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Worm Biology


    • Gustavo Salinas (PhD, Head)


    • Inés Carrera (PhD)


    • Lucía Otero Larre Borges (PhD)


    • Jorge Pórfido (PhD)


    • Laura Romanelli (PhD student)


    • Cecilia Martínez (PhD student)


    • Gastón Risi (MSc student)



We have specific equipment needed to work with C. elegans, including a WMicroTracker that has the capability to measure in an easy, fast and reproducible way the locomotive activity of small animals cultured in microtiter plates.


High-Throughput Screening assay to evaluate toxicity and pharmacological effects in the eukaryotic animal C. elegans.



Our research focuses on helminth metabolic pathways essential for parasite survival. We study thiol- and selenol-dependent pathways and energy-harvesting pathways of flatworms and nematodes. We are characterizing the unique linked thioredoxin-glutathione pathways present in parasitic flatworms and addressing the function of redox and iron-sulfur thioredoxins and glutaredoxins. We are also studying flatworm and nematode metabolic pathways that allow parasites to harvest energy under low oxygen tension. For some of our studies we use the nematode C. elegans as a model organism.


Our lab focuses on worm drug discovery, particularly targeting the selenoenzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase. We have also a set up a reproducible and automatized whole animal bioassay for anthelmintics drug screening and discovery.



  • Redox Chemistry and Biology of Thiols (co-organizer)
  • Recombinant Proteins (co-organizer)


  1. Introductory Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, Universidad de la República (28 lectures per year)


  • Lucía Otero (defended PhD in 2014).
  • Hugo Bisio (defended MSc in 2015).
  • Laura Romanelli (started PhD in 2013).
  • GastónRisi (started MSc in 2016).
  • Cecilia Martínez (Started PhD in 2016)
  • Enrique Ladós (Veterenary graduate student, 2015)


  • Invited Seminar at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, Pathogen Group, Cambridge, UK. “Unusual aspects of metabolism in flatworm parasites: implications for rational drug design”. July 2014.
  • Invited seminar at the National Jewish Health & University of Colorado School of Medicine. Denver, USA. “Redox networks in flatworm parasites: implications for rational drug design and treatment of neglected diseases” July 2015.
  • Oral presentation at Evolutionary Biology of Caenorhabditis and other Nematodes. Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. Gustavo Salinas. 2014.
  • Invited Conference X Congreso Argentino de Protozoología y Enfermedades Parasitarias. Mar del Plata. Gustavo Salinas. 2014.


  • Laura Romanelli: two internship at Mark Alkema´s Lab, Univerity of Massachusetts (2014 and 2016)
  • Hugo Bisio:  internship at Massimo Bellanda´s Lab, Università di Padova (2015)


  • Co-organizer of the First Latin American Worm Meeting. February 2017. Institut Pasteur de Montevideo.Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Biological Chemistry (2016-2021)
  • Editor of the Forum Issue “Parasite Redox Control” and “Alternative thiol-based redox systems” for Antioxidant Redox Signaling 
  • Ad hoc reviewer for several journals including PLoS Pathogens, Antioxidant Redox Signaling, BBA General Subjects, PLoS ONE, BMC Genomics, Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, International Journal for Parasitology.
  • Member of scientific boards of Universidad de la República and National Agency for Innovation and Research (ANII)


  • Structural plasticity of the thioredoxin folding unit of parasitic platyhelminths.  ANII (Uruguay) 2017-2019) 21.000 USD/year
  • Studies on helminth mitochondrial metabolism: molecular basis of the malate dismutation.  ANII (Uruguay) 2015-2017) 20.000 USD/year
  • The thioredoxin-fold in trypanosomatids and tapeworms. ICGEB (Italia) 2014-2017. 15.000 €/year, (shared Project with Marcelo Comini).
  • Redox Chemistry and Biology of Thiols, International postgraduate course and Symposium, supported by ICGEB, RIIP and PEDECIBA. (28.000 USD). The course was organized together with Marcelo Comini, Beatriz Alvarez and Madia Trujillo.


