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Adelfa E. Serrano
Title Professor
Faculty Rank
Degree BS, MS, PhD
Institution University of Puerto Rico
Department Microbiology & Medical Zoology
Clusters Infectious and Immunological Diseases
UPR-Medical Sciences Campus
School of Medicine
Dept of Microbiology & Medical Zoology
PO Box 365067
City San Juan
State PR
Postal Code 00936-5067
Telephone 787-758-2525, x-1313
Fax 787-756-7110
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Awards and Honors icon

1996 Madrid, España “El Médico” Award, XIII Edition, Best Medical Book 1st. prize
2005 National Institutes of Health Extramural Associates Summer Institute for MBRS PIs
2006 San Juan Chapter President of the Sigma Xi Scientific Society
2007 Unesco Association Medal Distinguished Scientist
2007 Puerto Rico Society of Microbiologists Dr. Arturo L. Carrión Memorial Lecturer
2007 Academy of Arts and Sciences of PR Named Distinguish Scientist

Narrative icon

  Adelfa E. Serrano is Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology, University of Puerto Rico-School of Medicine. She is Director of the Molecular Biology of Malaria Parasites Research Laboratory focusing on the elucidation of the molecular basis of Plasmodium drug resistance in the rodent malaria model, Plasmodium berghei. Her group also works in the identification of novel targets for therapeutic interventions using reverse genetics and the identification of genes essential for devel-opment in both the vertebrate and the mosquito host. In addition, her laboratory regularly conducts in vivo testing of potential anti-malarials in P. berghei. Currently, Dr. Serrano collaborates with top inves-tigators in the field such as the Leiden Malaria Research Group from Leiden University, The Nether-lands; the Malaria Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University and Genzyme, Boston.
Dr. Serrano earned her doctoral degree at The University of Georgia (Athens, GA) in parasite immunol-ogy and vaccines. Subsequently, she received her post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Pub-lic Health, Department of Tropical Public Health, working on the molecular biology of Plasmodium. She joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine where she has trained professional, undergraduate and graduate students. In ad-dition, she has published high- impact research findings in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Serrano also co-coordinates the Center for Molecular Genetics and Infectious Disease Research Program (CMGIDR) and directs the Infectious Diseases Component in this center. The goal of the CMGIDR is to develop and strengthen a collaborative research environment that will enable high-quality biomedical research in molecular genetics and infectious diseases at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus.

