Se constituye el nuevo Comité Científico Asesor interno del CBGP

El recientemente elegido Comité Científico Asesor interno del CBGP proporcionará asesoramiento sobre las futuras actividades de investigación e innovación del CBGP con el objetivo de apoyar la expansión del centro.

El recientemente elegido Comité Científico Asesor interno del CBGP proporcionará asesoramiento sobre las futuras actividades de investigación e innovación del CBGP con el objetivo de apoyar la expansión del centro.

La comunidad CBGP (UPM-INIA) desea dar la bienvenida a todos los nuevos miembros del Comité Científico Asesor del CBGP y desearles mucho éxito en sus esfuerzos para asesorar al Equipo de Dirección y a la comunidad CBGP en el diseño de los planes de las futuras actividades de Investigación e Innovación del centro. Este Comité de Asesoramiento está integrado por 7 reconocidos investigadores de CBGP pertenecientes a la UPM y al INIA-CSIC que representan las 4 áreas de investigación de CBGP, incluidas las dos nuevas áreas de Biología Computacional y de Biosistemas y Genómica (CsBGP) y Biología Sintética y Bioingeniería (SynBIO2). Los miembros del nuevo Comité Científico Asesor del CBGP son los siguientes:


Plant Development (DP)
  1. Mónica Pernas (Researcher INIA-CSIC)
  2. Manuel Piñeiro (Research Professor INIA-CSIC)
Interactions of Plants with Environment (IPM)
  1. Emilia López-Solanilla (Professor. UPM)
  2. Fernando García-Arenal (Professor. UPM)
  3. Mar Castellano (Researcher INIA-CSIC)
Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering (SynBIO2)
  1. Fernando Ponz Ascaso (Research Professor INIA-CSIC)
Computational Systems Biology and Genomics (CsBGP)
  1. Jaime Huerta-Cepas (Researcher INIA-CSIC)

El Equipo de Dirección y la comunidad CBGP quiere agradecer al invetigador Mark Wilkinson (CBGP) por su labor como representante en el Consejo Cinetifico Asesor durnate los últimos 5 años y por su compromiso y contribuciones para el desarrollo y crecimiento del centro.


About Mónica Pernas

Mónica Pernas is an INIA independent researcher in the Plant Developmental Department at CBGP. She did her PhD in the area of plant defence, in the laboratory of Prof. Salcedo at the Biotechnology Department, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, School of Agriculture Science of Polytechnic University in Madrid. In 1999, she joined the Prof. Jose J. Sanchez-Serrano’s lab at the National Centre of Biotechnology (CNB, CSIC) in Madrid as a post-doctoral fellow, working in the characterisation of signalling hormonal pathways in response to defence and wounding. In 2003, she did a second postdoc in Liam Dolan´s lab at the John Innes Centre (JIC, UK) working on the hormonal regulation of root stem cell niche development. From 2002 to 2005 she was a Project Scientist in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department at JIC. Later she moved as a senior postdoctoral to the Plant Sciences Department at Oxford University (UK) where she expanded her research interest into the study of root patterning. In 2012, she got a permanent position at CBGP(Madrid) where she is leading a research group focused in uncovering the genetic and molecular factors regulating root development in response to soil and environmental conditions. In particular, her research programme involves two main fields: i) analysis of root developmental traits associated to plant adaptability to extreme conditions in the Brassicaceae family with special attention to species of potential agronomic interest, principally in Brassica napus (oilseed rape) and ii) the study of root adaptation to soil during plant evolution. The ultimate goal of her lab is to assist agriculture in the evaluation and prevention of the consequences of current and future adverse environmental conditions driven by climate change on plant growth and to design crops better adapted to face this challenge.

About Manuel Piñeiro

Dr. Manuel Piñeiro is a senior scientist in the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (INIA-CSIC). After graduating in Biology in the Universidad de Sevilla (1986), he earned his PhD in Sciences in the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, 1991) working in the Centro de Biología Molecular-Severo Ochoa – CSIC. He did a first postdoctoral stay in the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) between 1992 and 1994 when he was granted an European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) postdoctoral fellowship to work in the group of Dr. George Coupland (John Innes Centre, UK). In 2001 he was awarded a Ramón y Cajal grant to start his research line in INIA where he obtained a staff scientist position in 2002. His research group in the CBGP is interested in understanding the genetic and molecular regulation of plant developmental transitions such as the initiation of flowering that have a direct impact on crop yield. His laboratory is contributing to unveil the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of plant developmental processes like flowering time, and in the adaptation of plants to fluctuating environmental conditions with particular emphasis in the increase on ambient temperature associated with the current scenario of climate change. Currently he serves as representative of INIA in the European Plant Science Organization (EPSO). For more information (link to the web page of the group).

