Anna Maria Vaira graduated in Biological Science in 1988 from the University of Torino with a graduation thesis about interaction of growth factors and human hematopoietic cells. From 1989 to 1995 she was awarded scholarship grants at the Istituto di Virologia Vegetale (IVV-CNR), Torino, to pursue studies on the diagnosis and characterization of plant viruses. During these years she was hosted in outstanding scientific institutions in Europe to conduct collaborative studies: at the Agricultural University, Department of Virology, Wageningen (NL), on serological characterization of Tospovirus and at the John Innes Institute, Norwich, (GB), on Geminivirus. In 2001 she was appointed on a permanent position as CNR scientist at the IVV. From 2005 to 2010 she has worked as a Visiting Scientist at USDA-ARS, Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, in Beltsville, MD, USA, through a CNR assignment; her scientific project was on the developement of infectious clones and viral vectors from Flexiviridae and characterization of viruses infecting ornamentals (supervisor: Dr. John Hammond). In the Academic Years 2004-9 she taught a course on Genetically Modified Organisms at Universita’ degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”. Alessandria, Facoltà di Scienze MFN. Her scientific activity has focused primarily on diagnosis and characterization of plant viruses (especially belonging to Aspiviridae Family) and induction of virus resistance in plants through genetic engineering. She has been studying virus-host interaction and development of viral vectors for protein expression in plants or VIGS induction. Moreover, recently she is studying characterization and diagnosis of emerging geminiviruses in the Mediterranean area in collaboration with several Mediterranean countries, through advanced molecular methods (PCR, RCA, NGS). She is also interested in dsRNA vaccination to induce resistance to virus infection. She is presently Chair of ICTV Aspiviridae Study Group and member of the Societa’ Italiana di Patologia Vegetale (SIPAV).
Project Leader for: