Maritza Quintero's research is focused on early steps in Ebola virus infection. Because viruses are intracellular parasites; they must get inside a cell to establish infection. Viruses hijack natural cellular processes to do this, so by investigating the molecular mechanisms involved, we can not only attempt to design drugs to block virus entry, but we also learn a lot about cell biology and biochemical pathways. She works at Texas Biomedical Research Institute to identify a host factor important to Ebola infection. Using various siRNA, mutants and small molecule inhibitors we validated our observation that this protein is required for Ebola virus infection. To examine this further, we made Ebola Virus-like Particles (VLPs) to examine this virus – host relationship more carefully. She uses biochemistry and quantitative microscopy to track Ebola VLPs as they enter and traffic inside cells.
Hibbs Prize, 2019
M. Phil., Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, 2014
B.S., Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2011