Dra. Meritxell Genescà Ferrer

Institutions of which it is part

I am a senior investigator at the infectious diseases department where I lead projects focused on defining protective immune responses against pathogens in order to develop new therapies. I have mainly worked on cervicovaginal mucosa immunity, a tissue with a high impact on public health as the portal of entry for sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. The knowledge acquired during my scientific career has served to expand my research towards the understanding of immune protection against pathogens in other tissues, such as against SARS-CoV-2 in the lung.


Dr. Meritxell Genescà is an expert on cervical mucosal immunology and infectious diseases. She obtained the Extraordinary Award from the Autonomous University of Barcelona as a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine (2000). After obtaining her PhD in physiology (2001-2004, IIBB-CSIC), she was contracted by the University of California first as a postdoctoral researcher and then as an Associate Researcher Immunologist. For the next six years, she worked on the top animal model for HIV sexual transmission studies and specialized in mucosal immunology. In 2011, she joined the Institut d’Investigació Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona, through a Ramón y Cajal contract, before moving to her current institution in 2017. Dr. Genescà is interested on defining the nature of protective immune responses against pathogens that use the cervicovaginal mucosa as their portal of entry, such as HIV. Her group collaborates with several basic and clinical research groups in order to conduct translational comparative medicine in the following areas: 1) HIV reservoir characterization in the cervical tissue and new strategies for its elimination; 2) Sexually Transmitted Infections and increased risk of co-infection; 3) Adjuvants and biomarkers of mucosal immunity; 4) Tissue explant models to study host-pathogen interaction and immunity (including SARS-CoV-2).
She is a member of the international Society for Mucosal Immunology (SMI), the Spanish group for AIDS study (GESIDA) and the Spanish HIV/AIDS Network (RIS). Moreover, she has participated in many dissemination activities, such as career orientation and continuous education for seniors, among others. Her track record includes over 35 articles in major international scientific journals (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6413-3812) with an h-index of 20, numerous presentations in international meetings and several fellowships and awards. She is also actively involved in teaching and student training.
Meritxell Genescà Ferrer


Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca

Main researcher

Infectious Diseases

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