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Summary

I completed my PhD in Chemistry from the National University of Colombia in Bogota Colombia in 2011 where I worked on elucidate protein phosphorylation profiles in response to growth factors in cancer invasion. I have gained significant expertise in cell culture, RNAi and quantitative proteomics.

Since 2011, I did take up a research position at the Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center (MVDC) in Cali, Colombia, investigating the molecular biology of malaria disease. I worked on the development of a transmission blocking vaccine for P. vivax where I was in charge of the production, purification and characterization of the Pvs48/45 protein, and 5 different sub-fragments using codon harmonization approach in E. coli. Additionally, during this time, I was in charge of the molecular biology component in the Latin American International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR), funded by the NIH, where I was involved in parasite population studies, RNASeq and parasite whole genome studies of P. vivax and P. falciparum.  During the past 5 years I have gained comprehensive scientific expertise, critical thinking skills, and developed strong leadership: project management, and communication skills.

I have strong theoretical knowledge and technical expertise in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunology, and Microbiology. This includes, ELISA, western blotting, proteomics, cell metabolic assays, mammalian cell culture, cell migration and invasion assays, RNAi, bacterial culture, PCR, RT-qPCR, DNA and RNA isolation, microarrays and RNA sequencing analysis, bioinformatics tools management.  I also have experience in animal model design, handling, and transgenic parasite production.

Work History

20112016

Molecular Biology Group Leader

Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center(MVDC)

Cali, Colombia.

20062008

Research Assitant

National University Colombia

Bogota, Colombia

Education

20062011

Ph.D. Chemistry  

National University of Colombia

Thesis:Role of the Insulin/IGF-I hybrid receptors in the IGF system signaling.

20012006

B.Sc Chemistry

National University of Colombia

Thesis:Role of the IGF receptor system in the tumor phenotype of a Colombian breast cancer cell line 

Research Internship

Transgenic Plasmodium parasites production.                                                                                       2015

Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.  Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, MD.


LC/MS Quantitative Proteomics.                                                                                                                 2011

Laboratório de Pesquisa em Leishmaniose, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz –FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Cancer cell signaling                                                                                                                                      2007

Karolisnka Institutet, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Stockholm, Sweden.

Projects

  • Latin America International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR)

Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).                          2011 - 2016

Role: I was in charge of developing and testing molecular tools for malaria diagnosis. This tools were used in the framework of a multi-country epidemiological study aimed to determine the malaria prevalence. I have gained significant experience in report and paper writing.

  • An optimized Plasmodium vivax Direct Membrane Feeding Assay (DMFA) to Reliably Assess Transmission Blocking Immunity.                                                                                            

Funded by PATH-MVI. 2013-2015.                                                                                                2013 - 2015

Role: I was in charge of the protocol development, report and publication writing. During this project I developed a new assay for gametocyte testing using molecular markers.

  • Plasmodium vivax 48/45 gametocyte protein: functional characterization and vaccine potential assessment in preclinical studies.

Funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).                                   2015-2016

Role: I was in charge of the production of a transmission blocking vaccine candidate, the Pvs48/45 protein, using codon harmonization approach in an E.coli host.

  • Evaluation of the loop mediated isothermal DNA amplification (LAMP) for malaria in a Plasmodium vivax endemic setting.

Funded by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).                                            2013-2014

Role: I was in charge of the experimental design and malaria diagnosis using loop mediated isothermal amplification and qPCR. During this project I have gained experience conducting field trials in malaria endemic regions as well as overall project coordination.

  • Development of Plasmodium vivax immunization and sporozoite challenge model for human volunteers.

Funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).                                                     2011-2015

Role: I was in charge of the malaria diagnosis using molecular tools. I have gained significant experience in clinical vaccine development, clinical trials, good clinical practices and databases for clinical research.

