University of Saskatchewan
Basic Science
Molecular Virology

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
6B73 Health Sciences
107 Wiggins Rd
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5


Yalena Amador-Cañizares is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Saskatchewan in Dr. Joyce Wilson’s laboratory. She completed a Master’s and PhD at the University of Havana (Cuba) mentored by Dr. Santiago Dueñas-Carrera from the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Havana, Cuba). In the course of her graduate studies she focused in the study of the HCV-specific immune response in chronically infected individuals, as well as on the immunogenicity of a DNA-based vaccine candidate in mice and humans. During that time she gained a solid background in Molecular Biology and Immunology. Additionally, the interaction with physicians and the opportunity to participate in clinical trials’ research allowed her to learn about design and conduction of this kind of studies.

Her postdoctoral research project is based on the hypothesis that the liver specific micro RNA miR-122 promotes HCV replication through specific activity of the host protein Ago2, and by modifying protein binding to the HCV 5’UTR. She aims at identifying Ago2 functional motifs required for HCV replication and to characterize host and viral proteins that are recruited to the HCV 5’UTR by Ago2-miR122 complexes. In the short term, her work in Dr. Wilson’s laboratory will provide opportunities to learn about new technologies in the Molecular Virology field and master techniques to work with RNA. In the long term, she expects to merge her expertise in immunology with the new knowledge on micro RNA Biology to address relevant questions regarding how micro RNAs can be affected by viral infection in host cells, and the way this contributes to viral persistence.

Yalena received a Top Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Research from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (2014-2015) and the University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine Graduate Students Award (CoMGRAD) 2017.


Joyce Wilson