Publications icon

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1. Colón-Lorenzo EE, Colón-López DD, Vega-Rodríguez J, Dupin A, Fidock DA, Baerga-Ortiz A, Ortiz JG, Bosch J, Serrano AE. Structure-Based Screening of Plasmodium berghei Glutathione S-Transferase Identifies CB-27 as a Novel Antiplasmodial Compound. Front Pharmacol. 2020; 11:246.
2. Mayo-Santana R, Rabionet SE, Peña-Carro L, Serrano AE. Marvels and Shadows: Science and Education at the University of Puerto Rico School of Tropical Medicine under the Auspices of Columbia University: An Introduction. P R Health Sci J. 2016 Jun; 35(2):49-52.
3. Padín-Irizarry V, Colón-Lorenzo EE, Vega-Rodríguez J, Castro Mdel R, González-Méndez R, Ayala-Peña S, Serrano AE. Glutathione-deficient Plasmodium berghei parasites exhibit growth delay and nuclear DNA damage. Free Radic Biol Med. 2016 06; 95:43-54.
4. Rijpma SR, van der Velden M, González-Pons M, Annoura T, van Schaijk BC, van Gemert GJ, van den Heuvel JJ, Ramesar J, Chevalley-Maurel S, Ploemen IH, Khan SM, Franetich JF, Mazier D, de Wilt JH, Serrano AE, Russel FG, Janse CJ, Sauerwein RW, Koenderink JB, Franke-Fayard BM. Multidrug ATP-binding cassette transporters are essential for hepatic development of Plasmodium sporozoites. Cell Microbiol. 2016 Mar; 18(3):369-83.
5. Vega-Rodríguez J, Pastrana-Mena R, Crespo-Lladó KN, Ortiz JG, Ferrer-Rodríguez I, Serrano AE. Implications of Glutathione Levels in the Plasmodium berghei Response to Chloroquine and Artemisinin. PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0128212.
6. Comer E, Beaudoin JA, Kato N, Fitzgerald ME, Heidebrecht RW, Lee Md, Masi D, Mercier M, Mulrooney C, Muncipinto G, Rowley A, Crespo-Llado K, Serrano AE, Lukens AK, Wiegand RC, Wirth DF, Palmer MA, Foley MA, Munoz B, Scherer CA, Duvall JR, Schreiber SL. Diversity-oriented synthesis-facilitated medicinal chemistry: toward the development of novel antimalarial agents. J Med Chem. 2014 Oct 23; 57(20):8496-502.
7. le Roux D, Burger PB, Niemand J, Grobler A, Urbán P, Fernàndez-Busquets X, Barker RH, Serrano AE, I Louw A, Birkholtz LM. Novel S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase inhibitors as potent antiproliferative agents against intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist. 2014 Apr; 4(1):28-36.
8. Dong CK, Urgaonkar S, Cortese JF, Gamo FJ, Garcia-Bustos JF, Lafuente MJ, Patel V, Ross L, Coleman BI, Derbyshire ER, Clish CB, Serrano AE, Cromwell M, Barker RH, Dvorin JD, Duraisingh MT, Wirth DF, Clardy J, Mazitschek R. Identification and validation of tetracyclic benzothiazepines as Plasmodium falciparum cytochrome bc1 inhibitors. Chem Biol. 2011 Dec 23; 18(12):1602-10.
9. Gerena Y, Gonzalez-Pons M, Serrano AE. Cytofluorometric detection of rodent malaria parasites using red-excited fluorescent dyes. Cytometry A. 2011 Nov; 79(11):965-72.
10. Barker RH, Urgaonkar S, Mazitschek R, Celatka C, Skerlj R, Cortese JF, Tyndall E, Liu H, Cromwell M, Sidhu AB, Guerrero-Bravo JE, Crespo-Llado KN, Serrano AE, Lin JW, Janse CJ, Khan SM, Duraisingh M, Coleman BI, Angulo-Barturen I, Jiménez-Díaz MB, Magán N, Gomez V, Ferrer S, Martínez MS, Wittlin S, Papastogiannidis P, O''Shea T, Klinger JD, Bree M, Lee E, Levine M, Wiegand RC, Munoz B, Wirth DF, Clardy J, Bathurst I, Sybertz E. Aminoindoles, a novel scaffold with potent activity against Plasmodium falciparum. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jun; 55(6):2612-22.
11. Urgaonkar S, Cortese JF, Barker RH, Cromwell M, Serrano AE, Wirth DF, Clardy J, Mazitschek R. A concise silylamine approach to 2-amino-3-hydroxy-indoles with potent in vivo antimalaria activity. Org Lett. 2010 Sep 17; 12(18):3998-4001.
12. Booker ML, Bastos CM, Kramer ML, Barker RH, Skerlj R, Sidhu AB, Deng X, Celatka C, Cortese JF, Guerrero Bravo JE, Crespo Llado KN, Serrano AE, Angulo-Barturen I, Jiménez-Díaz MB, Viera S, Garuti H, Wittlin S, Papastogiannidis P, Lin JW, Janse CJ, Khan SM, Duraisingh M, Coleman B, Goldsmith EJ, Phillips MA, Munoz B, Wirth DF, Klinger JD, Wiegand R, Sybertz E. Novel inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase with anti-malarial activity in the mouse model. J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 22; 285(43):33054-64.