About Fernando García-Arenal

Fernando García-Arenal, graduated as Ingeniero Agrónomo from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in 1974, and obtained his PhD degree in Plant Pathology in 1977. From 1981 to 1983 he was a visiting fellow with Prof. Milton Zailtin, Dept. of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, NY, USA, and in 2001 he did a six-month sabbatical with Prof. Lin Chao, Dept. of Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution, University of California San Diego, USA. Since 1983 he is Catedrático (Professor) at UPM, and since 2008 he leads the research group “Plant-Virus Interactions and Co-Evolution” at CBGP, of which he was Director (2006 to 2015). Over the years, he has contributed to different aspects of plant virology, from diagnosis and diagnostic tools for new diseases to the molecular mechanisms of plant-virus interactions. However, his major interest has been understanding plant virus evolution, in increasingly complex frameworks. Initially he focussed on the genetic diversity and structure of virus populations, and on the mechanisms that generate virus diversity. He moved then to study the evolution of plant-virus interactions, with significant contributions to understand the evolution of virulence, host defence, and host range, including virus overcoming of resistance in crops. This work highlighted the role of the environment as modulator of virus host range and virulence, which directed his research to virus ecology and virus emergence, the topics of his most recent research. topics of my most recent research.

About Emilia López Solanilla

Emilia López Solanilla. She received the BS degree in Biological Sciences (1994), from Complutense University, Madrid and PhD in Biological Sciences (1998) from Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain. Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She is head of the research team Phytopathogenic Bacteria, at the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics since 2008. She is member of the Spanish National Research Agency (AEI) since 2018 at the Agricultural and Forestry research area, and she has recently (2020) been appointed to coordinate the area. Scientific expertise focused in the research area related to the pathogenic bacteria-plant interaction. During the first phase of her scientific carrier, her contribution was focused on the study of resistance mechanisms to plant defense in phytopathogenic bacteria. During a postdoctoral stage (2001-2002) at Cornell University (Department of Plant Pathology, Ithaca, NY, USA), she was part of the initiative responsible for carrying out pioneering studies on bacterial functional genomics of plant pathogens. Since then, she has contributed to the study of the early stages of infection in phytopathogenic bacteria and to functional studies related to pathogenesis in different pathosystems. Her scientific interests currently focus on the study of the mechanisms of perception and response to plant and environmental factors in bacterial phytopathogens.

About Mar Castellano

Dr. Mar Castellano obtained her degree in Chemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1996). Afterwards she joined Dr. Crisanto Gutierrez’s lab at the Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa" (CSIC-UAM) to study cell division and endoreplication in plants, obtaining her PhD degree with the extraordinary doctorate award (2002). Then she moved to Dr. Robert Sablowski’s lab at the John Innes Centre in the UK with an EMBO fellowship and a “Marie Curie” contract (2003-2007). She returned to Spain to Dr. Salinas’ lab and, shortly after, she got a “Ramon y Cajal” contract and a permanent position as researcher in INIA (2009). Since 2011 she is leading, at the CBGP (UPM-INIA), the research line “Regulation of translation during abiotic stress conditions in plants”, which has been granted with several research projects, standing out a “Starting Grant” from the European Research Council. In 2020, she was appointed Head of the Biotechnology Department of INIA.

About Fernando Ponz Ascaso

Dr. Fernando Ponz is a Research Professor leading the group of Plant Virus Biotechnology at the CBGP. A graduate in Biochemistry by the Universidad Complutense (Madrid), he completed his Doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1984, under the supervision of Prof. Francisco García Olmedo of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The research in this period was centered on the molecular biology of defense proteins from cereal seeds. His doctorate was followed by a postdoctoral stay at the University of California (Davis, USA) working on plant viruses under the supervision of Prof. George Bruening, a topic he has been working on ever since. He has been leading his research group since 1988, with a sabbatical stay at Montana State University. For years, he served as INIA’s representative in front of national and international organizations such as scientific platforms (EPSO, at the European level), OECD, and others. An author of over 100 scientific papers, the work on plant viruses has covered many aspects ranging from the molecular intimacy of the interaction with the plant host, resistance mechanisms, variability, sensitive diagnosis, impact on plant development, etc. Along the last two decades the main research effort in the group has progressively shifted towards the biotechnological and nanobiotechnological developments of plant viruses for their application in many different areas. A patented development of the group gave rise to the spin-off company Agrenvec in 2000, a company producing high-value proteins in plants with viral vectors, now selling its products in many countries around the world.

About Jaime Huerta-Cepas

Dr Jaime Huerta-Cepas obtained his PhD on Molecular Biology in 2008 (Valencia, 2004-2008) and worked as a postdoc and research scientist at CRG (Barcelona, 2009-2013) and EMBL (Heidelberg, 2013-2018). He is currently a tenure scientist at Centre for Biotechnology and Genomics of Plants CBGP (UPM-INIA-CSIC), where he leads the Comparative Genomics and Metagenomics Lab ( His current research focuses on studying functional, phylogenetic and ecological novelty of microbial communities. Dr. Huerta-Cepas is an expert in phylogenomic analysis and leads the development of highly-used bioinformatic resources such as ETE-Toolkit, eggNOG and eggNOG-mapper.