The Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas of CSIC belongs to two scientific research areas of knowledge: Natural Resources and Food Science and Technology. There are four departments: Oceanography; Ecology and Marine Resources; Biotechnology and Aquaculture; and Food Technology. Research units are grouped by subject affinity in the four departments. The research group is the National Reference Laboratory for mollusc diseases (EU Council Directive 95/70) in Spain, and it has long term involvement and is involved currently in several EU research projects related to fish and bivalve mollusc aquaculture. The research unit "Immunology and Genomics" is part of the Biotechnology and Aquaculture department and is under the responsibility of Beatriz Novoa and Antonio Figueras. The research group is composed of 3 scientists, 4 post-docts and 4 pre-doctoral students with very complementary skills and research interests (pathology, immunology, molecular biology). This team works in the diagnosis of fish and shellfish diseases and the interaction of pathogens with the host immune system. In the last 10 years, the application of genomic tools such as suppression subtraction hybridization (SSH), cDNA libraries, microarrays, etc, has been introduced into our research. We have focused on the study of the molecular bases of immune responses in fish and shellfish. Our laboratory is well equipped to perform research in marine biology, pathology, immunology and molecular biology while other facilities available at the Institute include a library, computer facilities and laboratories specialized in: virology, molecular biology, microarrays, histopathology, and biochemistry of proteins and nucleic acids. The institute also has thermo-regulated experimental facilities for fish and shellfish and a P2 level of containment suitable for work with genetically modified organisms. Equipment includes: transmission electron microscope, HPLC devices, ultracentrifuge, PCR thermal cyclers, quantitative PCR, automatic DNA sequencer, flow cytometer, etc.
Dr Antonio Figueras is Research professor of CSIC and he has carried research on pathology and innate immunity in fish and shellfish, with over 200 SCI scientific publications, books and chapter books. He has directed 16 Doctoral Thesis and has been the PI and coordinator of international and national projects. In particular he has been the coordinator of the “Aquagenomics” project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, which agglutinates to 18 groups working in different aspects of aquaculture (nutrition, reproduction, genetics, diseases, development, etc) with the aim to develop genomic tools (NGS sequencing, microarrays, bioinformatics etc.) to understand and improve different problems of cultured species (sea bream, sea bass and turbot). Dr. A. Figueras has been the supervisor of 16 PhD students and >20 post docs and he has received several awards for his research activity.
Dr. Beatriz Novoa (130 publications SCI) has been involved in all the previous EU research contracts dealing with pathology, and fish and shellfish immunology. She is IP of National and European projects and has directed 10 Doctoral Thesis.
Sonia Dios is a scientist with more than 40 articles and a wide experience in molecular biology work, specifically in gene expression. She is also our laboratory group manager.
One technician will be involved in the project in addition to one postdoctoral researcher, who will be contracted.