Claudia Istrate (DVM) graduated in 2001 the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Before graduation (1998) she started her research activity in the area of phythotherapeutical products and their effect on tumoral proliferation. In 2000 during the Erasmus fellowship earned from the Romanian Government, she developed her licentiate thesis as collaborative research with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine from Lisbon, Portugal studying zoonotic parasitic disease of primates living in Zoos.
Next after graduation, Claudia gained a fellowship from the Gulbenkian Foundation in collaboration with the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and joined the Gulbenkian PhD Programme in Biomedicine (2nd PGDB) in Oeiras, Portugal. After one curricular year she initiated her PhD Programme at the Animal Cell Technology Laboratory of ITQB/IBET, Oeiras Portugal. The PhD Programme was based on an EU FP-7 Project and the objective was to develop a rotavirus subunit vaccine based on protein recombinant technology (i.e. virus-like particles). The project was based on the collaborative research of highly competitive groups in Portugal (ITQB/IBET), in Sweden (Infectious Disease Control Institute, Stockholm) and in United Kingdom (Royal Veterinary College, London) and allowed her to acquire a number of skills and methods needed to produce/purify a rotavirus vaccine candidate, test the efficacy of this vaccine in different animal models, look into the disease pathophysiological mechanisms. These studies outcome was assembled in 6 papers published in international peer review journals and 1 book chapter. The PhD degree in Biology conferred by Universidade Nova de Lisboa was obtained in April 2007. Afterwards studies on pathophysiological mechanisms were continued during a postdoc period at Linkoping University and two papers providing novel insight into the complex interaction between rotavirus, enterochromaffin cells, serotonin and nerves (1) and the mechanism studying intestinal motility/permeability (2) were published.
Between 2008-2015 Claudia has worked at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal and look into the molecular epidemiology of viruses causing gastroenteritis (e.g. rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses, astrovirus etc) an investigation oriented mostly towards developing countries (especially Portuguese speaking African countries) in agreement with the host institute mission. She got funded as Principal Investigator of three projects.
Her interest pursued in viruses causing gastroenteritis and host genetics awarded a project by the Portuguese Foundation from Science and Technology:
Claudia has presented her work in about 40 National and International Conferences, was awarded seven travel grants and invited to present her work internationally. She also participated in several projects (10) beside the one´s mentioned above. in 2016 and 2014 she got funded to organize an International Workshop in São Tomé and Principe (STP) "Rotavirus in STP" and an International Seminar in Lisbon., Portugal on “Global access to safe water: microbiology and eco-recycling for our benefit”.
In 2004 Claudia participated in teaching a practical course given to students in order to start scientific research involving working with cell culture and viruses in P2 safety level laboratories at Division of Molecular Virology, Linköping University, Sweden.
During 2011-2014 Claudia Istrate was invited to take part in the teaching activities included in the Medical Microbiology Master Course, Tropical Medicine Master Course and Infection and Genetics PhD Programme hosted at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal. To develop her projects she organized theoretical and practical training of laboratory technicians, health professionals, medical doctors in CPLP countries regarding laboratory methods to detect and characterize viruses causing gastroenteritis (with emphasis on rotavirus). She supervised (1) and co-supervised (1) master students as well as 5 internships for one year or shorter period.