Dr Marta Nunes is a Reader, Associate Professor, at the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Marta developed her PhD work at the Department of Neurology & Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, USA and obtained her PhD from the University of Lisbon, Medical College, Portugal. After her post-doctoral training at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, where she developed different projects aimed at understanding the cell biology of Plasmodium falciparum and to identify molecular candidates for malaria vaccines for pregnant women. She moved to South Africa in 2009, where the focus of her research has been on the interaction of different putative pathogens on respiratory disease in children and the different manifestations in health and disease to these infections. To approach the problem of infant morbidity and mortality related to infections she is exploring the potential of intervening through vaccination of pregnant women to protect the women and their babies against infections. This also includes the evaluation of this intervention in reducing adverse birth outcomes.