Meet FEMS Research and Training grantee Ylenia Jabalera
Research and Training Grants are meant to assist early career scientists in pursuing research and training at a European host institution in another country than their own country of residence.
Ylenia Jabalera: University of Granada, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Microbiology, Granada, Spain
Host supervisor and host laboratory: Dr. Massimiliano Perduca, Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Dates: 25 November 2020 to 25 February 2021
FEMS Member Society Membership: Spanish Society for Microbiology
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Granada. In 2015, I started to collaborate with the Department of Microbiology in the Biomineralization Group (RNM-938). Since 2017, I work as predoctoral researcher in the field of nanotechnology under supervision of Dr. Concepción Jimenez Lopez at the University of Granada. My PhD work is focused on the development and characterization of magnetic nanoparticles and nanoassemblies for their application in nanotechnology, especially, as nanocarriers in nanomedicine and as biosensors for the detection and isolation of contaminants.
The main goal of our project was to formulate and characterize a novel nanocomposition (comprising PLGA polymer, a new biomimetic magnetic nanoparticles and the antimicrobial peptide AS-48) to locally treat tuberculosis that allowed a targeted antimicrobial chemotherapy, directed to the infected macrophages by both ligand and external magnetic field, combined with magnetic hyperthermia. This research constitutes the beginning of a trans-disciplinary and international project aligned with one the goals of the United Nations and World Health Organization related with the reduction of the number of deaths and treatment cost for tuberculosis.
The main reason was the flexible requirements for the applicants in terms of conditions and time to develop the research. In this aspect, I would like to thank to the organization its flexibility and support during the process, especially, in this last year with all changes generated by COVID-19. When I applied for the FEMS Research and Training grant, I looked for the opportunity to work abroad in a productive research group with an extensive experience in the development and characterization of nanoformulation comprising polymers, with the aim of extending my knowledge and experience in this field and enrichment the content of my Thesis project. Despite some restrictions due to COVID-19, I have achieved these goals and enjoyed the experience abroad, meeting wonderful people.
During my research stay, I had the opportunity to visit and work with the group headed by Dr. Massimiliano Perduca, which has an extensive experience and a consolidate trajectory in design, synthesis and characterization of different types of nanoformulations using polymers. There, I received and excellent knowledge, skills and training in nanoparticles synthesis and chemical-physical characterization techniques. I would like to thank to my host supervisor in Verona, Dr. Massimiliano Perduca, to the group BIO160 from University of Granada and, especially, to my thesis supervisor here in Granada, Dr. Conchi Jimenez-Lopez for giving me this great opportunity to be part of this interesting and ambitious project. Briefly, I believe that this fellowship has supposed a great opportunity, not only to complete my thesis project, but also to increase my knowledge, skills and network contacts for continuing with my research career.
I believe that FEMS constitutes a great support to researchers offering them different activities, events and resources to contribute and stimulate their international collaborations, essential for the development of a scientific career.’’