Research Fellow | Postdoctoral Fellow MRC Lifelong Health and Ageing, University College London
Alba is a Molecular Biologist from Galicia (Spain) working in Population Health research in London. She is driven by research that aims to understand the molecular mechanisms linking lifestyle and external factors (such as pathogens) to health outcomes, to ultimately discover both biomarkers that improve prevention of common diseases and drug targets that improve the management of those diseases.
Since she started working with data of thousands of people, she has become increasingly aware of the importance of representing all human populations: “Most of the biomedical research is based in a few populations, of European ancestry. Now there are huge international efforts to include different ancestries. However, the biggest biobanks and cohorts are from the richest countries, and most of the researchers studying them are based in the same few countries. We won’t be able to understand and manage diseases in all populations until we stop social inequities at all levels of research.”
She grew up in a coastal village facing the Atlantic, considering her dogs as her siblings. Her grandma and parents influenced her love for nature, animals and traveling. She went to state schools and learnt about environmental, feminist and equity advocacy. She is the first in her family to go to University, the first woman with a paid job. The caring responsibilities of her family role models also shaped her; she is always trying to help others and give voice to minorities.
She is the mum of two cats, Trasno and Allo, which mean Leprechaun and Garlic in Galician. She loves traveling locally with her partner, the outdoors, discovering independent business, plant-based cooking (and eating), writing, cinema/theatre, science outreach and learning. Participating in HB will equip her with the tools and network to contribute to a more sustainable world through multidisciplinary, collaborative, diverse, inclusive and engaging initiatives.