Maria del Mar Ortega-Villaizan



Degree in Biological Sciences (1995) from the University of Alicante. Just graduated I got a Leonardo Da Vinci scholarship (AquaTT/EU) to work for 6 months in a rainbow trout fish farm in Northern Ireland, where I began my interest in aquaculture. Then, after completing the doctorate courses in Marine Biology and Aquaculture (1997-1999) of the University of Vigo, I joined the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Mazarrón, as a research student (2000-2001). Afterwards, I started my research career in Japan, carrying out my PhD at the University of Tohoku, Japan (Thesis Title: Comparative study of two flounder Closely related species on the genetic monitoring of the stock enhancement program) (2001-2005), under the direction of Professor Nobuhiko Taniguchi, winning the Award for the best doctoral student in the department. Upon the completion of the thesis, I stayed as a postdoctoral researcher in France, at the national research center CEMAGREF (Bordeaux), working on sturgeon conservation genetics. Subsequently, I immersed myself in the private sector as R & D manager of the pathology laboratory in the company Acuícola Marina S.L. During this period I learned about the needs of the aquaculture sector in relation to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. After this inclusion in the private sector, in 2007 I started working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University Miguel Hernandez (UMH), at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC), in the laboratory of Dr. Amparo Estepa, working in what would be my current research line: DNA vaccines against viral pathologies in aquaculture, specifically evaluating the innate and adaptive immune response to immunization with DNA vaccines based on the G glycoprotein of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus. I started this postdoctoral stage with a fellowship for the recruitment of doctors in centers of excellence of the Generalitat Valenciana (2007-2009), followed by a CajaMurcia foundation fellowship (2009-2010) and a Juan de la Cierva fellowship (2010-2013). During this postdoctoral period I obtained excellent and novel results and collaborated with groups of the CSIC, the University of Murcia, the University of León and INIA. This accumulated experience allowed me to be granted with an ERC STARTING GRANT, which started on April 2015 at the at the IBMC (UMH), leading my own laboratory, to investigate on the crosstalk between red and white blood cells in the context of viral infections and DNA vaccine immunizations, in order to elucidate the role of red blood cells in the fish immune response. In summary, throughout my research career I have participated in 7 research projects, one of them as PI, with national and international projection, published 29 scientific articles in international journals of recognized standing and indexed in the SJR or JCR, 2 book chapters, plus 34 conference communications. Besides, I have imparted lectures at the degree of Biochemistry and Biotechnology and at the University Master of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, at the UMH, and obtained the AVAP accreditation for assistant professor. In the year 2010 I got the VII JACUMAR award on aquaculture research.

Record last modified Sep 24, 2018 9:22:44 PM