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Muriel Aguilar Bretones


Track 20: Arbovirus systems serology: antibody profiling for exposure and impact assessment


Marion Koopmans (EMC)

Primary Supervisor

Gijs van Nierop (EMC)


Leo Visser (LUMC)


Erasmus University Medical Centre


Description PhD project

I was born and raised in Barcelona. Besides life sciences, my key interests are art, music, and films. In my free time, I enjoy drawing, listening to music – I recently started playing the bass as well – going to the cinema, museums and concerts. Personal communication, bridging fields of knowledge, and connecting with very different people fuels my curiosity.

I studied biomedical sciences at the University of Barcelona and was always especially interested in human-pathogen interactions in infectious diseases. After obtaining my degree in biomedicine, I pursued my interests in virology and immunology by studying the Master of Science Infection and Immunity at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. This highly international and dynamic learning environment boosted my scientific development and allowed me to root in the eclectic city of Rotterdam. Especially during my second internship in the exotic viruses workgroup at the Department of Viroscience, I was able to combine all aspects of my fundamental scientific interests. Here, I contributed to the development of a B cell platform, which aims to study virus- induced memory B cell responses. Within the One Health PACT, I will use this platform to study the contribution of specific antibody clones to virulence, immune protection, immunopathogenesis and ultimately, the clinical impact of arbovirus infections. This knowledge can be used to improve differential diagnosis, develop biomarker assays, monitor intervention strategies and create vaccine designs. I look forward to interconnect this research line with many others of the One Health PACT group during the coming years.