  • Salinas G, Comini M. (2017) Alternative Thiol-Based Redox Systems. Antioxid Redox Signal –  IF:6.337
  • Salinas G, Risi G. C. elegans: Nature and nurture gift to nematode parasitologists. Parasitology  Dec 6:1-9. doi: 10.1017/S0031182017002165 –  IF:2.713
  • Manta B, Bonilla M, Fiestas L, Sturlese M, Salinas G, Bellanda M, Comini M. Polyamine-based thiols in Trypanosomatids: evolution, protein structural adaptations and biological functions (2017) Antioxid Redox Signal. Nov 27. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7133 –  IF:6.337
  • Carrera I, Calixto A, Salinas G. (2017) Expanding Caenorhabditis elegans research: First Latin American Worm Meeting. Worm 6(1), e1338557.
  • Salinas G, Gao W, Wang Y, Bonilla M, Novikov A, Virginio VG, Ferreira HB, Vieites M , Gladyshev VN, Gambino D, Dai S. (2017) The enzymatic and structural basis for inhibition of Echinococcus granulosus thioredoxin glutathione reductase by gold(I). Antiox Redox Signal. 27(18):1491-1504. –  IF:6.337
  • Romanelli-Cedrez L, Carrera I, Otero L, Miranda-Vizuete A, Mariotti M, Alkema MJ and Salinas G. (2017) Selenoprotein T is required for pathogenic bacteria avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegansFree Radic Biol and Med. 108:174-182. –  IF:5.606
  • Gladyshev VN, Arnér ES, Berry MJ et al. (2016) Selenoprotein Gene Nomenclature. J Biol Chem 291(46):24036-24040. –  IF:4.125
  • Maggioli G, Bottini G, Basika T, Alonzo P, Salinas G, Carmona C. (2016) Immunization with Fasciola hepatica thioredoxin glutathione reductase failed to confer protection against fasciolosis in cattle. Veterinary Parasitol  224:13-9. – IF: 2.242
  • Bonilla M, Krull E, Florencia I, Salinas G, Comini MA. (2016) Selenoproteins of African trypanosomes are dispensable for parasite survival in an animal host. Mol Biochem Parasitol 16: 30018-4 . – IF: 2.028 
  • Bisio H, Bonilla M, Manta B, Graña M, Salzmandy V, Aguilar PS, Gladyshev VN, Comini M and Salinas G (2016) A new class of thioredoxin-related protein able to bind iron-sulfur clusters. Antiox Redox Signal. 24(4): 205-216. – IF: 7.401.
  • Pasquet V, Bisio H, López GV, Romanelli-Cedrez L, Bonilla M, Saldaña J and Salinas G (2015) Inhibition of tapeworm thioredoxin and glutathione pathways by an oxadiazole N-oxide leads to reduced Mesocestoides vogae infection burden in mice. Molecules 20(7), 11793-807.  – IF: 2.416.
  • Silva V, Folle M, Ramos AL, Zamarreño F, Costabel M, García-Zepeda E, Salinas G, Córsico B, Ferreira AM (2015) Echinococcus granulosus antigen B: a hydrophobic ligand binding lipoprotein at the host-parasite interface. Prostaglandins, Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 93: 17–23.  – IF: 2.346
  • Otero L, Romanelli-Cedrez L, Turanov AA, Gladyshev VN, Miranda-Vizuete A, Salinas G (2014) Adjustments, extinction and remains of selenocysteine incorporation machinery in the nematode lineage. RNA 20(7):1023-34. – IF: 5.377
  • Saiz C, Castillo V, Fontán P, Bonilla M, Salinas G, Rodríguez A, Mahler, SG. (2014) Discovering Echinococcus granulosus thioredoxin glutathione reductase inhibitors through site-specific dynamic combinatorial chemistry. Molec Diversity 18(1):1-12. – IF: 2.544.
  • Tsai IJ, Zarowiecki M, Holroyd N et al.  (2013). Tapeworm genomes reveal adaptations to parasitism. Nature 496 57-63.  – IF: 42.351.
  • Salinas G (2013) An Update on Parasite Redox Biology. Antiox Redox Signal 19(7):661-4. – IF: 7.667
  • Williams DL, Bonilla M, Gladyshev VN, Salinas G (2013) Thioredoxin glutathione reductase-dependent thiol redox networks in platyhelminth parasites. Antiox Redox Signal 19(7): 735-45. IF: 7.667


Gustavo Salinas. Worm Biology Lab. Institut Pasteur de Montevideo. Mataojo 2020. Montevideo, Uruguay. 11.400


Phone:  + 598 2522 0910 ext 179