Mariela Segura is an immunologist and Professor at the University of Montreal. She received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal, where she became interested in host-pathogen interactions. During two post-doctoral trainings (Infectious Disease Unit at Laval University; and McGill Centre for the Study of Host Resistance) she acquired expertise on cellular biology and signalling pathways as well as immunomodulation by parasites. Dr. Segura started her independent research career at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 after being granted a FRQS career award. She is known for research in the areas of infectious diseases and the underlying innate and adaptive immune responses, with a particular focus on the interactions of encapsulated streptococci (such as Streptococcus suis and Group B Streptococcus) with the components of the immune system.
Segura’s laboratory applies multidisciplinary approaches, from biochemistry to cellular and molecular immunology, to dissect the role of bacterial capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) on the immunopathogenesis of the disease caused by pathogenic streptococci. Segura’s team focuses on CPS modulation of antigen-presenting cells, more particularly dendritic cells, and down-stream effect on the development of adaptive immunity, including analyses of T and B cell functions. An interconnected research axe seeks out vaccine development against Streptococcus suis, an emerging swine and human pathogen.
Segura’s research contributions have been recognized with 19 prizes and awards, a few of which are the UNESCO-L’Oréal Canada for Women in Science Research Excellence Award; the ‘Zoetis (Pfizer)’ Award of Excellence in Research; the ‘Fisher Award’ of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists in recognition of outstanding contributions to Microbiology as a profession; and the Women of Distinction Award in Science and Technology. Dr Segura is author or co-author of 115 total publications, including research articles, review articles and book chapters. She has contributed to the training of 75 graduate and undergraduate students in her laboratory.
University of Montreal bio
OP-funded research: Project 19-006 - Evaluation and improvement of Streptococcus suis bacterins