The Microbiology & Biotechnology group of BioISI (M&B-BioISI) is mainly focused on the exploitation of the connections between group know-how and expertise in microbiology and the SME and industrial networks for the development of transversal integrated approaches in several key areas of biotechnology.
The M&B-BioISI currently includes thirteen members with a PhD and strong competences in microbiology covering a broad range of complementary scientific areas. From ecosystems to molecular analysis, this represents an integrated scientific knowledge that has sustained fruitful research collaborations with industry and biotech companies (e.g. Proenol, Sogrape, Atralcipan, Bioalvo, Biopremier, Vasverde, Cork Supply, Biotask, Biorah).
M&B-BioISI has a plastic, project-oriented organizational structure under the global guidance of the Research Group Leader (RGL). Each project is ruled by the proponent PI/supervisor or the PI designated by the RGL. The group’s infrastructure is organized around the open-lab status of the ‘Bugworkers Lab’, that harbors the group and is the support lab for the SMEs incubated at ICAT-TecLabs Innovation Center of FCUL.
M&B-BioISI holds a collection of more than 2000 microbes (bacteria, yeasts and molds), collected from habitats so diverse as humans, plants, insects, saltmarshes, acid mines, hydrothermal vents and wine/must, ancillary to countless fields of biotechnological exploitation.
Specific lines of research following the rainbow of “biotech colours ” include : 1) yellow and white biotech – development and integrative characterization of adaptive evolved wine yeasts with higher performance and increased stress tolerance; 2) gold and red biotech – development of computational pipelines for identification of molecular targets for development of therapeutic compounds; determination of mechanisms of action based on Biolog phenoarrays; 3) Grey biotech – design and validation of new microbial consortia for water treatment; 4) Blue biotech – omics-based characterization of marine microbes for bioactivity profiles; development of novel bioactives for personal care, therapeutics, agrosciences, greener industrial processes; 5) Black biotech – development of antimicrobial agents against Bacillus anthracis.
M&B-BioISI will be mainly associated with BioISI Thematic Strand of Biotechnology & Biofoods but cooperative interactions will be promoted for integrative research within the other thematic strands of Biomedicine, Biological Physics and Bioinformatics & Modelling.