Alba Monferrer i Sureda
Doctoral researcher Technische Universität München
My research is focused on trapping viruses in artificial nano-shells. Once trapped, the viruses cannot interact with cell surfaces and all internalization pathways are blocked, becoming harmless. My role in Virofight is to design and produce such shells using DNA origami, as well as to functionalize their interior with virus-binding moieties.
What do your friends and family think of what you are doing in the lab?
They believe we will change the world, and I hope they are right.
What are you really doing? What’s your favourite/least task or method to do in the lab?
Data analysis is by far my favourite part of the research. The least might be restocking consumables.
Which virus is the most interesting one and why?
I don’t know if it is the most interesting, but the chikungunya virus has a special place in my heart. It is very easy to work with and very pretty to image under TEM, and it fits perfectly into our shells!
PC or Mac? Mac
Why does your research matter to the general public?
If our vision of trapping and neutralizing viruses in DNA nano-shells succeeds, next time we face a pandemic we will be putting the viruses into quarantine, not humans.
What is your personal highlight in Virofight up to now?
Being able to work in such a multidisciplinary consortium allows for very interesting collaborations. We are all experts in very different topics, there’s not a day where you don’t learn something new.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside the lab?
I’m an artist, I love to paint!