Publications

  1. Vallejo AF, Garcìa J, Amado-Garavito AB, Arévalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Plasmodium vivax gametocyte infectivity in submicroscopic infections. Malaria journal 15.1 (2016): 1. Retrieved from : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26822406
  2. Vallejo AF, Martinez NL, Tobon A, Alger J, Lacerda MV, Kajava AV, Arévalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Global Genetic Conservation of the Plasmodium vivax Transmission-blocking Vaccine Candidate Pvs48/45. Malaria journal 15.1 (2016): 1. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27067024
  3. Vallejo AF, Martinez NL, Gonzalez IJ, Arevalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Evaluation of the loop mediated isothermal DNA amplification (LAMP) kit for malaria diagnosis in P. vivax endemic settings of Colombia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015, 9:e3453 Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25569550.
  4. Vallejo AF, Chaparro PE, Benavides Y, Alvarez A, Quintero JP, Padilla J, Arevalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: High prevalence of sub-microscopic infections in Colombia. Malar J 2015, 14:201 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25971594.
  5. Vallejo AF, Cabezas-Perez R, Freyre-Bernal Si, Umaña-Pérez A, Sánchez-Gómez M: IGF-II and Chorionic Gonadotropin Regulate Proliferation, Migration and Invasion of Human Trophoblast Cells. Acta Biol Colomb 2011, 16:143-152. Retrieved from: http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0120-548X2011000100011
  6. Vallejo AF, Rubiano K, Amado A, Krystosik AR, Herrera S, Arévalo-Herrera M: Optimization of a membrane feeding assay for Plasmodium vivax mosquito infection in Anopheles albimanus. Plos NTD 2016, 10(6): e0004807Retrieved from: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0004807
  7. Hupalo DN, Luo Z, Melnikov A, Sutton PL, Rogov P, Escalante A, Vallejo AF, Herrera S, Arévalo-Herrera M, Fan Q, Wang Y, Cui L, Lucas CM, Durand S, Sanchez JF, Baldeviano GC, Lescano AG, Laman M, Barnadas C, Barry A, Mueller I, Kazura J, Eapen A, Kanagaraj D, Valecha N, Ferreira MU, Roobsoong W, Nguitragool W, Sattabongkot J, Gamboa D, Kosek M, Vinetz JM, González-Cerón L, Birren BW, Neafsey DE, Carlton JM: Population genomics studies identify signatures of global dispersal and drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax. Nat Genet June 2016. Retrieved  fom:  http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.3588.html
  8. Pacheco MA, Lopez-Perez M, Vallejo AF, Herrera S, Arevalo-Herrera M, Escalante AA: Multiplicity of Infection and Disease Severity in Plasmodium vivax. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2016, 10:e0004355 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26751811
  9. Vásquez-Jiménez JM, Arévalo-Herrera M, Henao-Giraldo J, Molina-Gómez K, Arce-Plata M, Vallejo AF, Herrera S: Consistent prevalence of asymptomatic infections in malaria endemic populations in Colombia over time. Malaria journal 15.1 (2016):  Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852321
  10. Lennon SE, Miranda A, Henao J, Vallejo AF, Perez J, Alvarez A, Arévalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Malaria Elimination Challenges in Mesoamerica: Evidence of Submicroscopic Malaria Reservoirs in Guatemala. Malaria Journal 2016,15.1 (2016): Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27577992.
  11. Escalante AA, Ferreira MU, Vinetz JM, Volkman SK, Cui L, Gamboa D, Krogstad DJ, Barry AE, Carlton JM, van Eijk AM, Pradhan K, Mueller I, Greenhouse B, Pacheco MA, Vallejo AF, Herrera S, Felger I: Malaria Molecular Epidemiology: Lessons from the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research Network. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2015, 93:79-86 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26259945.
  12. Winter DJ, Pacheco MA, Vallejo AF, Schwartz RS, Arevalo-Herrera M, Herrera S, Cartwright RA, Escalante AA: Whole Genome Sequencing of Field Isolates Reveals Extensive Genetic Diversity in Plasmodium vivax from Colombia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015, 9:e0004252 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26709695
  13. Rojas-Pena ML, Vallejo A, Herrera S, Gibson G, Arevalo-Herrera M: Transcription Profiling of Malaria-Naive and Semi-immune Colombian Volunteers in a Plasmodium vivax Sporozoite Challenge. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015, 9:e0003978. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26244760.
  14. Arevalo-Herrera M, Vallejo AF, Rubiano K, Solarte Y, Marin C, Castellanos A, Cespedes N, Herrera S: Recombinant Pvs48/45 antigen expressed in E. coli generates antibodies that block malaria transmission in Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes. PLoS ONE 2015, 10:e0119335 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25775466
  15. Forero DA, Chaparro PE, Vallejo AF, Benavides Y, Gutierrez JB, Arevalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Knowledge, attitudes and practices of malaria in Colombia. Malar J 2014, 13:165 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24885909.
  16. Herrera S, Vallejo AF, Quintero JP, Arevalo-Herrera M, Cancino M, Ferro S: Field evaluation of an automated RDT reader and data management device for Plasmodium falciparum/Plasmodium vivax malaria in endemic areas of Colombia. Malar J 2014, 13:87 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24612585.
  17. Chaparro P, Padilla J, Vallejo AF, Herrera S: Characterization of a malaria outbreak in Colombia in 2010. Malar J 2013, 12:330 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24044437.
  18. Comba Gonzalez N, Vallejo AF, Sanchez-Gomez M, Montoya D: Protein identification in two phases of 1,3-propanediol production by proteomic analysis. J Proteomics 2013, 89:255-264 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23811541.
  19. Cespedes N, Vallejo A, Arevalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Malaria vaccines: high-throughput tools for antigens discovery with potential for their development. Colomb Med (Cali) 2013, 44:121-128 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24892459.
  20. Myriam Arévalo-Herrera, Ph.D.; Juan M. Vásquez-Jiménez; Mary Lopez-Perez; Andrés F. Vallejo; Andrés B. Amado-Garavito; Nora Céspedes; Angelica Castellanos; Karen Molina; Johanna Trejos; José Oñate; Judith E. Epstein; Thomas L. Richie; Sócrates Herrera.  Protective efficacy of Plasmodium vivax radiation-attenuated sporozoites in Colombian volunteers: a randomized controlled trialPLoS Negl Trop Dis 2016, Accepted. 
  21. Vallejo AF,Ocampo I, Arévalo-Herrera M, Herrera S: Absence of artemisinin resistance in Colombian Plasmodium falciparum isolates. Malaria Journal 2016, Manuscrip in preparation.
  22. Vallejo AF, Arévalo-Herrera M, Herrera S:Polymorphic analysis of histidine-rich protein 2 in non-amazonic region in Colombia. Malaria Journal 2016, Manuscrip in preparation.
  23. Vallejo AF, Arévalo-Herrera M, Herrera S:Sensitive Detection of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax by Amplification of Cytochrome Oxidase I. Malaria Journal 2016, Manuscrip in preparation.

