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Laura Uribe Uribe

PhD Programme

Nanoscience, Materials and Chemical Engineering

Research group

Group of Nanobiotechnology and Bioanalysis


Alex Fragoso Sierra


Laura Uribe received her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) where her thesis about the development of a radar absorbent coating using nanoferrites earned her a laurate qualification. During her BSc she was an intern at Henkel where she worked in the R&D laboratory of the adhesive's division. She holds a MSc in Nanoscience, Materials and Processes from University Rovira i Virgili where she first joined Interfibio Research Group under the supervision of Professor Ciara O'Sullivan and Dr Mayreli Ortiz. Her master's thesis was a novel approach of next generation sequencing using electrochemical techniques, that were used to detect genetic markers related to predisposition to certain diseases. The work was published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics Journal. After her master she joined Sika, a multinational company of the chemical industry for a Trainee program based in Brazil, which strengthened her industrial and international experience. Nowadays she's working as a PhD student back at URV's Interfibio Research Group and she is part of the project Ciguasensing in collaboration with IRTA (Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology of Catalonia).

Project: Towards extraction and purification protocols for marine toxins based on cyclodextrin-derived nanomaterials

Monitoring methods for marine toxins -such as ciguatoxins (CTX) and okadaic acid (OA)- present in seawaters are of high interest to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors altogether. Okadaic acid and ciguatoxins are responsible for producing diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) and ciguatera, food poisoning diseases that affect the human health and can produce economic losses to the shellfish industry. Ciguatoxins and okadaic acid molecules are worm-shaped polycyclic ethers that possess a remarkably hydrophobic character. Meanwhile, cyclodextrins (CDs) are cyclic oligosaccharides with a cone-like shape and a hydrophobic central cavity. Given their low toxicity, great biocompatibility and good complexation capacity with a variety of molecules, cyclodextrins have been extensively used as host molecules in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, agrochemical, food, and biomedical industries. Therefore, the typically hydrophobic character of CTXs and OA makes them perfect guests to form inclusion complexes with ß-cyclodextrins. The aim of my work is to study the molecular interactions between the CTX, the OA and the CDs, which have not yet been studied, and thus, to develop extraction/purification/pre-concentration protocols based on CD-derived nanomaterials.