Dr. Blanca Escudero-Abarca – NoroCORE Food Virology

Dr. Blanca Escudero-Abarca

photo of Dr. Blanca Escudero

Blanca Escudero, PhD
Senior Researcher, Jaykus Laboratory
Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
North Carolina State University

Dr. Blanca Escudero received her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1991, at the National Polytechnic Institute of Technology (IPN) with a fellowship from the National Council of Science and Technology, “CONACYT”(Mexico) in conjunction with the University of Oviedo, Spain, through a fellowship from Spain’s Ministry of Education. She became a Professor and Researcher at the Technological Institute of Veracruz, Mexico. She reported a novel antifungal activity of Bacillus thuringiensis chitinase and its potential for the biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi in soybean seeds; this work had significant impact by filling gaps for using natural substances on the biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi. She was the first food biotechnology scientist who reported the utilization of chitosan to control the growth of the spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis in alcoholic fermentation. She was awarded with the distinction of member of the National System of Researchers (SNI), Mexico.

In 2004, she joined the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at NCSU as a Visiting Scientist in Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus’s lab. Her current work is focused on the development of molecular techniques for detection of human noroviruses. Her research includes characterization of the persistence and transferability of noroviruses on common surfaces and foods; construction of an internal amplification control (IAC) in order to prevent false negative results that might be caused by matrix associated inhibitors; novel methods for recovery of viruses using histoblood group antigens as ligands; and the selection and characterization of aptamers with binding affinity to human norovirus. She has authored and/or co-authored several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and has participated in numerous conference proceedings.