses)… with focus on the role of ticks collected from wild animals, elucidation of the influence of the microbiome upon tick and pathogen development (funding provided by both Federal and State agencies). The long-term objective of this line of research is to establish a One-health model for the effective management of tick borne-diseases.