13. Pastrana-Mena R, Dinglasan RR, Franke-Fayard B, Vega-Rodríguez J, Fuentes-Caraballo M, Baerga-Ortiz A, Coppens I, Jacobs-Lorena M, Janse CJ, Serrano AE. Glutathione reductase-null malaria parasites have normal blood stage growth but arrest during development in the mosquito. J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 27; 285(35):27045-56.
14. Vega-Rodríguez J, Franke-Fayard B, Dinglasan RR, Janse CJ, Pastrana-Mena R, Waters AP, Coppens I, Rodríguez-Orengo JF, Srinivasan P, Jacobs-Lorena M, Serrano AE. The glutathione biosynthetic pathway of Plasmodium is essential for mosquito transmission. PLoS Pathog. 2009 Feb; 5(2):e1000302.
15. González-Pons M, Szeto AC, González-Méndez R, Serrano AE. Identification and bioinformatic characterization of a multidrug resistance associated protein (ABCC) gene in Plasmodium berghei. Malar J. 2009 Jan 02; 8:1.
16. Ferrer-Rodríguez I, Pérez-Rosado J, Gervais GW, Peters W, Robinson BL, Serrano AE. Plasmodium yoelii: identification and partial characterization of an MDR1 gene in an artemisinin-resistant line. J Parasitol. 2004 Feb; 90(1):152-60.
17. Szeto AC, Pérez-Rosado J, Ferrer-Rodríguez I, Vega J, Torruella-Thillet C, Serrano AE. Identification and expression analysis of ABC genes in Plasmodium yoelii and P. berghei. Parasitol Res. 2004 Jan; 92(1):1-11.
18. Pérez-Rosado J, Gervais GW, Ferrer-Rodríguez I, Peters W, Serrano AE. Plasmodium berghei: analysis of the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase gene in drug-resistant lines. Exp Parasitol. 2002 Aug; 101(4):175-82.
19. Carrasquilla G, Banguero M, Sanchez P, Carvajal F, Barker RH, Gervais GW, Algarin E, Serrano AE. Epidemiologic tools for malaria surveillance in an urban setting of low endemicity along the Colombian Pacific coast. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2000 Jan; 62(1):132-7.
20. Ferrer-Rodríguez I, Vázquez GJ, Córdova GJ, Serrano AE. Diagnosis of malaria by polymerase chain reaction. P R Health Sci J. 1999 Jun; 18(2):99-103.
21. Gervais GW, Trujillo K, Robinson BL, Peters W, Serrano AE. Plasmodium berghei: identification of an mdr-like gene associated with drug resistance. Exp Parasitol. 1999 Jan; 91(1):86-92.
22. Serrano AE, Robinson BL, Peters W, Trujillo-Nevárez K. Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii: molecular karyotypes of drug-resistant lines. Exp Parasitol. 1999 Jan; 91(1):93-6.
23. Wilson CM, Serrano AE, Wasley A, Bogenschutz MP, Shankar AH, Wirth DF. Amplification of a gene related to mammalian mdr genes in drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Science. 1989 Jun 09; 244(4909):1184-6.
24. Hillyer GV, Serrano AE. Fractionation of Fasciola hepatica tegument antigens and their application to the serodiagnosis of experimental fascioliasis by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. J Helminthol. 1986 Sep; 60(3):173-8.
25. Hillyer GV, Serrano AE. The antigens of Paragonimus westermani, Schistosoma mansoni, and Fasciola hepatica adult worms. Evidence for the presence of cross-reactive antigens and for cross-protection to Schistosoma mansoni infection using antigens of Paragonimus westermani. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1983 Mar; 32(2):350-8.
26. Hillyer GV, Serrano AE. Cross protection in infections due to Schistosoma mansoni using tegument antigens of Fasciola hepatica. J Infect Dis. 1982 May; 145(5):728-32.

Original Articles icon


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1. Colón-Lorenzo EE, Serrano AE, Nicholas Jr. HB, Wymore T, Ropelewski AJ, González-Méndez R. The Plasmodium Glutathione S-transferase: Bioinformatics Characterization and Classification into the Sigma Class. Proceedings of Bioinformatics 2010, 1st International Conference on Bioinformatics. 2010; 173-180.

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