Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz - FIOCRUZ, Salvador, Brazil
Aldina Barral was born in Brazil where she got her MD degree. Her career has been mainly dedicated to the study of leishmaniasis and shows several important contributions encompassing all the areas of the disease chain. Her publications deals with the Leishmania parasite, the pathogenesis of both humans and experimental leishmaniasis, explore several aspects of the disease immunoregulation and also deals with clinical, diagnostic and therapeutical aspects. In the realm of the studies with the Leishmania parasite we would like to stress her studies in the relationship between molecular characteristics and clinical presentations. It is noteworthy her description of the plasticity of Leishmania amazonensis which is implicated in several clinical presentations. Immunopathogenesis of human and experimental leishmaniasis constitute a main focus of her work and where she has made seminal contributions such as showing the whole of TGF-b in the critical early steps of the parasite establishment in the vertebrate host. Aldina’s clinical contributions include the description of some neglected clinical forms of leishmaniasis such as the lymphadenopathy present in an elevated number of individuals during the initial phases of the infection. She has shown the importance of human anti-sand fly immune response both as an epidemiological tool and as a modifier of the immune response in men. Reflecting her interest in translating basic results to the benefit of patients, Dr. Barral is exploring the use of recombinant salivary proteins for diagnostic tests of exposure and in vaccination. Her work was resulted in 164 internationally indexed scientific publications up to now, which received 3,512 citations (up to June 2011) with a H factor of 30. Dr. Barral is a member of the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences and ofthe National Order of the Scientific Merit. She also received the Scopus Prize in Brazil as a highly cited scientist.