National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Barillas-Mury was born in Guatemala City and obtained her BS degree from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and her MD from the Universidad Francisco Marroquin. She obtained her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 1991 in Dr. Michael Wells’ laboratory studying Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits dengue fever. She did her postdoctoral training in Dr. Fotis Kafatos laboratory at Harvard University and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany, characterizing transcription factors mediating immune responses in Anopheles gambiae.
She obtained a faculty position at Colorado State University in 1998, where she investigated the cell biology of Plasmodium midgut invasion. Dr. Barillas-Mury joined the National Institutes of Health in 1993 and heads the Mosquito Immunity and Vector Competence Section.
She is interested in understanding the interactions between the mosquito immune system and Plasmodium parasites that are critical for malaria transmission, with the ultimate goal of disrupting the parasite’s life cycle and preventing human disease. Dr. Barillas-Mury received the 2010 Bailey K. Ashford Medal awarded by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for distinguished work in tropical medicine, the 2013 Sanofi/Pasteur Award in Tropical and Neglected Diseases, and she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.