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Vicky graduated from the University of Rosario in 2008 with a B. Sc. in Biotechnology at the Faculty of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Argentina). In 2009 she was awarded a 5-year doctoral grant by the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). Her PhD thesis was mainly focused at understanding the molecular bases of sensor/operator selectivity in MerR monovalent metal ion sensors in Salmonella enterica. After graduating with distinction grade in 2014 as a Doctor in Biological Sciences, she received a 3-year grant funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to work on the identification of candidate antigens for inclusion into the next generation of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines in Prof. Christodoulides lab at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (UK). The years after, she had been closely involved in cross-discipline projects looking at early diagnosis of microbial infections, including the development of a microfluidic impedance cytometry device for detection of microbial keratitis, as well as the design of a rapid, non-invasive laser-patterned microfluidic test on a low-cost paper platform for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in low-to-middle-income countries. In 2019, she was awarded a training grant by the VALIDATE Network to get hands on experience on Leishmania infantum pathogenesis at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil) with Prof. Coelho, with whom she stablished a strong collaborative work on Visceral Leishmaniasis diagnosis and vaccine development. In 2020, Vicky got involved in the rapid response to COVID-19, for which she got trained in virology, cellular biology and containment level 3 laboratory work to develop a low-cost lateral flow device and an ELISA test to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infections. Some of her studies supported as well the characterization of novel antiviral compounds to prevent or treat COVID-19. During that period, the experience she acquired in airway diseases (COPD, asthma) and infections in Prof. Wilkinson's lab at the University of Southampton got her into her current position as a Postdoctoral Associate at the MRC Toxicology Unit in 2022.


Research interests:

Vicky has always had a special interest in infectious diseases and on research aimed at improving public health. Her academic background on bacterial, parasitic and viral infections, combined with her experience on diagnosis, prevention and treatment open the possibility for her to investigate the potential toxic effect of antimicrobial drugs and compounds for treatment of respiratory diseases on the human airway epithelium. Vicky is currently applying tissue culture methods to replicate the human lung architecture in vitro, combined with advanced imaging techniques, to analyse the roles of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 isoforms in the airway epithelium with Dr. Mennella.



Key publications: 

Humbert MV et al., 2022. Towards an artificial human lung: modelling organ-like complexity to aid mechanistic understanding. Eur Respir J. 60: 2200455. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00455-2022.
Guimond SE et al., 2022. Synthetic Heparan Sulfate Mimetic Pixatimod (PG545) Potently Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 by Disrupting the Spike-ACE2 Interaction. ACS Cent Sci. 8(5):527-545. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.1c01293.
Humbert MV et al., 2021. A SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid ELISA represents a low-cost alternative to lateral flow testing for community screening in LMI countries. J Infect.S0163-4453(21)00492-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.08.049.

Research Associate

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road


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