Born in Mexico City, Susana López Charretón always knew she wanted to study biology. She enrolled into the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she completed a PhD in 1986. Along with her husband, Carlos Arias, López Charretón formed a research group at the Institute of Biotechnology at UNAM to study rotaviruses. One of their most important findings defined the process of how rotaviruses enter a host cell and the specific molecules involved. This work was part of the scientific foundation for rotavirus vaccines.
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