Vanessa Sperandio

Vanessa Sperandio

Vanessa Sperandio is a Professor in the departments of Microbiology and Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She got BS, MS and Ph.D. in in the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil. She did her post-doctoral training at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

She was a Latin American Pew Fellow in Biomedical Sciences, an Ellison Foundation New Scholar, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases, and a National Academy Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow. She is the recipient of the ASM Eli Lilly and Company-Elanco Research award, and a winner of the GSK Discovery Fast-track challenge. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. 

Her research investigates chemical, stress, and nutritional signaling among the mammalian host, beneficial microbiota, and bacterial pathogens. The main tenet of her research is the study of how bacterial cells sense several mammalian hormones, leading to rewiring and reprogramming of bacterial transcription toward host and niche adaptation. She has also identified several bacterial receptors to mammalian hormones and reported that pathogens hijack these interkingdom signaling systems to promote virulence expression. She also translated these basic science concepts into strategies to develop novel approaches to antimicrobial therapy.