Carmenza Spadafora, PhD

Research lines or specialties:

Malaria, bioprospección, Trypanosoma cruzi (Mal de Chagas), Leishmania spp, Plasmodium falciparum, biofísica, actividad anticancerígena de moléculas, receptores de invasión para P. falciparum en el eritrocito humano, comunicación intracelular, exovesículas, microondas.

Summary of resume:

Carmenza Spadafora holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Granada, Spain, conducting research at the Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine “López-Neyra”. After a postdoctoral training at the University of Central Florida, she moved to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to work in the identification of the “X Receptor” of malaria.

Currently, she coordinates the Center of Cellular and Molecular Biology of Diseases at INDICASAT AIP. She is a Distinguished Member of the Panamanian Research System. Recently named by 3M as one of the 25 Women of Science in Latin America, Carmenza focuses on research on tropical parasites, especially malaria, drug discovery from natural products, communication signals, and the biophysics of pathogens. Her lines of research include the treatment of malaria with microwaves, bioprospecting to search for anti-parasitic products, communication signals, extracellular vesicles of malaria parasites, receptors in the erythrocyte for the parasite P. falciparum and the application of molecular biosensors”.




  • IEEE, Chapter of Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMB), Senior Level
  • Association of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, India, Fellow
  • Sistema Nacional de Investigación, Miembro Distinguido
  • Association for the Advancement of Science of Panama (APANAC) and USA (AAAS)
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  • American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

Selected publications:

