Dr. Maria Elena De Obaldia The Rockefeller University, USA

1 Talk

Dr. De Obaldia earned an A.B. with high honors in Biology from Harvard College in 2008. As an undergraduate, she studied in vivo vasculogenesis from human cord-blood derived progenitor cells in Joyce Bischoff’s laboratory at Children’s Hospital Boston. She went on to complete PhD training in Immunology, mentored by Avinash... read moreBhandoola at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, graduating in 2014. Dr. De Obaldia was awarded the Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetic Research and the Saul Winegrad, MD Outstanding Dissertation Award for her thesis work on mechanisms of T cell lineage commitment. Dr. De Obaldia joined the Vosshall Lab in 2014, with a broad interest in studying the interactions between anthropophilic disease vector mosquitoes and their mammalian hosts, from which they must obtain a blood meal to reproduce. Specifically, Dr. De Obaldia is investigating why Aedes aegypti mosquitoes prefer skin odor from some humans over that of others. Further, she wants to understand the mechanistic basis for the preference of Aedes aegypti for biting humans over other non-human mammals, using novel in vivo and ex vivo animal models. Dr. De Obaldia envisions that the answers to these fundamental questions will suggest novel ways to deter mosquito biting behavior and disease spread. She is the recipient of a 2014 Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award, is a 2016 Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellow, and is a recipient of a 2017 pilot award from the Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (RUCCTS), supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH/NCATS). Dr. De Obaldia went on to a position at Kingdom Supercultures from 2021 to 2023.