Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: María Jesús Martínez
  • Email: mjmartinezSPAMFILTER@cib.csic.es

Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (CIB-CSIC)

Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC)
  • Address: Ramiro de Maetzu 9, E-28040 Madrid (Spain)
  • Province: Madrid

Research Area

  • Life Sciences (LIF)

Brief description of the institution:

The CIB is a multidisciplinary research institution, at the forefront of biological research. Initially focusing on biology and biomedicine, sensu stricto, today the CIB is covering a broad spectrum of knowledge and research, including agricultural sciences, chemistry or biophysics.
Using biology as a common denominator, the CIB mission is manifold, but mainly fostering education, research and technology transfer to society. The scientific focus of the institute is mainly driven by some of the major societal challenges as defined by European citizens: health (medicine), food security (agriculture) & environment (ecology).
The CIB is a unique meeting place for scientists covering a broad spectrum of expertise, such as molecular and cellular biologists, geneticists, microbiologists, biophysics, biochemists, working at the heart of the largest university campus in Spain (Complutense University).
 It is one of the more emblematic research institutes of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). With a track record of over 60 years, the CIB has been able to attract competitive funding at the local, national and international level to finance its research projects,

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The Biological Research Center (CIB) is one of the research centers with greater prestige and tradition in the CSIC, and has been at the forefront of biological research since its creation in 1953. Currently the CIB is a multidisciplinary center, bringing together researchers in the areas of biology, agricultural sciences and chemistry. It is an active, dynamic center in constant evolution.

The CIB group of " Biotechnology for lignocellulose Biomass” led by Angel T. Martinez and María Jesús Martínez (www.cib.csic.es/lignina/lignina_en.html) is the "Department of Microbial and Plant Biotecnology" of the CIB. The laboratory of the María Jesús Martínez, co-directed by the Dr. Alicia Prieto.

Project description:

In general we study fungal enzymes acting on different components of lignocellulosic biomass. We have characterized a lipase/sterol esterase, which hydrolyzes triglycerides and sterol esters in aqueous media, although it is able to catalyze synthesis reactions in the presence of organic solvents.On the other hand, we study different fungal glycosidases involved in valorization of carbohydrates present in plant biomass wastes (cellulose and hemicellulose principally). These enzymes are hydrolases involved in the plan biomass polysaccharide degradation but, depending on the reaction conditions, also catalyze transglycosilation. In order to expand the biotechnological applications, these enzymes, we converted some of them into a glucosynthases or thioglycases, glycosidases in which the catalytic nucleophile residue has been replaced with promising results.

Our aim is to promote the use of microbial biotechnology, by biotechnological industries, as well as finding better catalysts for valorization of lignocellulosic wastes, to develop more sustainable and environmentally friendly bioprocesses. We want to improve the enzymes by protein engineering or to find new applications for the improved enzymes obtained by rational design or directed evolution techniques.

  1. Méndez-Liter, J., Gil-Munoz, J., Nieto-Dominguez, M., Barriuso, J., de Eugenio, L.I. y Martinez, M.J., 2017. A novel, highly efficient beta-glucosidase with a cellulose-binding domain: characterization and properties of native and recombinant proteins. Biotech Biofuels 10:266.
  2. Molina-Gutiérrez, M., Hakalin, N., Rodríguez, L. Prieto, A., and Martínez, M.J. (2017). Green synthesis of b-sitostanol esters catalyzed by the versatile lipase/sterol esterase from Ophiostoma piceae. Food Chemistry, 221: 1458-1465. 

Applications

Candidates holding a PhD on Biology, Chemistry and related areas are welcome to apply. They should be trained on biochemical and molecular techniques.

Documents to be submitted:

  • CV
  • Letter of motivation
  • PhD thesis summary
  • Recommendation letter

Deadline for submission: asap

I want to contact the Institution

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