  1. A low-cost, portable device for the study of the malaria parasite’s growth inhibition via microwave exposure. Rua Esteban; Coronado Lorena; Donado Carlos; Correa Ricardo; Spadafora Carmenza, Von Chong Alejandro. Hardware X. Manuscript Number: OHX-D-23-00239 (Submitted, Nov. 2023)
  2. Optical tweezers to measure the elasticity of red blood cells: application to the study of the response to treatments against malaria. Coronado Lorena, Dorta Doriana, Padmore Patrick, Correa Ricardo, Pineda Laura, Spadafora Carmenza and Sarmiento-Gomez Erick. Frontiers in Malaria. Volume 2 – 2024 | doi: 10.3389/fmala.2024.1362644
  3. P. falciparum Invasion and Erythrocyte Aging. Alves-Rosa, María F, Tayler Nicole M., Dorta Doriana, Coronado Lorena M. and Spadafora Carmenza. Cells (2024) 13:4, 334.
  4. Exploring the Biomedical Potential of Endophytic Fungi Isolated from Panamanian Mangroves. Cherigo, Lilia; Lopez, Dioxelis; Spadafora, Carmenza; Mejia, Luis; Martínez-Luis, Sergio. Natural Products Communication. 2024;19(1). doi:10.1177/1934578X241228152
  5. Anti-trypanosomal bufadienolides from the oocytes of the toad Rhinella alata (Anura, Bufonidae). Rodriguez, C.; Ibáñez, R.; Olmedo, D.A.; Ng, M.; Spadafora, C.; Durant-Archibold, A.A.; Gutiérrez, M. Molecules 2024, 29, 196.
  6. Microwaves inhibit the growth of malaria parasites non-thermally. Lorena M. Coronado, José A. Stoute, Chris T. Nadovich, Jiping Cheng, Ricardo Correa, Kevin Chaw, Guadalupe González, Maytee Zambrano, Rolando A. Gittens, Dinesh K. Agrawal, William D. Jemison, Carlos A. Donado Morcillo, Carmenza Spadafora. Frontiers in Cell Infection and Microbiology. Volume 13 – 2023 |
  7. Antiplasmodial activity, structure-activity relationship and mechanism of action of novel benzimidazole derivatives. Nerea Escala, Laura M. Pineda, Michelle G. Ng, Lorena M. Coronado, Carmenza Spadafora and Esther del Olmo. Scientific Reports (2023) 13:28.
  8. Extracellular vesicles could carry an evolutionary footprint in interkingdom communication. Ricardo Correa, Zuleima Caballero, Luis Fernando De León and Carmenza Spadafora. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Mar 3;10:76. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00076. eCollection 2020
  9. Access and Benefit Sharing under the Nagoya Protocol – Quo vadis? Six Latin American case studies assessing opportunities and risk. Michael Heinrich, Francesca Scotti, Adolfo Andrade-Cetto, Monica Berger-Gonzalez, Javier Echeverría, Fabio Friso, Felipe Garcia-Cardona, Alan Hesketh, Martin Hitziger, Caroline Maake, Matteo Politi, Carmenza Spadafora and Rita Spadafora. Frontiers in Pharmacology 11, 765, 2020.
  10. Thermo-Energetic study in blood Infected with Plasmodium falciparum radiated at 2.45 GHz. Ngo, K. D.; Plazaola, C.; González, G; Spadafora, C.; Zambrano, M. EuMC 2019 pp. 276-279. doi:10.23919/EuMC.2019.8910930.
  11. Analysis of the antiparasitic and anticancer activity of the Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera L. ARECACEAE) from the Natural Reserve of Punta Patiño, Darién. Nicole Tayler Sucre, Cristopher A. Boya, Liuris Herrera, Jamie Moy, Michelle Ng, Laura Pineda, Alejandro Almanza, Sara Rosero, Lorena Coronado, Ricardo Correa, Ricardo Santamaría, Zuleima Caballero, Armando A. Durant-Archibold, Kevin J. Tidgewell, Marcy J. Balunas, William H. Gerwick, Alida Spadafora, Marcelino Gutiérrez, Carmenza Spadafora. PLOS ONE 2019 Apr 2;14(4):e0214193. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214193. eCollection 2019.
  12. Extracellular vesicles carrying lactate dehydrogenase induce suicide in increased population density of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. Ricardo Correa M, Lorena M Coronado, Zuleima Caballero, Paula Faral, Carlos Robello and Carmenza Spadafora. Scientific Reports 2019 Mar 25;9(1):5042. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41697-x
  13. Pumilacidins from the Octocoral-Associated Bacillus sp. DT001 Display Anti-Proliferative Effects in Plasmodium falciparum. Torres-Mendoza D, Coronado LM, Pineda LM, Guzmán HM, Dorrestein PC, Spadafora C, Gutiérrez M. Molecules. 2018 Aug 29;23(9). doi: 10.3390/molecules23092179
  14. Revisión de Modelos Hiperelásticos utilizados en Tejidos. Moreno, Miguel; Plazaola, Carlos; González, Guadalupe; Zambrano, Mayteé and Spadafora, Carmenza (2018). KnE Engineering. 3 (1), 100-110. doi: 10.18502/keg.v3i1.1417
