Angela De Mello MarquesResearch Scientist/Scholar III Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology
D119 RICangela.firstname.lastname@example.org (970) 491-8874
Dr. Angela Marques is a Research Scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Belisle. She has dedicated most of her career to leprosy research and has developed collaborative research programs with investigators at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ). Her research expertise is in the molecular mechanisms of Mycobacterium leprae pathogenicity, with an emphasis on pathogen-host interactions. The research accomplishments of Dr. Marques include the elucidation of the physiology of M. leprae grown in vivo by studying diaminopimelic acid content, monosaccharide composition, as well as mycolic acid and glycolipid distribution. Most significant, has been Dr. Marques’ definition of the proteome on M. leprae and the distribution of proteins amongst the subcellular locations within M. leprae. These efforts led to the definition of more than 200 new proteins and an improved understanding of the in vivo protein composition of M. leprae. Several of the proteins identified by Dr. Marques have been purified as native and recombinant antigens, and contributed to diagnostic and epidemiological studies. Dr. Marques has a strong interest in the neuropathology associated with leprosy and has investigated the role of M. leprae surface proteins as adhesins in the infection of Schwann cells. This led to identification of an M. leprae histone-like protein as a laminin adhesin and the mapping of the laminin-binding site. Most recently, Dr. Marques has undertaken studies to define the role of cholesterol metabolism in M. leprae survival, the neuropathogenesis of leprosy and the contribution of this process to alteration of Schwann cell function. Further elucidation of the metabolism of cholesterol and other host sterols during M. leprae infection, will establish the mechanism by which these lipids support M. leprae intracellular survival and will open new avenues for treatment of leprosy and the prevention of disfiguring neuropathology.