Conference Presentations

1. Evaluation of the loop mediated isothermal DNA Amplification (LAMP) for malaria diagnose in a
Plasmodium vivax endemic setting Andres F. Vallejo, Iveth Gonzalez, Myriam Arevalo-errera,Socrates Herrera. New Orleans, Nov 2014. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2013 91(supp). Oral Presentation

2. Gene Profiling In Naïve And Semi-Immune Colombian Individuals Subjected To Experimental Challenge With Plasmodium vivax Sporozoites. Andres F.Vallejo. Myriam Arévalo-Herrera, Monica Rojas-Peña, Nora Martinez, Greg Gibson, Sócrates Herrera. Nov 2014. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2013 91(supp). Oral Presentation

3. Field validation of an automated malaria Pf/Pv RDT reader and data management device in Colombia. Andrés F. Vallejo, Sócrates Herrera, Myriam Arévalo-Herrera, Juan Pablo Quintero, Marcela Cancino, Santiago Ferro. astmh 62nd annual meeting, Washington DC. Nov 2013. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2013; 89 (supl 5): 331.Oral Presentation

4. Recombinant pvs48/45 antigen expressed in e. coli generates antibodies that block malaria the transmission in anopheles albimanus mosquitoes. Andres F. Vallejo, Yesid Solarte, Catherin Marin, Socrates Herrera, Myriam Arevalo-Herrera. Washington DC. Nov 2013. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2013; 89 (supl 5): 331.Oral presentation.

Affiliations

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Awards and Honours

  • National Science and Technology (Colciencias) project reviewer, 2012.
  • Meritorious Doctoral Thesis 2011
  • Faculty Fellowship for Graduate Study. National University of Colombia, 2006 National Scholarship for Doctoral studies. Colciencias, 2006
  • 2006 Best Score at Higher Education National Testing (ECAES) Chemistry, Colombia 2006

Software

  • EndNote Reference Manager
  • Mass Spectrometry ( BioTools, MassLynx , MascotDistiller , Scaffold )
  • Protein gels and blots ( QuantityOne , Progenesis )
  • Image analysis of two-dimensional gels ( PDQuest , Imagemaster )
  • Graphpad Prism
  • R

Laboratory Techniques

  • Real Time PCR
  • LC/MS
  • Cell culture
  • Cloning
  • Recombinant protein production
  • WB
  • ELISA

Academic Referees

Ananias Escalante
Professor, Department of Biology
Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Phone: 1 215-2043735
E-mail: Ananias.Escalante@temple.edu

Iveth J. González
Head of Malaria and Acute Febrile Syndrome programme
FIND, Campus Biotech, Chemin des Mines 9. www.finddx.org
Geneva, Switzerland
Phone: 41 (0) 22 710 09 50
E-mail: Iveth.Gonzalez@finddx.org

Fidel Zavala
Professor
Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Bloomberg School of Public Health,
Johns Hopkins University
615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205
Phones: 443 287 1769 (Office) 443 287 1768 (Lab)
E-mail:  fzavala1@jhu.edu