Monkey eyeing sampling platform

CREATE-NEO: Sandra Lopez-Verges, PhD
and the Panama Team


Sandra LopezDr. López-Vergès

Senior Researcher, Gorgas Memorial Institute / Associated Professor at Universidad de Panamá Molecular epidemiology, cellular virology, immunology of viral diseases

Email: slopez@gorgas.gob.pa

My research focuses on understanding the virological and immunological factors shaping the emergence of viruses and the severity of diseases associated with viral infection in humans. To answer these questions my research integrates clinical, virological, cellular, molecular and immunological approaches and a continued collaboration with researchers from other fields like medicine, epidemiology, entomology and statistics. The ultimate goal is to identify biomarkers of infection or disease severity that will be used to guide clinical management of patients, as well as to develop new effective treatments and vaccines.

Members of the López-Vergès group:

  • Yamilka Díaz (Biologist, investigator)
  • Josefrancisco Galué (Laboratory research assistant, project coordinator)
  • Yaneth Pitti (Laboratory research assistant)
  • Davis Beltrán (Medical Technologist, PhD Student Acharya Nagarjuna University in India)
  • Rita Corrales (Medical Technologist, laboratory research assistant)
  • Alejandra Valoy (Laboratory research assistant)
  • Madelaine Hernandez (Administrative project coordinator)

Publications:

Lopez-Verges Publications

  • Dr. López-Vergès Publication, please click this link to review.

    ORCID: 0000-0002-1106-8479

    1. Bolaños-Villegas P, Cabrerizo FM, Brown FD, Zancan P, Barrera JF, González-Muñoz PA, Grecco HE, Kalergis AM, Paula-Lima A, Vargas-Balda R, Gittens RA, López-Vergès S, Wilson CAM. Latin America: Reduced S&T Investment Puts Sustainable Development at Risk. ScienceOpen 2020. doi: 0.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-.PPBPKUJ.v3

    2. Díaz Y, Chen-Germán M, Quiroz E, Carrera JP, Cisneros J, Moreno B, Cerezo L, Martinez-Torres AO, Moreno L, Barahona de Mosca I, Armién B, Chen R, Vasilakis N, López-Vergès S*. Molecular Epidemiology of Dengue in Panama: 25 Years of Circulation. Viruses. 2019 Aug 20;11(8). pii: E764. doi: 10.3390/v11080764. PMID: 31434193

    3. McKechnie JL, Beltrán D, Pitti A, Saenz L, Araúz AB, Vergara R, Harris E, Lanier LL, Blish CA*, López-Vergès S*. HLA Upregulation During Dengue Virus Infection Suppresses the Natural Killer Cell Response. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019 Jul 23;9:268. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00268. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31396492.

    4. Pachar M*, Araúz D*, Gundacker N, Suarez M, Suarez J, Moreno B, López-Vergès S#, Araúz A#. Case report: Zika virus cerebellitis with complete clinical recovery. AJTMH. 2018 Nov;99(5):1318-1320. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.18-0261. PMID: 30255830,

    5. Soto-Garita C, Carrera J-P, López-Vergès S, Corrales-Aguilar E. Advances in clinical diagnosis and management of chikungunya virus infection. Curr Treat Options Infect Dis. 2018. doi: 10.1007/s40506-018-0172-x.

    6. Díaz Y, Cisneros J, Guzmán H, Cordoba P, Carrera JP, Moreno B, Chen R, Mewa JC, García L, Cerezo L, da Rosa AT, Gundacker ND, Armién B, Weaver SC, Vasilakis N, López-Verges S#, Tesh RB#. The reintroduction of DENV-2 in 2011 in Panama and subsequent outbreak characteristic. Acta Trop. 2018 Jan;177;58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.09.031. PMID: 28986247.

    7. Editorial: NK cells in human diseases: Friends or Foes? Vieillard V, Foley B, López-Vergès SL. Front Immunol. 2017 Dec 7;8:1737. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01737. eCollection 2017. Co-editor of the ebook on Special Topics: " NK cells in human diseases: Friends or Foes?", https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/4823/nk-cells-in-human-diseases-friends-or-foes. PMID: 29270178.

    8. Valderrama A, Díaz Y, López-Verges S. Interaction of Flavivirus with their mosquito vectors and their impact on the human health in the Americas. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Oct 28;492(4):541-547. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.05.050. PMID: 28499872.

    9. Ábrego LE, Delfraro A, Franco D, Castillo J, Castillo M, Moreno B, López-Vergès S, Pascale JM, Arbiza J. Genetic variability of human respiratory syncytial virus group B in Panama reveals a novel genotype BA14. Journal of Medical Virology. 2017 Oct;89(10):1734-1742. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24838. PMID: 28464479.

    10. Gundacker ND*, Carrera JP*, Castillo M, Díaz Y, Valenzuela J, Tamhane A, Moreno B, Pascale JM, Tesh RB, López-Vergès S. Clinical manifestations of Punta Toro virus species complex infections, Panama, 2009. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 May;23(5):872-874. doi: 10.3201/eid2305.161925. PMID: 28418305.

