José A. Fernández Robledo, PhD

Senior Research Scientist
Molecular Biologist
Phone: +1 (207) 315-2567, ext. 315
Fax: +1 (207) 315-2329

For media inquiries, please contact


Licentiate, Molecular Biology, U Santiago de Compostela, Spain

MS, Fish Pathology and Aquaculture, U Santiago de Compostela, Spain

PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IIM-CSIC, U Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Research Interests

What is the potential for drug discovery from the genetic diversity of the ocean's microbial ecosystems? Is it possible to identify active compounds that can be used against protozoan parasites of biomedical and veterinary relevance? Can marine protozoans be used as a biomedical platform for human vaccine delivery? The microbiology and Parasitology Laboratory uses advanced molecular and cellular techniques to target disease-causing parasites at the molecular and environmental levels.



  • Shridhar, S, Hassan, K, Sullivan, DJ, Vasta, GR, Fernández Robledo, JA. In press. Quantitative assessment of the proliferation of the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus using a bioluminescence assay for ATP content. Int J Parasitol: Drug Drug Resistance.


  • Vasta, GR. Ahmed, H, Bianchet, MA, Fernández-Robledo, JA, Amzel, LM. 2012. Diversity in recognition of glycans by F-type lectins and galectins: Molecular, structural, and biophysical aspects. Annuals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1253, E14-26
  • Vasta, GR. Ahmed, H, Lazar, MN, Banerjee, A, Pasek, M, Shridhar, S, Guha, P, Fernández-Robledo, JA. 2012. Galectins as self/non-self recognition receptors in innate and adaptive immunity: An unresolved paradox. Frontiers in Immunology, 3: 199


  • Fernández-Robledo, JA, Matsuzaki, M, Caler, Keeling, PJ, Roos, DS, Vasta, GR. 2011. The search for the missing link: a relic plastid in Perkinsus? International Journal for Parasitology. 41(12): 1217-1229
  • Lin, Z, Fernández-Robledo, JA, Cellier, MFM, Vasta, GR. 2011. The natural resistance-associated macrophage protein from the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus mediates iron uptake. Biochemistry,120(2): 257-268


  • Fernández-Robledo JA, Vasta GR. 2010. Production of recombinant proteins from protozoan parasites. Trends in Parasitology, 26(5): 244-254
  • Joseph SJ*, Fernández-Robledo JA*, Gardner MJ, El-Sayed NM, Kuo C-H, Schott EJ, Wang, H, Kissinger JC, Vasta, G.R. 2010. The Alveolate Perkinsus marinus: Biological insights from EST gene discovery. BMC Genomics. 11: 228 * Contributed equally


  • Lin, Z, Fernández-Robledo, JA, Cellier, MFM, Vasta, GR. 2009. Metals and membrane metal transporters in biological systems: The role(s) of Nramp in host-parasite interactions. Journal of the Argentinean Society of Chemistry. 97: 210-25
  • Alavi, MR, Fernández-Robledo, JA, Vasta, GR. 2009. In vitro Intracellular survival of Perkinsus marinus trophozoites upon phagocytosis by oyster (Crassostrea virginica and Crassostrea ariakensis) hemocytes. Journal of Parasitology. 95: 900-7


  • Fernández-Robledo JA, Lin Z, Vasta GR. 2008. Transfection of the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 157: 44-53
  • Fernández-Robledo JA, Schott EJ, Vasta GR. 2008. Perkinsus marinus superoxide dismutase 2 (PmSOD2) localizes to single-membrane subcellular compartments. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 375: 215-9.
  • Pecher W, Alavi M, Schott E, Fernández-Robledo JA, Roth L, Berg S, et al. 2008. Assessment of the northern distribution range of selected Perkinsus species in eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) using PCR-based detection assays. Journal of Parasitology 94: 410–22
  • Schott EJ, Fernández-Robledo JA, Alavi MR, Vasta GR. 2008. Susceptibility of Crassostrea ariakensis (Fujita 1913) to Bonamia and Perkinsus spp. infections: potential for disease transmission between oyster species. Journal of Shellfish Research: 541–9

Prior to 2007

  • Pecher WT, Robledo JAF, Vasta GR. 2004. Identification of a second rRNA gene unit in the Perkinsus andrewsi genome. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 51: 234-45
  • Robledo JAF, Courville P, Cellier MF, Vasta GR. 2004. Gene organization and expression of the divalent cation transporter Nramp in the protistan parasite Perkinsus marinus. Journal of Parasitology 90: 1004-14
  • Schott EJ, Robledo JAF, Wright AC, Silva AM, Vasta GR. 2003. Gene organization and homology modeling of two iron superoxide dismutases of the early branching protist Perkinsus marinus. Gene 309: 1-9
  • Quesenberry M, Saito K, Krupatkina D, Robledo JAF, Drgon T, Pecher W, et al. 2002. Bioassay for ichthyocidal activity of Pfiesteria piscicida: Characterization of a culture flask assay format. Journal of Applied Phycology 14: 241-54
  • Robledo JAF, Nunes PA, Cancela ML, Vasta GR. 2002. Development of an in vitro clonal culture and characterization of the rRNA gene cluster of Perkinsus atlanticus, a protistan parasite of the clam Tapes decussatus. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 49: 414-22
  • Saito K, Drgon T, Robledo JAF, Krupatkina DN, Vasta GR. 2002. Characterization of the rRNA Locus of Pfiesteria piscicida and Development of Standard and Quantitative PCR-Based Detection Assays Targeted to the Nontranscribed Spacer. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 68: 5394-407
  • Coss CA, Robledo JAF, Ruiz GM, Vasta GR. 2001a. Description of Perkinsus andrewsi n. sp. Isolated from the Baltic clam (Macoma balthica) by Characterization of the Ribosomal RNA Locus, and Development of a Species-Specific PCR-Based Diagnostic Assay. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 48: 52-61
  • Coss CA, Robledo JAF, Vasta GR. 2001b. Fine structure of clonally propagated in vitro life stages of a Perkinsus sp. isolated from the Baltic clam Macoma balthica. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 48: 38-51
  • Robledo JAF, Coss CA, Vasta GR. 2000a. Characterization of the ribosomal RNA locus of Perkinsus atlanticus and development of a polymerase chain reaction-based diagnostic assay. Journal of Parasitology 86: 972-8.
  • Robledo JAF, Wright AC, Marsh AG, Vasta GR. 1999. Nucleotide sequence variability in the nontranscribed spacer of the rRNA locus in the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus. Journal of Parasitology 85: 650-6
  • Robledo JAF, Gauthier JD, Coss CA, Wright AC, Vasta GR. 1998. Species-specificity and sensitivity of a PCR-based assay for Perkinsus marinus in the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica: a comparison with the fluid thioglycollate assay. Journal of Parasitology 84: 1237-44

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