Researchers - Title

Research - Our Team


Elisa Lopez Varela is an Associated Researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal in Barcelona, Spain. She has over a decade of of experience leading research projects in pediatric HIV and TB, half of which she has been based in Mozambique and South Africa where she has combined pediatric clinical care with research activities.

She is a certified pediatrician with a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Barcelona. From 2018-2020, she was postdoctoral fellowship at the Desmond Tutu TB Center University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, where she focused on the optimization of pediatric TB treatment, including new drugs for the prevention of multidrug-resistant TB and pharmacokinetic/dynamic studies.

In 2020, she was awarded a RESPIRE4 Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow (European Respiratory Society), to focus in improving the management of pediatric respiratory infections, including TB, with a particular interest in evaluating novel diagnostic strategies focused in high HIV burden settings. Since May 2023, he serves as Global Medical Affairs Director at ViiV Healthcare

Lines of research

  • Biomarker-based diagnostics to improve risk stratification of respiratory tract infections in children.
  • Optimization of pediatric TB treatment, including new drugs for the prevention of multidrug-resistant TB and pharmacokinetic/dynamic studies.
  • Characterization of pediatric TB in Mozambique, including identification of strategies to increase case detection.
  • Development of operational research projects to improve the HIV care cascade in adult and pediatric populations in Mozambique.

Main publications

  • Lopez Varela  E, Garcia-Prats A, Seddon J, Draper H, Winckler J, van der Laan L, Palmer M, Burger A, Schaaf S, Hesseling AC. Treatment outcomes and safety in children with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis: a prospective cohort study.  The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, in press 2022.
  • Goussard P, Walters E, Corne Bosch, Morrison J, Croucamp R, Demmers AM; Lopez Varela E. The diagnostic utility of Xpert MTB/RIF on bronchoalveolar lavage samples in children undergoing bronchoscopy for diagnosis of intrathoracic tuberculosis. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2021 Jul;56(7):2186-2194. doi: 10.1002/ppul.25405. Epub 2021 Apr 13.PMID: 33818927.
  • Lopez-Varela E, Fuente-Soro L, Joaquim Augusto O, Sacoor C, Nhacolo A, Karajeanes E, Vaz P, Naniche D. The Continuum of HIV Care in Rural Mozambique: The Implications of HIV Testing Modality on Linkage and Retention. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 Apr 27. 
  • Lopez-Varela E, Blanco S, Respeito D, Gimo M, Sacoor Ch, Naniche D, Naniche D. High yield of home-based TB diagnosis among newly diagnosed HIV patients. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 Apr 1;80(4):e103-e105. 
  • López-Varela E, Augusto OJ, Guerra L, Respeito D, Sacoor C, Sacarlal J, Migliori GB, Sotgiu G, Alonso PL, García-Basteiro AL. Low paediatric tuberculosis case detection rate in Southern Mozambique. Eur Respir J. 2015.
  • López-Varela E, Joaquim Augusto O, Gondo K,García-Basteiro AL, Fraile O, Ira T, Ribó Aristizabal JL, Bulo H, Muñoz Gutierrez J, Aponte J, Macete E, Sacarlal J, Alonso P. Incidence of Tuberculosis among young children in rural Mozambique. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Jul;34(7):686-92.
  • López-Varela E, García-Basteiro AL, Santiago B, Wagner D, Van ingen J, Kampmann B. Non-tuberculous mycobacteria in children: muddying the waters of tuberculosis diagnosis. Lancet Respir M. 2015  Mar  3(3):244–256.
Asset Publisher