    11. Carrera J-P*, Díaz Y*, Denis B, Barahona de Mosca I, Rodriguez D, Cedeño I, Arauz D, González P, Cerezo L, Moreno L, García L, Sáenz LE, Atencio MA, Rojas-Fermin E, Vizcaino F, Perez N, Moreno B, López-Vergès S+, Valderrama A+, Armién B+. Unusual pattern of chikungunya virus epidemic in the Americas, the Panamanian experience. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 11(2): e0005338. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005338. PMID: 28222127.

    12. Crome SQ, Nguyen LT, Lopez-Verges S, Yang SY, Martin B, Yam JY, Johnson DJ, Nie J, Pniak M, Yen PH, Milea A, Sowamber R, Katz SR, Bernardini MQ, Clarke BA, Shaw PA, Lang PA, Berman HK, Pugh TJ, Lanier LL, Ohashi PS. A distinct innate lymphoid cell population regulates tumor-associated T cells. Nat Med. 2017 Mar;23(3):368-375. doi: 10.1038/nm.4278. PMID: 28165478.

    13. Araúz D, De Urriola L, Jones J, Castillo M, Martínez A, Murillo E, Troncoso L, Chen M, Abrego L, Armién B, Pascale JM, Sosa N, López-Verges S, Moreno B. Febrile or Exanthematous Illness Associated with Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya Viruses, Panama. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Aug;22(8):1515-7. doi: 10.3201/eid2208.160292. PMID: 27139219.

    14. Méndez-Ríos JD, López-Vergès S, Suárez JA, Moreno B, Vergès de López C, Méndez DE, Estripeaut D, González-Santamaría J, de Villareal G, Valderrama A, Cáceres L, Sosa N. Zika en Panamá y Latinoamérica: aspectos clínicos y moleculares de una problemática emergente. Revista Médica de Panamá 2015, 35(3):11-20. ISSN 2412-642X 35 (3).

    15. Carrera J-P, Guzman H, Beltrán D, Díaz Y, López-Vergès S, Torres-Cosme R, Popov V, Widen SG, Wood TG, Weaver SC, Cáceres-Carrera L, Vasilakis N, Tesh RB. Mercadeo virus: a novel mosquito-specific Flavivirus from Panama. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Nov;93(5):1014-9. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0117. PMID: 26304915.

    16. Diaz Y.*, Carrera J-P*., Cerezo L., Guerra I., Cisneros J., Armién B., Botello AM, Arauz AB, Gonzalez V., López Y, Moreno L., López-Vergès S., Moreno A. B. Chikungunya virus infection: First detection of imported and autochthonous cases in Panama. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Mar 4;92(3):482-5. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh. 14-0404. PMID: 25601996.

    17. Du J., Lopez-Verges S., Pitcher BN., Johnson J., Jung S-H., Zhou L., Hsu K., Czuczman MS., Cheson B., Kaplan L., Lanier LL., Venstrom, JM. CALGB 150905 (Alliance): Rituximab broadens the anti-lymphoma response by activating unlicensed NK cells. Cancer Immunology Research. 2014. Sep;2(9):878-89. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066. CIR-13-0158. PMID: 24958280.

    18. Beltrán D, López-Vergès S. NK cells during dengue disease and their recognition of dengue virus-infected cells. Frontiers in Immunology. 2014. May 5;5:192. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00192. Artículo de Revisión. PMID: 24829565.

    19. Moreno B., Díaz Y., Cisneros J., de Díaz G., Pascale JM., García M., López-Vergès S. Evaluación de ELISA de captura para NS1 como nueva herramienta del diagnóstico temprano de la infección por dengue en Panamá. Rev. Méd. Panamá. 2013. 33: (8-13).

    20. Milush JM., Lopez-Vergès S., York VA., Deeks SG., Martin JN., Hecht FM., Lanier LL., and Nixon DF. CD56negCD16+ NK cells are activated mature NK cells with impaired effector function during HIV-1 infection. Retrovirology. 2013 Dec 18; 10(1):158. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-10-158. PMID: 24351015.

    21. Carrera JP., Forrester N., Wang E., Vittor AY., Haddow A., López-Vergès S., Abadía I., Castaño E., Sosa N., Báez C., Estripeaut D., Díaz Y., Beltrán D., Cisneros J., Cedeño HG, Travassos Da Rosa AP., Hernandez H., Martínez Torres A., Tesh RB., Weaver SC. Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Latin America. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 22; 369 (8):732-44. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1212628. PMID: 23964935.

    22. Ndhlovu LC.*, Lopez-Vergès S.*, Barbour JD., Jones RB., Jha AR., Long BR., Schoeffler EC., Fujita T., Nixon DF., and Lanier LL. Tim-3 marks human natural killer cell maturation and supresses cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Blood. 2012 Apr 19;119(16):3734-43. Epub 2012 Mar 1. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-11-392951. PMID: 22383801.

