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A native of Quito, Ecuador, Marco Neira received his B.Sc. in biological science from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) in 1999. He then enrolled at Ohio University as a graduate student and obtained a Master´s degree in International Studies and a PhD degree in Biological Sciences. His graduate research focused on the interactions between arboviruses and mosquito vectors of human disease.
Following completion of his graduate degrees, Marco took on a post-doctoral position at University of Florida´s Whitney Laboratory, where he focused his research on the molecular physiology of larval mosquitoes. This was followed by a second post-doctoral position at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, where Marco worked on Aedes aegypti transcriptomics. Subsequently, Marco joined biotech company Oxitec Ltd as a Senior Scientist, where he worked on research and development of novel strategies for the genetic control of Ae. aegypti populations.
Starting in 2013, Marco joined PUCE as an Associate Professor and Principal Investigator. He obtained Full- Professor status in 2017, and continued to work at PUCE until July 2020. During this period, Marco lectured on medical entomology and tropical disease biology at the School of Biological Sciences, as well as basic biology at the Medical School. Additionally, Marco led his own research group at PUCE´s Center for Research on Health in Latin America, focusing his work on topics such as the monitoring of arboviral infection and pesticide resistance in field mosquito populations, the development of novel methods for vector control, and the physiological effects of environmental change on Ae. aegypti.
Marco moved to Cyprus in August 2020, and joined The Cyprus Institute in October of the same year.