Nora Cespedes

Nora Céspedes

Postdoctoral Fellow

After graduating in chemistry at Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, I joined the Malaria Vaccines and Drugs Development Center (MVDC), research center that is headed by Dr. Sócrates Herrera in Cali. My professional experience at MVDC was focused mainly on peptides and proteins characterization at the beginning, and thereafter on malaria vaccines studies.

During my time at MVDC, I received my doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Universidad del Valle, nevertheless my thesis was developed as a collaborative study between the MVDC and the Biochemistry Institute of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where I was a trainee during a year and a half in Dr. Corradin’s Lab. My doctoral thesis was centered on the Identification and evaluation of antigens as potential P. vivax malaria vaccine candidates, in which we identified and characterized more than 50 new antigens that were selected based on the presence of conformational alpha helical coiled-coils motifs.

I kept working at MVDC for about two years after completing my doctoral degree, then I moved to the University of Idaho, as a postdoctoral fellow, in late 2018, where I am working with Dr. Luckhart on the identification of mechanisms of degradation of the gut barrier that facilitate microbial dissemination and bacteremia associated with complicated malaria.