Molecular Biologist Thais Boeira Makes Groundbreaking Discovery in the Detection of HPV


Cancer of the uterine cervix is one of the leading causes of the death for women worldwide, with approximately 260,000 deaths per year. In Brazil, cervical cancer ranks as the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths of female cancer, and 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in women aged 15 to 44 years. Effective early detection of the human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a crucial role as the infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is recognized as a factor for the development of cervical cancer. 

Through groundbreaking scientific research resulting in the publication, Human papillomavirus detection and typing using a nested-PCR-RFLP assay Dr. Thais Boeira, of Rio Grande do Sul, identified a new method of detecting and diagnosing HPV which many believe is much superior to other methods currently available. Dr. Boeira’s discovery not only identified the presence of the virus with high sensibility, but also determined what type it was and whether it is a single or multiple infection, already a significant advance from previous methods. Dr. Boeira’s innovative method of detection is substantially less expensive and more user friendly, making testing more available and affordable for the general public.

Her article, published in the Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases (BJID), the official publication of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases, has directly led to other discoveries within the field of HPV and has impacted women in lower and middle income settings who have benefitted from Dr. Boeira’s discoveries and have been able to more affordably detect and diagnose HPV. 

This remarkable career was launched in In August 2003 when Boeira completed her biology undergrad studies the day before she turned 20. This ultra-accelerated course of study reflected the passion that drove Boeira to complete her coursework completion a year early with a high grade performance. Among all the interesting topics in the biological sciences, one of them stood out for Boeira that called out for her special attention: Molecular Biology.

Months after her notable graduation, she was invited by her professor of Molecular Biology, Dr Nilo Ikuta to work at his company, Simbios Biotecnologia.

Simbios is a company noted for its specialized work in Molecular Diagnostics and a pioneer in laboratory analysis of DNA and RNA of infectious agents in Brazil.

In her first 5 years with this firm, Thaís Boeira worked in the Research and Development sector under the guidance of Dr Ikuta to carry out technical feasibility studies for the development of new products and services and participated in the elaboration and detailing of various procedures, protocols and training, including in the of Simbios molecular diagnostic products called NewGene®.

After leaving Simbios 2012, Boeira was approved to pursue a doctoral scholarship at the Lutheran University of Brazil and began to study under the guidance of noted Professor Dr Vagner Lunge. Also during this period, Boeira’s personal life blossomed when she gave birth to her daughter Sofia, in June 2014.

According to Thais, “Being a mother is having the gift of knowing a love that only multiplies every day!”

Since becoming a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology in 2017, she has participated as a member of several theses and dissertations evaluation committees, as well as reviewed manuscripts submitted for publication in scientific journals in the area, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contribute to the scientific community worldwide.

Dr. Boeira continues to conduct molecular research and is passionate about her work in the early detection of HPV. She currently resides in Porto Alegre, with her husband and children.

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