  15. Volatile organic compounds associated with Plasmodium falciparum infection in vitro. Ricardo Correa, Lorena M. Coronado, Anette C. Garrido, Armando A. Durant-Archibold and Carmenza Spadafora. Parasites and Vectors. 2017 May 2;10(1):215. doi: 10.1186/s13071-017-2157-x
  16. Discovery, Semisynthesis, Antiparasitic and Cytotoxic Evaluation of 14-Membered Resorcylic Acid Lactones and Their Derivatives. Xue-Qing Zhang, Carmenza Spadafora, Laura M. Pineda, Michelle Ng W., Ji-Hong Sun, Wei Wang, Changyun Wang, Yucheng Gu & Chang-Lun Shao. Scientific Reports 2017 Sep 18;7(1):11822. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12336-0
  17. Blood stage Plasmodium falciparum Exhibits Biological Responses to Direct Current Electric Fields. Coronado LM, Montealegre S, Chaverra Z, Mojica L, Espinosa C, Almanza A, Correa R, Stoute JA, Gittens RA, Spadafora C. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 18;11(8):e0161207. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161207. eCollection 2016
  18. Bastimolide A, a Potent Antimalarial Polyhydroxy Macrolide from the Marine Cyanobacterium Okeania hirsuta. Shao CL, Linington RG, Balunas MJ, Centeno A, Boudreau P, Zhang C, Engene N, Spadafora C, Mutka TS, Kyle DE, Gerwick L, Wang CY, Gerwick WH. J Org Chem. 2015 Aug 21;80(16):7849-55. doi: 10.1021/acs.joc.5b01264
  19. Malarial hemozoin: from target to tool. Lorena M. Coronado, Christoper T. Nadovich, Carmenza Spadafora. Biochim Biophys Acta General Subjects. 2014 Jun;1840(6):2032-41 doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2014.02.009. MALARIA NEXUS TOP TEN MOST POPULAR ARTICLES IN 2014
  20. Sloth hair as a novel source of fungi with potent anti-parasitic, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial bioactivity. Sarah Higginbotham, Weng Ruh Wong, Roger G. Linington, Carmenza Spadafora, Liliana Iturrado, A. Elizabeth Arnold. PLoS One 2014 Jan 15;9(1):e84549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084549
  21. Antimalarial activity and metabolic profiling by HS-SPME-GC-MS of Plinia cerrocampanensis leaf essential oil. Armando A Durant, Candelario Rodriguez, Liuris Herrera, Alejandro Almanza, Ana I Santana, Carmenza Spadafora and Mahabir P Gupta. Malaria J 01/2014; 13(1):18 doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-18
  22. Microwave Exposure System for In Vitro and In Vivo Studies. Nadovich, C T, W D Jemison, J A Stoute, and C Spadafora. 2014. COMSOL Conference Paper, Boston.
  23. Separation of Plasmodium falciparum Late Stage-infected Erythrocytes by Magnetic Means. Coronado, L. M., Tayler, N. M., Correa, R., Giovani, R. M., Spadafora, C. J. Vis. Exp. (73), e50342, doi:10.3791/50342 (2013)
  24. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates use complement receptor 1 (CR1) as a receptor for invasion of erythrocytes. Awandare GA, Spadafora C, Moch JK, Dutta S, Haynes JD, Stoute JA. Mol Biochem Parasitol. (2011) 177(1):57-60. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2011.01.005
  25. Comparison of the in vitro invasive capabilities of Plasmodium falciparum 7G8 schizonts isolated by Percoll gradient or using magnetic based separation. Spadafora, C., Gerena, L. and Kopydlowski, KM. (2011) Malaria Journal 2011, 10:96 (18 April 2011). doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-96. In Wikipedia.
  26. Automated Synchronization of P. falciparum using a Temperature Cycling Incubator (TCI). Almanza, A., Coronado, L., Tayler, N., Herrera, L. and Spadafora, C. Curr Trends Biotech Pharmacol (2011) Vol 5 (2):1130-133
  27. Complement Receptor 1 Is a Sialic Acid-Independent Erythrocyte Receptor of Plasmodium falciparum. Spadafora, C., Awandare, G., Kopydlowski, K., Czege, J,, Moch, JK., Finberg, RW, Tsokos, G., Stoute, JA. (2010) PLoS Pathog Jun 17;6(6):e1000968. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000968

Current projects:

  1. Drug Discovery for Malaria, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania donovani parasites, and screening against several cellular lines of cancer. Natural and Synthetic products.
  2. Extracellular vesicles as diagnostic tools for diseases.  
  3. Electromagnetic frequencies against malaria
  4. Applied Biotechnology

Carmenza Spadafora, PhD

Carmenza Spadafora, PhD

Highest degree of studies:  Doctorate, University of Granada, Spain, 2002

Category: Researched

National Research System Level (SIN): Distinguished Researcher (2014), National Researcher Level I (2011).

Contact information:


Phone:  +507 517 0738+507 517 0700.

X: @carmenzaspadaf1

Instagram: @carmenzaspadafora


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