Dr. Ana M. Espino Hernandez

Dr. Ana M. Espino Hernandez was born at Guanabacoa, one of the most ancient towns of the periphery of Havana City, Cuba. She received her undergraduate training at the University of Havana, and graduated with a Bachelor of Biochemistry with First Class of Honors. Dr. Hernandez completed her doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Carlos M. Finlay at the Institute of Tropical Medicine “Pedro Kourí” of Havana, one of most prestigious science institutions of Cuba, earning a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences. Her doctoral research involved the development of monoclonal antibodies against major excretory-secretory antigens of F. hepatica, and the development of novel and highly sensitive copro-antigen detection assays for early detection of human fascioliasis that were validated in human populations of high and low endemicity. In 1998, Dr. Hernandez moved to Puerto Rico to begin postdoctoral training under the supervision of Dr. George V. Hillyer in the laboratory of Parasite Immunology of School of Medicine. Her postdoctoral research focused on the identification of novel F. hepatica targets for immunoprophylaxis by searching a parasite DNA library, molecular cloning and construction of DNA vaccines. Subsequently, Ana was recruited by the Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology of University of Puerto Rico where she holds a tenure track position as Associate Professor. At present, Dr. Hernandez has expanded her research to the understanding the immune evasion mechanisms used by parasite during the active infection, and the development of interference RNA interference (RNAi) technology with the aim to expedite the development of safer and more efficacious F. hepaticavaccines.