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Noni holds a medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She felt passionate about science very early during her undergrad studies focusing on basic research during her career. She did her postgraduate studies in the field of immunology at the Centre for Advanced Research of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico). During her master's and PhD, she assessed the link between activated immune cells and a pro-inflammatory profile in patients with autoimmunity. In 2016, Noni got a postdoctoral position at the University of Birmingham, UK, to study the interplay between immune cells, platelets, and bacteria during infection/inflammation-induced thrombosis. Noni joined the MRC Toxicology Unit in 2021, initially evaluating COVID vaccine responses in at-risk patients. After a year, she joined Kiran Patil’s group to work on the cross-unit project exploring new mechanisms by which food-borne pollutants influence cell physiology.


Research interests:

Noni’s current research focuses on understanding how the contaminants found in food impact our cells’ health. We are exposed daily to a wide variety of chemical compounds such as pesticides, drugs, and many other environmental pollutants. While the adverse impact of these compounds on health is broadly acknowledged, their mechanistic underpinnings are largely unknown. Using a large-scale screening approach, she is assessing the impact of food-borne pollutants on mammalian cell lines by means of a set of physiological readouts. She is also interested in studying how pollutants we are exposed to daily impact the immune response, inducing chronic inflammation, and impairing the efficiency of vaccines.



Key publications: 
  • Age-Associated B cells predict impaired humoral immunity after COVID-19 vaccination in patients receiving immune checkpoint blockade. Juan Carlos Yam-Puc, Zhaleh Hosseini, Emily C. Horner, Pehuén Pereyra Gerber, Nonantzin Beristain-Covarrubias, Robert Hughes, Aleksei Lulla, Maria Rust, Rebecca H. Boston, Magda Ali, Katrin Fischer, Edward Simmons-Rosello, Martin O’Reilly, Harry Robson, Lucy H. Booth, Lakmini Kahanawita, Andrea Correa-Noguera, Lourdes Ceron-Gutierrez, Baerbel Keller, Andrew Craxton, Georgina S.F. Anderson, Xiao-Ming Sun, Anne Elmer, Caroline Saunders, Areti Bermperi, Sherly Jose, Nathalie Kingston, Thomas Mulroney, CITIID-NIHR COVID-19 BioResource Collaboration, Mike Chapman, Sofia Grigoriadou, Marion MacFarlane, Anne E. Willis, Kiran R. Patil, Sarah Spencer, Emily Staples, Klaus Warnatz, Matthew S. Buckland, Florian Hollfelder, Marko Hyvönen, Rainer Döffinger, Christine Parkinson, Sara Lear, Nicholas J. Matheson, James E. D. Thaventhiran. medRxiv 2022.09.17.22280033; doi:
  • Beristain-Covarrubias N, Perez-Toledo M, Flores-Langarica A, Zuidscherwoude M, Thomas M, Hitchcock JR, Channell WM, King LDW, Henderson IR, Rayes J, Watson SP, and Cunningham AF. Salmonella-induced thrombi in mice develop asynchronously in the spleen and liver and are not effective bacterial traps. Blood. 2019 Feb 7;133(6):600-604. doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-08-867267
  • Beristain-Covarrubias N, Canche-Pool E, Ramirez-Velazquez C, Barragan-Galvez JC, Gomez-Diaz R, Ortiz-Navarrete (2017) Class I-Restricted T Cell-Associated Molecule Is a Marker for IFN-g-Producing iNKT Cells in Healthy Subjects and Patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research. Jan;37(1):39-49. doi: 10.1089/jir.2016.0006.
Research Associate

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road