Maria Del Mar Ortega-Villaizan
Dr. Ortega-Villaizan obtained her degree in Biological Sciences (1995) from the University of Alicante (Spain) and her Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences (about Fish Population Genetics) at the University of Tohoku, Japan (2005). In her postdoctoral period, she started working as a researcher at the University Miguel Hernandez (UMH), Elche (Spain), at the Institute of Research, Development, and Innovation in Healthcare Biotechnology in Elche (IDiBE). Dr. Ortega-Villaizan was working as a postdoctoral researcher in what would be her current research line, which is the search of therapies and prophylactics against viral pathologies in aquaculture, specifically in the context of the fish immune response. In 2014, she was granted with an ERC Starting Grant, which started in 2015 at the IDiBE (UMH). Dr. Ortega-Villaizan was leading her own laboratory, to investigate the crosstalk between red and white blood cells in the context of viral infections and DNA vaccine immunizations, in order to elucidate the role of red blood cells in the fish immune response. In 2018, she became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the UMH. Her current research interests are the red blood cells of fish, and their involvement in fish immune response, as target cells in the search of therapies or prophylactics against fish viral infections.