Angélica Thomaz Vieira is an immunologist with a degree in biological sciences from the Izabela Hendrix Methodist Center and a master’s and doctorate in immunology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. During her doctorate, she was at the Garvan Institute in Australia. Her post-doctorate at UFMG included a stint at the National Center for Scientific Research in Strasbourg, France.
She focuses her work on inflammatory responses and the bacteria that live in the human gut. But apart from the complexity of genetic sequencing, she considers motherhood to be her greatest challenge. That’s why she dedicates herself exclusively to looking after her son Rafael and her firstborn daughter Estela when she’s away from the lab. She is an adjunct professor and coordinator of the Microbiota and Immunomodulation Laboratory in the Biochemistry and Immunology department at UFMG and is married to a scientist.
Antibiotic resistance is a major global concern, with the United Nations estimating that drug-resistant infections could cause around 10 million deaths a year by 2050 and catastrophic damage. Current measures have not been effective in containing the problem, suggesting a knowledge gap on this issue. This project aims to investigate the link between antibiotic resistance and changes in the gut microbiota (a.k.a. intestinal flora) caused by the Western lifestyle. Bacteria in the gut microbiota are an important reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes, which can be disseminated under certain conditions. The hypothesis is that changes in the gut microbiota caused by the Western diet contribute to the selection and spread of antibiotic resistance. If true, this concept could revolutionize the way we deal with antibiotic resistance.