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Meet Our California Scientists Valeria Judkowski
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Valeria Judkowski

Valeria JudkowskiTorreyPinesInstituteCA

Assistant Member
T-Cell Epitope &
Drug Discovery

858.597.3869 - phone
858.597.3804 - fax
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The main focus of my research is the discovery of novel immunological modulators and the understanding of their mechanisms in the regulation of the immune response. Our work includes the identification of novel antigens involved in the activation of autoimmune and anti-tumoral T cells, the identification of non-peptide molecules to control disease pathways and the identification of proteins from human pathogens that could improve diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases. Current projects involve: 1- the identification and characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi antigens recognized by human recombinant antibodies derived from patients with Chagas disease, a prominent human health problem in Central and South America and 2- the evaluation of tumor antigens as tools to trigger therapeutic immune responses in cancer. Importantly, our research takes advantage of the great collection of synthetic combinatorial libraries designed and synthesized here at Torrey Pines. A number of our projects involve collaborations with scientists in the United States, Europe and South America and are developed closely with my long and outstanding collaborator in this area, Dr. Clemencia Pinilla, here at Torrey Pines.

Dr. Valeria A. Judkowski received a Master of Science in Molecular Biology from the “Universidad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales de Buenos Aires”, Argentina, in 1998 and that same year, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Darcy Wilson here at TPIMS to work on the identification of peptide ligands specific for a diabetogenic CD4+ T cell population and their potential use to treat Type 1 diabetes. Her work at Dr. Wilson laboratory was the basis of her Thesis Defense in 2002 and   she received her Ph.D. degree with honors. In 2002. after her stage in TPIMS, she was invited to join the laboratory of Dr. Nora Sarventick at The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, CA as a post-doctoral fellow. There, she focused her studies on 1- The understanding how virus infection lead to the development of Type 1 Diabetes and 2- the In vivo evaluation of peptide ligands in the therapeutics of Type 1 Diabetes. For personal reasons in 2004, Valeria moved with her husband and two daughters to France for 4 years. In February 2008, Valeria was invited to re-join TPIMS as an assistant member.

Education

  • 1995 - B.A. Biology. Faculty of Exact & Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Grade Point Average: 8.7 (scale: 0 to 10).
  • 1997 - M.S. Molecular Biology. Faculty of Exact & Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. Grade Point Average: 10 (scale: 0 to 10).
  • 2002 - Ph.D. Immunology. Program between University of California San Diego, Faculty of Exact & Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires and Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, CA, USA. Grade Point Average: 10 (scale: 0 to 10).
  • 2002-2004 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute, department of Immunology, La Jolla, California, USA. Laboratory of Pr. Nora Sarvetnick.
  • 2005-2007 - Research Scientist. Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), France.
  • 2008 to present - Assistant Member, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, CA, USA

Positions

2008 - Present: Assistant Member, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, California

2002 - 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, California

1998-2002: Predoctoral fellow, The Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego, CA, USA. Laboratory of Dr. Darcy Wilson and Faculty of Exact & Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. Doctoral Thesis title: “Identification of peptide ligands specific for a diabetogenic CD4+ T cell population and evaluation of their use to treat Type 1 diabetes.”

Professional Affiliations

2009 - Present:The American Association of Immunologists

Honors & Awards

1998: Award granted by “Fundación de la Hemofilia”. A large proportion of hemophilic patients transfused with clotting factor concentrates between 1978 and 1984 became infected with different viruses. The Institute of Hematological Investigations, “M. R. Castex” functions as the Reference Center in Argentine for hemophiliac people. The aim of my project was to characterize the response to therapy in these patients.

Patents