Beatriz Mariz is a PhD student in Biology at the School of Sciences and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon. Her project aims to unravel the role of specific Streptococcus pneumoniae proteins in pathogenicity and bacterial infection. This bacterium is a leading cause of diverse infections, and it is recognized as a priority pathogen by the World Health Organization. To further her research, Beatriz will embark as a Visiting Student Researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. During this period, she intends to clarify the relationship between the composition of the pneumococcal membrane and the production of S. pneumoniae extracellular vesicles (pEVs). By integrating established techniques for vesicle isolation and characterization with functional assays, she aims to shed light on how pEVs influence critical factors such as biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, and host immune responses.

Carnegie Mellon University

Grant duration: 4 months