Juan Quintana

Juan-QJuan Quintana

Room 2.52
Ashworth Laboratories III

Phone: 44 (0) 131-650-8656

Email: jquintan@staffmail.ed.ac.uk


2014 – current PhD Student (Buck Lab), Institute for Immunity and Infection Research, The University of Edinburgh. Project Title:

  • Characterization of extracellular RNA interference pathways in parasites – Towards new diagnostic and therapeutic applications

2013 – 2014 Research Assistant (Buck Lab), Institute for Immunity and Infection Research, The University of Edinburgh. Project Title:

  • Rapid and High-throughput Diagnosis of Onchocerca volvulus infections

2010 – 2012 Research Assistant, Centre for Biological Research (CIB) (Spain)
Projects title:

  • Implication of naturally occurring mutations in the integrin complex aIIbb3 on megakaryocytes maturation and platelets formation (2010-2011)
  • Identification of potential “mutational signatures” in the integrin complex aIIbb3 in patients with Glanzmann thrombasthenia-Like phenotype (2010-2011)
  • Cloning and expression of human anaphylatoxins. Structural characterization of its interactions with virulence factors.

2009 – 2010 MSc Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)

2002 – 2007 BSc (Hons) In Biology, Universidad de Carabobo (Venezuela)

Research Interests

Over the last two decades there has been an increased interest in understanding how small non-coding RNAs (snRNAs) can function as important mediators of gene expression regulation in a wide variety of model organisms. Most recently, we and others have discovered the presence of secreted snRNAs, in particular miRNAs, that are derived from parasitic nematodes and can be used as biomarkers for helminth infections. My main research interests focus on understanding the biological relevance of parasite-specific secreted snRNAs in filarial infections and the interplay of such molecules in the host-parasite crosstalk, mainly from an evolutionary stem point. I am also interested in understanding how the endosymbiont Wolbachia contributes to the overall snRNAs found in secretion products obtained from these fascinating nematodes.


  1. Buck, AH, Coakley, G, Simbari, F, McSorley, H, Quintana, JF, et al. (2014) Exosomes secreted by nematode parasites transfer small RNAs to mammalian cells and modulate innate immunity. Nature communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6488.
  2. Pena-soler, E, Fernandez, FJ, Lopez-Estepa, M, Garces, F, Richardson, AJ, Quintana, JF, Rudd, KE, Coll, M, Vega, C. (2014) Structural analysis and mutant growth properties reveal distinctive enzymatic and cellular roles for the three major L-alanine transaminases of Escherichia coli. PLoS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102139.
  3. Hoy, AM., Lundie, RJ., Ivens, A., Quintana, JF, et al. (2014) Parasite-Derived MicroRNAs in Host serum As Novel Biomarkers of Helminth infection. PLoS NTD, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002701.
  4. Maria P., Jiménez de Bagües, Alba de Martino, Juan Quintana, Ana Alcaraz, and Julian Pardo. (2011). Course of infection in immunocompromised mice with the emergent pathogen Brucella microti. Infection and Immunity, 79(10): 3934-3939.
  5. María P Jiménez de Bagüés; Safia Ouahrani-Bettache; Juan F Quintana; et al. (2010). The new species Brucella microti replicates in macrophages and causes death in murine models of infection. J Infect Dis, 202(1):1-2.
  6. Pimali Felibertt, Juan Quintana, Francisco Arvelo. (2009). Metaloproteinases: Therapeutic targets for anti-neoplasic treatment. Acta Científica Venezolana, Vol. 60(1-2):11.


Juan Quintana earned his MSc. (Hons) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, where he deciphered the immune response triggered by a newly described pathogen, Brucella microti, in its natural host. Further experience as a research assistant at the Centre for Biological Research (CIB – CSIC, Madrid) broadened his technical and analytical skills by actively contributing to two projects focused on: 1) how specific mutations in the megakaryocytes-enriched integrine aIIbb3 alters its interaction with Src kinases, leading to haemorrhagic phenotypes in humans and, 2) how the structure of specific host proteins can be used by pathogens to overcome the immune response.

In 2013, he joined Buck Lab as a research assistant engaged in a project focused on the study of small RNAs as biomarkers for Onchocerciasis (commonly known as River Blindness) and was recently awarded with an scholarship from the School of Biological Sciences to pursue PhD studies in the field of onchocerciasis and filarial infections.