Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (UMH)

11 umhThe University Miguel Hernández (UMH), founded in 1997, is innovative and progressive in its strategy to focus on collaborations between academic research and societal and commercial applications. The mission statement of UMH states, “UMH is to serve society by providing higher education, research and technology transfer, as well as top quality services that meet the expectations and demands of the community, and actively collaborate in the socio-economic development of the region. UMH is also dedicated to delivering a comprehensive education to the students, facilitating job placement, and enabling and fostering the professional development of the members of the university community.” The construction of the University Technological park, partially funded by EU, is vital in achieving the goals mentioned above. It is an initiative to locate and promote applied research and the establishment of technology based companies, facilitating patents, vaccine development and clinical trials, and potential spin-off companies. The vicinity of San Juan University Hospital to the technology park makes logistics for clinical trials and collaborations with physicians easier. Having four research institutes at two campuses, the research excellence of Miguel Hernandez University is outstanding. More specific to the project proposed here, the Evolutionary Genomic Group (EGG) of UMH was founded in 2005 and represents one of the most advanced metagenomic groups worldwide.

 

Contact person: Francisco Rodríguez Valera (frvalera@umh.es)

Website: www.umh.es

  

Role of UHM in MaCuMBA:

UMH will be responsible for work package 6 and will be also in charge of the large DNA sequencing efforts of the project. UMH will supply know-how about sequencing strategies to describe the microbe’s isolated (genomes) and the communities they come from as well as the enrichments and syntrophic associations to be described during the project (metagenomes). UMH will contribute also to work packages #2, 5 and 7. Specifically we will contribute to isolate new archaeal pure cultures and provide samples from the Mediterranean deep chlorophyll maximum that we have studied for some years now.

 

Profile of staff engaged in the project:

Paco Rodriguez Valera

Prof. Francisco Rodríguez Valera has been publishing important papers about microbial diversity since the mid-eighties and has been a pioneer in the application of metagenomics to extreme and marine (mostly deep oceanic) environments. Currently, he is the coordinating scientist for a long-term Spanish national excellence project CONSOLIDER MICROGEN directed towards establishing a strong and cutting edge microbial genomics community in Spain. Prof. Rodriguez-Valera is also an editorial board member for BMC journals, Archaea, PLoS One and Microbial Ecology.
Ana Belen Martin Cuadrado Dr. Ana Belén Martín Cuadrado obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Salamanca (Spain). She was awarded several grants from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia during her Predoctoral period and also as a Postdoctoral. She has worked in several marine microbial ecology studies, such as the first deep Mediterranean Sea metagenome.
Rohit Ghai Dr Rohit Ghai obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Giessen (Germany) working on transcriptional responses in host-pathogen interactions. He has been at the forefront of freshwater metagenomics, having discovered unusual low-GC content of cosmopolitan freshwater Actinobacteria.
Nikole Kimes Dr. Nikole E. Kimes obtained her PhD in Marine Microbiology from the Medical University of South Carolina (USA). She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her doctoral studies from 2007-2010. Her research has focused on the marine microbial communities associated with numerous marine ecosystems, including corals, deep-sea sediments, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Mario Lopez Mario López-Pérez, PhD. Evolutionary Genomics Group. Mario joined the Department in 2012. His current research interest is to understand the underlying principles that govern microbial aquatic populations. He uses comparative genomic, molecular biology, transcriptomic and metagenomic methodologies to investigate the ecological and evolutionary implications of the genomic diversity among closely related genotypes. As a model, he works with the marine heterotroph Alteromonas macleodii. Recent work has been dedicated to explore bacterial biodiversity and ecology of several samples along the Mediterranean Sea by metagenomics.

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