Marta Nunes is the director of the Center of Excellence in Respiratory Pathogens in Lyon, France since September 2022, and a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Marta did her degree in Biochemistry in Coimbra. In 1998 she was selected to the Gulbenkian PhD Program in Biology and Medicine and under this program she did her thesis work at the Department of Neurology & Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. Her post-doctoral training was at the Parasitology Department of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. During this time, she developed different projects aimed at understanding the cell biology of Plasmodium falciparum and to identify molecular candidates for malaria vaccines for pregnant women. In 2009 she moved to South Africa where the focus of her research has been on reducing under-5 childhood morbidity and mortality from leading causes of death, including the evaluation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in high HIV-burden settings, clinical and molecular epidemiology of respiratory viral associated-pneumonia. To approach the problem of infant morbidity and mortality related to infections she is also exploring the potential of intervening through vaccination of pregnant women to protect the women and their babies against infections. Moreover, Marta conducted large surveillance studies of hospital admissions related to Covid-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.
Marta has been a member of the Portuguese Diaspora Council since December 2022.