I am a PhD candidate at the InBio research group. Previously I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of València (Spain), and a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Approaches in Life Sciences from the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity at Paris Diderot University (France).
One of my main interests is to analyze and understand what is life and how it works, a pretty ambitious goal but also extremely intriguing. Along these lines, my PhD project aims to analyze a biological system, characterize it in order to understand and predict its behavior, and then control it. More precisely, I focus on the effect of protein misfolding stress on cellular growth, with the purpose of understanding the system and optimizing biotechnological processes.
In most cases the function of a protein relies on its 3D structure. Hence, when an essential protein is not properly folded its activity is affected, leading to disease, or impacting growth rate in the case of microorganisms. This is usually a limitation when the goal is to overproduce difficult-to-fold proteins of biotechnological interest, because one would desire to have many cells, and all of them with high production rates for the protein of interest. But in many cases emerges a trade-off between reaching high growth rate or high protein production rate for the desired protein. One of the reasons may be that the protein of interest competes with host’s essential proteins to get folded by the cellular folding machinery, which produces stress. Within this context, my goal is to characterize and understand the trade-off between overproducing difficult-to-fold proteins and cellular growth. Using computational and experimental methods, I aim to find the optimal gene expression profile of the protein of interest such that maximizes its production by a growing population of cells, within a given time period. This knowledge could not only lead to improve biotechnological processes, but also better understand misfolding stress in different biological contexts.