Laboratory Technician specialty Clinical Chemistry, Amersfoort-The Netherlands1977
Laboratory Technician specialty Anatomy Pathology, Asturias -Spain 1996.
You could say that I have studied practically in the Netherlands. My parents were Spanish immigrants in that country and after a few years of living separate, they decided to join the family and this it is how I, when was twelve years old, had to integrate into Dutch society.
Just when I finished secondary school , a new School for Technical Education was opened in the city where we lived. They had all the specialties of laboratory. I started with Organic Chemistry and after a year I switched to the Clinic. I loved it from the first moment, the training was excellent.
When I finished my studies, I worked 4 years in the hospital where I did the practices and it was in 1980 when I came into contact for the first time with "the Research" at the University of Utrecht. I spent 5 years working in the laboratory of Endocrinology in the field of breast cancer (I have developed the first tests of estrogen and progesterone receptors in tumor tissue using RIA). At that time, they had already mounted at the University a network for early detection of breast cancer and I participated actively in many areas.
Back in Spain, in the 1990s, I started working in the laboratory of pathological anatomy of the Hospital of Jove in Gijón (Asturias). There I participated in some trials for a doctoral thesis developing techniques of Immunohistochemistry
The ups and downs of the fate brought me to Madrid in 1996 and I had the good fortune of starting work at the Hospital Carlos III, who at that time was the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. After a brief stint in the emergency laboratory of the Hospital, I managed to enter in "The Research" in the laboratory of Molecular Biology. There I started working with HIV. I learned all the molecular biology techniques hand in hand with Dra. Africa Holguin and we specialize in determining the different subtypes of HIV that existed in Spain in collaboration with the Centre Sandoval in Madrid.
After 7 years in the Hospital Carlos III, I went to work in the National Centre of Microbiology at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. I continued with HIV research in the laboratory of Immunopathology of AIDS. There, under supervision of Dr. Alcamí , I learned new techniques such as cloning and sequencing of viral env, viral culture, in vitro determination of viral tropism, detection of neutralizing antibodies, analysis of compounds with antiviral effect etc.
I can say that, after all these years, I still love work in the laboratory and I am lucky to have the job that I really like.