Microbiology, Immunology and Infection

Basic researchers and medical specialists are integrated to meet the common general objective of translational research in microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases. An omics approach is applied to the studies of microbial system models in order to optimize the diagnostic, therapeutic, prognostic and preventive approaches of infectious diseases. All this combined aims to improve the surveillance of health problems in the field of infection and also disease prevention.

Leaders

  • Dr. Rafael Cantón Moreno

    Dr. Rafael Cantón Moreno

    Rafael Cantón is Head of the Clinical Microbiology Department of the Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal (Madrid, Spain) and Associate Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain). His research activity is developed within the Spanish Network for Research in Infectious Pathology (REIPI, http://reipi.org/) and the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (IRYCIS, http:// www.irycis.org).

    His clinical and research work focuses on antimicrobial susceptibility testing, antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and their relationship with the spread of high-risk clones and respiratory tract infections (mainly in patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis). He has published more than 550 articles in medical journals, 58 book chapters and has given numerous communications at international meetings and congresses. His H-factor is 70 with more than 21,000 citations (April 2021). He has been principal investigator (PI) of 8 international, 7 national and 1 regional projects since 2001. He is currently developing as PI two IMI projects (iABC, COMBACTE-Care) funded by the EU and one project by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI19-01043). He is Clinical Data Coordinator of the European Committee of Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) and member of the advisory board of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR). He is also an active member of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) and the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC). He has been Scientific Secretary of the Spanish Bureau for the Standardisation of Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Resistance (MENSURA, 1990-2007), Founding President of the Study Group on Mechanisms of Action and Antimicrobial Resistance (GEMARA) of SEIMC (2000-2005), Vice-President of the National Commission of the Specialty of Microbiology and Parasitology (2007-2014), President of the Madrid Society of Clinical Microbiology (SMMC) (2009-2012), ad hoc member of the Executive Committee of ESCMID (2012-2016), President of the European Committee for Antimicrobial Sensitivity Testing (EUCAST) (2012-2016), member of the Spanish Committee on Antimicrobials (COESANT, 2012-2019), President of the SEIMC (2016-2017), associate editor of the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection for eight years and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology for ten years. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the journals: Microbial Drug Resistant, Drug Resistance Updates, Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica and Revista Española de Quimioterapia. He is editor of the Clinical Microbiology Procedures of the SEIMC (www.seimc.org).

    Contact: rafael.canton(ELIMINAR)@salud.madrid.org

    Twitter: @RafaMCanton

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    Dr. Rafael Cantón Moreno

    Head of Microbiology Service

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  • Dr. Sergio Serrano Villar

    Dr. Sergio Serrano Villar

    I am an infectious diseases physician at Hospital Ramón y Cajal. I completed the specialty of Internal Medicine at the Hospital Clínico San Carlos, where I received the Excellence Award for residents. I received my PhD with European mention in 2011 at the Complutense University. During 2013, I completed a post-doctoral stay at the University of San Francisco. I have received training in clinical research through the Rio Hortega and Juan Rodés programs of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. My two main areas of research focus on the persistence of immune deficits in HIV patients and on the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of the microbiome.

    In the field of HIV immunopathogenesis, my scientific contributions have allowed to establish the usefulness of two new prognostic markers, CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratio and CD8 lymphocyte counts, as well as to better understand the effect of antiretroviral treatment on these markers (Lancet HIV 2021). This line of work has had a strong impact on the HIV field, leading to changes in the recommendations of Spanish and European clinical practice guidelines, which has allowed me to open new lines of research and form my own group.

    In the field of the microbiome, my work has advanced our knowledge of the connections between the intestinal microbiota, the immune response to antiretroviral treatment and the pathogenesis of cancer. I have led clinical trials in HIV patients aimed at understanding the immunological effects of manipulating the microbiome with prebiotics, probiotics or microbiota transplants (Nature Communications 2021). In addition, I am the coordinator of an international ERANET-H2020 project where we aim to improve the current anal cancer screening strategy through by leveraging the changes on the microbiome induced by papillomavirus-associated precancerous lesions into a diagnostic tool. More recently, I have expanded my areas of interest to other projects that I coordinate in close collaboration with other areas of IRYCIS: 1) the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and 2) the influence of the microbiome on the response to immunotherapy in cancer patients.

    These lines of work have been supported by competitive calls for projects and human resources in which I have obtained overlapping funding. I am the author of more than 80 publications, 60 of them in the first quartile or decile, including highly cited articles as lead author (PLoS Pathogens 2014, >450 citations), which has offered me the opportunity to apply for two European patents, supervise 4 PhD theses, participate in the editorial board of scientific journals (Frontiers in Immunology and Nutrients), receive young researcher awards (SEMI; SEIMC-GESIDA; Symposio SI) and international recognition, being regularly invited as speaker at international congresses and scientific meetings.

    Contact: sergio.serrano(ELIMINAR)@salud.madrid.org

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    Dr. Sergio Serrano Villar

    Infectious Diseases physician

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