Search our Site

Our innovative technology and resources were designed to foster a broad range of infectious and chronic disease scientific research. These projects are connected by our commitment to apply a comprehensive approach to tackle large and complex global health challenges.

research 011
 
 

 
Lead Researcher: Luciana Armijos M.D.
Research Area: Emerging diseases.

Given the impact they have on the population, emerging diseases are a priority on health agendas around the world. Among these, the most relevant in recent decades have been the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, vector-borne diseases such as Dengue, influenza, etc. The pandemic declared in 2020 by COVID-19 disease set a precedent in the way in which an emerging disease can change the world. The in-depth study of this disease is crucial to understand what we are facing and make the best possible clinical, political and epidemiological decisions.

Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups.
 
 
Lead Researcher: Esteban Baus C., MA.
Research Area: Healthy Living Initiative: a model for the sustainable prevention of Chagas disease, Biodiversity Conservation, Scientific Communication.

To control or prevent poverty or neglected diseases, like Chagas disease, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach is important, which is how the “Healthy Living Initiative” was created. With the participation of architects, sociologists, communication specialists, biologists, and social development promoters, among others, the biological, social, and environmental determinants were able to be understood as well as the community’s dynamics, its needs, and its strengths regarding its own development. Through the “Healthy Homes for Healthy Living” strategy, we have developed, with the community’s participation, healthy environments that constitute real physical barriers between triatomines and those who live in Loja Province’s rural areas.

Through the lab “ComCiencia: link between science and the community,” we work to increase awareness of how the academic world solves our society’s problems. Scientific dissemination supported by digital tools allows us to connect these two worlds in a creative, interesting, and fun way.

Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups; Biodiversity conservation; Education, Communication, cultures and society. 

 

 
Lead Researcher: Rosa Chiriboga, MPH.
Research Area: Blood Banks Reference Unit (URBS).
The Blood Bank Referral Unit in CISeAL contains an International ISO certificate (9001:2015),The Blood Bank Referral Unit in CISeAL contains an International ISO certificate (9001:2015),which permits us to maintain a Quality Management System to develop external evaluationprograms of the performance and internal controls for serological screening of the Blood BankServices of the country that are part of the Integral Public Health Network and theComplementary Private Network, with the goal of support the National Blood Program.Additionally, we provide technical assistance and ongoing training to the Blood Services of thecountry.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
 
Research area: Trypanosoma cruzi host/parasite interactions and epidemiology of Chagas disease in Ecuador.
We focus on the biology of Trypanosoma cruzi, including its interaction with non-phagocytic mammalian host cells and the progression of the parasite´s intracellular cycle. Additionally, we study the epidemiology of T. cruzi in Ecuador, including the parasite´s genetic diversity and transmission patterns in different geographic regions, to facilitate the design of sound Chagas disease-control strategies in the country. We also participate in studies aimed at anti-T. cruzi drug development.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
 
Lead Researcher: Ana María Gómez J. MD.
Research Area: Evidence-Based Medicine applied to Infectious Diseases. HIV virus resistance.
In low-income countries, resistance to 1st-line antiretrovirals (ARVs) is increasing, being a growing trend in Latin America. There is a need to incorporate genotypic resistance testing in HIV positive patients as a routine health surveillance strategy in these countries. We intend to perform a genotypic resistance analysis against the 1st and 2nd line ARVs both in naive patients and in those treated for virological failure, who have developed clinical complications. Because new cases of HIV in the country have increased in recent years, it is essential to know the real situation of the PLWHA population (People living with HIV/AIDS) in Ecuador.
Line of research: Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
 
Lead Researcher: Mario J. Grijalva, Ph.D.
Research Area: Healthy Living Initiative: a model for the sustainable prevention of Chagas disease.
We aim at developing multidisciplinary research projects that improve our understanding of structural circumstances related to the occurrence of chronic and infectious diseases. Through the Healthy Living Initiative, we seek to implement our knowledge in socio-economic, behavioral, and cultural aspects of communities exposed to Chagas disease in southern Ecuador, and in the development of sustainable initiatives to combat and control Chagas disease and other illnesses affecting neglected populations. We intend to bridge the theory-practice gap, and to apply scientific and local knowledge in the developing of community-impact projects that advance family and individual health and wellbeing. Particularly, our strategy “Healthy Homes for Healthy Living” has enabled us to develop sustainable environments that avoid the presence of triatomines in rural homes, considering rural conditions and resources available in local communities.
Line of research: Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
Research Area: Immunizations / Immuno-preventable diseases / Health technology assessment / Economic evaluations in health.
Immunization is one of the most important prevention strategies in public health, which avoids and reduces the appearance of infectious diseases in millions of people around the world. Immunization is considered one of the most cost-effective health technologies. We research the burden of the disease and the associated costs of immunopreventable diseases at the ambulatory and hospital level. We also estimate the clinical and economic impact of vaccines for the context of Ecuador and Latin America. With the introduction of new vaccines to the Ecuadorian immunization scheme, we carry out cost-effectiveness studies as an input for decision-making in health.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
Lead Researcher: Sylvia Jiménez Riofrío, MPhil.
Research Area: Development of new research methodologies applied to the generation of healthy environments.
Our research focuses on urban design and sustainable architecture with an emphasis on the performance of the built environment for comfort and health. In collaboration with other disciplines, we developed the Healthy Living Initiative, which, through changes in the housing infrastructure in southern Ecuador, seeks to generate a model for the prevention of Chagas Disease that can be replicated on a national scale.
 
 
Lead Researcher: Ana Lucía Moncayo, Ph.D.
Research Area: Public Health, Epidemiology of infectious diseases, Evaluation of public health policies, Malnutrition in children.
We research the biological, socioeconomic, and environmental determinants of chronic and infectious diseases with the goal of allowing public health officials to incorporate scientific evidence into their decision-making, policy development, and program implementation. We also work on public health policy and program evaluation so that authorities can understand the effectiveness of their programs and, in this way, better guide their processes of improvement.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
  
 
Lead Researcher: Carolina Portero, Mtr.
Research Area: Bio-Prospection.
At the Plant Biotechnology Lab we work to identify the added value of the Ecuadorian Biodiversity. We focus on the Discovery of new biocompounds found in endophitic fungi associated with different Ecuadorian ecosystems. We detect compounds antibiotic, antifungal and antiparasitic activity using standarized biological screening methods. We aim to detect que chemical compounds responsable for such activity using techniques such as HPLC, Mass Spectrophotometry, Magnetic Resonance, in collaboration with several international institutions.
Line of research (PUCE): Biodiversity conservation. 
 
 
External Researcher: Marco Neira, Ph.D.
Research Area: Biology, Physiology, and Control of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of medical interest.
The group of insects commonly known as “mosquitoes” (Diptera: Culicidae) encompasses some of the most relevant insect species from the public health perspective, largely due to their role in infectious disease transmission. Our group's research focuses in the biology, physiology and control of medically important mosquito species, with particular emphasis on Aedes aegypti, species responsible for the transmission of dengue, chikungunya, Zika and other diseases.
Through collaborative and inter-disciplinary studies, our lab explores the interactions between mosquitoes, their associated pathogens, the environment and human beings.
 
 
 
Lead researcher: Sofía Ocaña Mayorga, PhD.
Research area: Dynamics and interactions between parasite-vector-host. 
Our research focuses on the dynamics and interactions between parasite-vector-host, which have a role in the transmission of infectious diseases, particularly, in cases of Chagas and Malaria. Our goal is to understand transmission cycles of Chagas disease in different ecological environments, molecular genetics of parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli and the role of mammal hosts in the connections between transmission cycles. Our research in Malaria focuses in the biology of vectors in terms of diversity and use of molecular methods for its identification. In addition, we also use geometric morphometry to identify populations and to determine the resistance to insecticides.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups.
 
 
Lead Researcher: Miryan Rivera, Mtr.
Research Area: Cytogenetics and amphibian biomolecules.
We focus on the analysis of Ecuadorian amphibian’s skins secretions with the purpose of determining its possible biomedical implications. The “in vitro” results achieved until now, allowed to determine that these secretions are capable of inhibit multi-resistant bacteria growth, fungi growth, malignant cells of acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lung cancer, without causing any harm to healthy cells. In addition, we carry out cytogenetic analyzes of Ecuadorian amphibian species, for taxonomic purposes.
 
Lead Researcher: Fabián Sáenz, Ph.D.
Research Area: Molecular epidemiology of the malaria parasite.
Our research projects focus on the molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium, the parasite causing malaria. We are interested in examining the importance of asymptomatic cases in the persistence of malaria outbreaks in Ecuador, Plasmodium resistance to anti-malaria medicines, and the genetics of Plasmodium populations to determine their origin and mobility. Analyzing these topics is key to contribute to the elimination of malaria in Ecuador.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
Research Area: Health technology assessment / Rational use of medicines / Economic evaluations in health / Pharmaco-economics.

Under a systematic process of valuation of properties, we research the effects and impacts of sanitary technologies. By assessing its medical, social, ethical and economic dimensions, our main objective is to generate information to be applied in decision-making in the health field. We focus on the evaluation of different aspects related to the benefits and costs of health, such as: cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility ratio.

Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
 
Lead Researchers: Anita Villacís, PhD.
Research Area: Science applied to the prevention and control of Chagas disease. Studies of Biology, ecology, antennal phenotype, morphometry and genetic diversity of Triatomines.
This area of CISeAL is in charge of the collection, identification, taxonomic classification, supervision, and maintenance of triatomine colonies. We conduct studies on life cycles, antennal phenotype, geometric morphometrics, and molecular analysis of triatomine species genetic diversity. Also, we develop molecular models of the infectious agent causing Chagas disease. We also provide consulting services and support for Chagas disease prevention campaigns in rural communities through health promotion strategies designed to be delivered in the home that include educational materials, such as brochures and digital games.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups. 
 
 
 
Lead Researcher: César Yumiseva, Mtr.
Research Area: Diseases Ecology, Spatial Ecology, Spatial Epidemiology, Geostatistics and Ecological Niche Models.
We work in collaboration with other units at CISeAL in the design of data management plans for each project, as well as in evaluating its effectiveness.  We offer support to different units of PUCE in the development of their projects and data management. We also work in the application of Geographical Information Systems in the ecology and epidemiology of diseases by developing predictive maps and models that allow improving vectors control.
Line of research (PUCE): Health and vulnerable groups.