    23. Foley B., Cooley S., Verneris MR., Pitt M., Curtsinger J., Luo X., Lopez-Vergès S., Lanier LL., Weisdorf D., and Miller JS. Cytomegalovirus reactivation after allogeneic transplantation promotes a lasting increase in educated NKG2C+ natural killer cells with potent function. Blood. 2012 Mar 15;119(11):2665-74. Epub 2011 Dec 16. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-10-386995. PMID: 22180440.

    24. Lopez-Vergès S., Milush JM., Schwartz BS., Pando MJ., Jarjoura J., York VA., Houchins JP., Miller S., Kang S-M., Norris PJ., Nixon DF., and Lanier LL. Expansion of a unique Natural Killer cell subset during acute human cytomegalovirus infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 6;108(36):14725-32. Epub 2011 Aug 8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1110900108. PMID: 21825173.

    25. Sun JC.*, Lopez-Vergès S.*, Kim CC., DeRisi JL. and Lanier LL. NK cells and immune "memory". J Immunol. 2011 Feb 15;186(4):1891-7. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003035. Artículo de Revisión. PMID: 21289313.

    26. Lopez-Vergès S., Milush JM., Pandey S., York VA., Arakawa-Hyot J., Pircher H., Norris PJ., Nixon DF. and Lanier LL. CD57 defines a functionally distinct population of mature NK cells in the human CD56dimCD16+ NK cell subset. Blood. 2010 Nov 11;116(19):3865-74. Epub 2010 Aug 23. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-04-282301. PMID: 20733159.

    27. Bauby, H.*, Lopez-Vergès, S.*, Hoeffel, G., Delcroix-Genete, D., Janvier, K., Mammano, F., Hosmalin, A. and Berlioz-Torrent C. TIP47 is required for the production of infectious HIV-1 viruses from primary macrophages. Traffic. 2010 Apr;11(4):455-67. Epub 2010 Jan 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2010.01036.x. PMID: 20070608.

    28. Bauby H., Lopez-Vergès S. and Berlioz-Torrent C. TIP47, un cofacteur cellulaire essentiel à l'incorporation de la glycoprotéine d'enveloppe du VIH-1 dans la particule virale. Virologie. 2008, Vol 12, N 3. doi: 10.1684/vir.2008.0172. Artículo de Revisión (en Francés).

    29. Camus, G.*, Segura-Morales, C.*, Molle, D., Lopez-Vergès, S., Begon-Pescia, C., Cazevieille, C., Schu, P., Bertrand, E., Berlioz-Torrent, C. and Basyuk E. The clathrin adaptor complex AP-1 binds HIV-1 and MLV Gag and facilitates their budding. Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Aug;18(8):3193-203. Epub 2007 May 30. PMID: 17538020.

    30. Estrabaud, E.*, Le Rouzic, E.*, Lopez-Vergès, S., Morel, M., Belaïdouni, N., Benarous, R., Transy, C., Berlioz-Torrent, C. and Margottin-Goguet F. Regulated degradation of the HIV-1 Vpu protein through a TrCP-independent pathway limits the release of viral particles. PLoS Pathog. 2007 Jul 27;3(7):e104. PMID: 17676996.

    31. Blot, G.*, Lopez-Vergès, S.*, Tréand, C., Kubat, NJ., Delcroix-Genête, D., Emiliani, S., Benarous, R. and Berlioz-Torrent C. Luman, a new partner of HIV-1 TMgp41, interferes with Tat-mediated transcription of HIV-1 LTR. J. Mol. Biol., 2006 Dec 15;364(5):1034-47. Epub 2006 Oct 3. PMID: 17054986.

    32. Lopez-Vergès, S., Camus, G., Blot, G., Beauvoir, R., Benarous, R. and Berlioz-Torrent C. Tail-interacting protein TIP47 is a connector between Gag and Env and is required for Env incorporation into HIV-1 virions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Oct 3;103(40):14947-52. Epub 2006 Sep 26. PMID: 17003132.

    33. Blot, V.*, Lopez-Vergès, S.*, Breton, M., Pique, C., Berlioz-Torrent, C. and Grange M-P. The conserved dileucine- and tyrosine-based motifs in MLV and MPMV envelope glycoproteins are both important to regulate a common Env intracellular trafficking. Retrovirology. 2006 Sep 15;3:62. PMID: 16978406.

    *Co-first authors.
    #Co-corresponding authors.
    +Co-senior authors.


Panama Team

 

 


CREATE-NEO members

The Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Disease (CREID) is a coordinated network with centers in regions around the globe where emerging and re-emerging infectious disease outbreaks are likely to occur. Multidisciplinary teams of investigators will conduct pathogen/host surveillance, study pathogen transmission, pathogenesis and immunologic responses in the host, and will develop reagents and diagnostic assays for improved detection for important emerging pathogens and their vectors.


NIAID launched the CREID Network in 2020.This website is run by CREATE-NEO, a member of the CREID Network independent of NIH/NIAID.