Meet Our Researchers: Vanessa Sperandio

Name: Vanessa Sperandio

Hometown: Londrina Parana, Brazil

Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Research Overview:

The research in the Vanessa Sperandio lab focuses on how bacterial cells sense mammalian neurotransmitters to gage the physiological and immune state of the host, leading to reprogramming of bacterial transcription towards host and niche adaptation. We have also identified several bacterial adrenergic, endocannabinoid and serotonergic receptors.

What inspired you to select your field of study?

My first class in biology as a freshman in High school. I had a fantastic teacher, and the class was on the “primordial soup” the evolution of life on earth.

What is one piece of advice you would give to students?

Science is about love for the scientific process. Anyone can be trained in techniques, but you can’t train anyone to love science. This should be fun (even when it is frustrating).

When you’re not in the lab, how do you spend your time?

Reading, running, doing Krav Maga

If you didn’t become a scientist, what career would you have pursued?

Archeologist (Egyptology or classicist)

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?

Hard to point to one, because I had many. But one that I always remember because I traveled for 24 hours to South Africa, and was staring was the Greek salad I managed to order in the hotel 5 minutes before they closed the kitchen when I checked in.

You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?

Don’t you want me. The Human League

Have you ever completed anything on your “bucket list”? If so, what was it?

Sad, but not yet

What is the last TV show that you binge-watched?


If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Be able to fly

If you had a time machine, would go back in time or into the future?

Into the future