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Maria Basanta-Sanchez

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Maria Basanta-Sanchez
Senior Research Scientist

Specialty / Research Interests


Dr Basanta Sanchez is a staff member in the Advanced Instrumentation Facility, at The RNA Institute, State University at Albany, New York. Her main research project is focused on the analysis of existing and novel modifications of RNA by mass spectrometry and complementary biophysical technologies together with the developing new and innovative instrument capabilities and methods for RNA applications. She is also responsible for bringing in potential collaborations, public-private partnerships and to engage with the RNA community to push the technology of RNA therapeutics.

During the last two years, she has worked as a Research Scientist at the RNA Institute Mass Spectrometry Center at the University at Albany, which is led by Professor Dan Fabris. Her work explored the effect of cellular factors and small molecule ligands on the stability of ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). In particular, she focused on the investigation of protein – RNA complexes involved in the life cycle of HIV-1 virus. Through the use of mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry she has been able to determine conformational effects of small ligands on RNPs as a novel approach for potential therapeutic candidates.

Originally from Spain, Dr Basanta Sanchez started her undergraduate chemistry studies in The University Complutense of Madrid, Spain. After completion of the first three years of the five year course she transferred to the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in Manchester, UK for completion of her Bachelors and Masters degree. In 2003 she graduated in Chemistry with First Class Honors and enrolled in an Analytical Chemistry PhD program at the University of Manchester funded by AstraZeneca. Her PhD degree thesis work was on the development of exhaled breath sampling strategies using differential mobility spectrometry. She received her PhD degree in 2007. She then had the honor to work with one of the pioneers of the ion mobility spectrometry, Professor G Eiceman, in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. On her return to Manchester she was offered a position as a Research Associate at the Faculty of Medicine and Human Science at the University of Manchester in partnership with one of top Mass spectrometry instrument manufactures, Waters Corporation. During the following 3 years she further developed the breath sampler initially created during her PhD studies. Other responsibilities included the development and coordination of clinical related studies on people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, together with the training and supervision of graduate and clinical staff. The aim of those studies was to identify breath biomarkers caused by inflammation and infection in acute respiratory diseases using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry along with metabolomics-based methods and chemometrics approaches for data interpretation. In 2009 the University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) and Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology (MIMIT) in collaboration with Waters Corporation funded a proof of principle program for the to study breath biomarkers from people who are receiving mechanical ventilation in intensive care units with the aim of early discovery and accurate diagnosis of infection. This project’s aim was to develop novel point-of-care technologies for personalizing medicine. Her overall contributions during the project resulted in 8 internationally recognized publications, 6 of which she is first author and two international patents.


Publications and Patents


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