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I2SysBio renews its Direction team

  • August 13rd, 2020
Emilia Matallana, Santiago F. Elena
Emilia Matallana, Santiago F. Elena

Last Tuesday, July 28th, 2020, the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology I2SysBio (University of Valencia-CSIC joint center) decided to propose Emilia Matallana Redondo as the new director of I2SysBio and Santiago F. Elena Fito as the vice-director. Their candidacies had been proposed unanimously by the Institute's Board, after hearing from the Faculty members. The appointments of both co-directors were ratified by the Rector of the University of Valencia and the President of the CSIC on 10 August. Previously, on 23 July, the Rector of the University of Valencia and the President of the CSIC had accepted the resignation of the previous co-directors, José Luis García and Juli Peretó, recognising their work in the creation and consolidation of I2SysBio.

Emilia Matallana and Santiago Elena will act as co-directors of I2SysBio in a new stage of the institute marked by the readjustment of the research space available for the joint centre.

Emilia Matallana is a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Valencia (UV) and co-leads the Industrial Yeast Biotechnology group at I2SysBio with Agustín Aranda. Dr. Matallana received her PhD from the UV in 1989 and spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. She has developed her research career in the field of wine yeasts, for more than 20 years as a Faculty member of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA) of the CSIC. She has been the main researcher of several projects of the State Plan and of contracts with private entities and has directed 12 PhD theses. Emilia Matallana teaches at the School of Biological Sciences of the UV where, among other subjects, she teaches the subject of Food Biotechnology. Between 2005 and 2011 she was Vice-Dean of Studies in her School, a period in which she led the last curriculum reform of the Degree in Biology. She has been involved in multiple educational innovation projects such as the Motivem Program to promote entrepreneurship in the classroom. In 2011 he received the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Consell Social of UV. He has been recognized for 4 six-year periods of research and one six-year period of transfer.

Santiago F. Elena is a research professor at the CSIC and leads the Evolutionary Systems Virology group at I2SysBio. He is a professor of Genetics (on leave) at the UV and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He received his PhD at the UV in 1995 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University for two years. Dr. Elena is a specialist in the theoretical and experimental approaches to the study of the evolution of viruses and their interactions with hosts. He has extensive experience in both viruses that infect animals, including humans, and plant pathogens. He has led numerous research projects financed with European, state or regional public funds, as well as contracts with private entities, and has directed 16 PhD theses. He was recently awarded a project financed by the CSIC to study new therapeutic strategies against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Dr. Elena co-directs the I2SysBio-Centre for Mathematical Research Associated Unit "Dynamic Systems and Computational Virology". He is an elected member of EMBO and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In 2020 he was elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The research teams led by Emilia Matallana and Santiago Elena were part of the founding core of I2SysBio.