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VeConVen  & partners news & events

Find the lastest news & upcoming events from VeConVen & partners, as well as Venezuela public health journalism.

News on Venezuela public health

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"River Blindness Elimination Veteran Receives Hemingway Award"

It is the title of the Carter Center article about our member Professor Maria Eugenia Grillet on her receipt of the 2021 Hemingway Award, given by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. You can find all the article on the following link.

On October 7th 2021 we received the new that our member Professor Maria Eugenia Grillet is the recipient of the 2021 Hemingway Award. Thus, it is time to write who is Maria Eugenia.

Maria Eugenia Grillet is a Full Professor at the Instituto de Zoología y Ecología Tropical, Universidad Central de Venezuela (Venezuela), where her research has mainly focused on the eco epidemiology of vector-borne diseases. She has worked with malaria, onchocerciasis, arbovirosis, and lately, she applies this knowledge to understand the transmission patterns and epidemiology of COVID-19.


2021 Hemingway Award recipient: Professor Maria Eugenia Grillet

(VeConVen funder)

During 25 years of research and teaching in this area, Prof Grillet has dedicated her work to understanding what are the local ecological mechanisms and processes that regulate populations of insects, pathogens, and their interactions (insect-pathogen) and determine, as a process Emerging in this ecological interaction, the epidemiological patterns that we observe at larger spatial and temporal scales.

2 years ago, Professor M.E. Grillet was awarded the Lorenzo Mendoza Fleury Prize (Polar Prize in Science 2019). In 2005 she was a Royal Society Fellow (Imperial College, UK) and in 2017 she was a Fulbright Fellow (Albany, USA).


She has been a Visiting Professor at Universities in Canada (University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Montreal), USA (University of Albany), and the Netherlands (University of Groningen).

You can follow Prof. Grillet work on Twitter:

Personal: @mgrillet

Institutional (University): @Noticienciasucv (Instagram: @ izetucv; Facebook: @izet1965)

Institutional (Academy of Sciences in Venezuela): @acfimanve

You can find Spanish version of this note visiting:

Training: Real-time PCR with a system for detecting pathogens that cause fever of intermediate duration in the Canary Islands, mainly those caused by Rickettsia species (2021)

We continue making possible the training of Venezuelan scientists in international facilities and establishing networking between laboratories.

For three weeks, Dra. Sandra Losada (Tropical Medicine Institute, Universidad Central de Venezuela) received training in real-time PCR with a system for detecting pathogens that cause fever, mainly those caused by Rickettsia species, transmitted by vectors. It is a new procedure that makes it possible to distinguish the most common Rickettsia species in the Canary Islands, in a single assay.

The training included learning procedures for DNA extraction from patients' blood, DNA quantification, assembly of real-time PCR reactions, preparation of agarose gels, species identification by melting analysis, and fieldwork.

On the other hand, Dra. Losada gave the Theoretical and Practical Workshop “Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA): aproximación al multidiagnóstico utilizando péptidos sintéticos y antígenos crudos. Usos y aplicaciones ” between July 19 and 20 for 8 hours of which 1.5 were theoretical and 6.5 practical for lab students.

This training was possible thanks to Dra. Emma Carmelo Pascual, Parasitology Professor from the Universidad de la Laguna (ULL) and researcher from Instituto Universitario de Enfermedades Tropicales y Salud Pública de Canarias (IUETSPC) in Tenerife, Spain. 


Training: Vigilancia molecular de patógenos emergentes y enfermedades transmitidas por vectores en Venezuela (2021)

As part of our objectives, VeConVen want to provide training and networking opportunities for a new generation of Venezuelan scientists recruited from early career researchers currently based in Venezuela, as well as those from the Venezuelan diaspora currently working elsewhere in
Latin America and the world. 

For three months, members of the Venezuelan Science Incubator were receiving a training on molecular techniques from our Colombian partners from the "Centro de Investigaciones en Microbiología y Biotecnología" (CIMBIUR).


This training has an important impact in improving the capacity of developing projects in the country with objectives of molecular testing and surveillance. This will also allow researchers to use the techniques learned in the field and in laboratories to help patients in affected communities with neglected tropical diseases, such as: leishmaniasis, SARS-CoV-2, American trypanosomiasis, arboviral disease alongside the zoonotic component of each one of them.

For more information, please visit the Venezuelan Science Incubator website:

Also, visit the CIMBIUR website:

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On 06/15/2022 our member, Dr. Maria Eugenia Grillet, talked about " Eco-Epidemiology of Vector-Borne Infection Diseases in Venezuela: Unravelling mechanisms and processes of pathogen transmission in the Neotropics" in the 2021 Hemingway Award talk by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Now, it is available on youtube, just clicking below:


"Hemingway Award 2021 talk: Dr. Maria Eugenia Grillet"

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