The University of Valencia will award the biotechnologist Francisco Martínez Mojica the Laurea Honoris Causa. The ceremony will take place on the 11th of January at 13:00 in the auditorium of the historical building, which is located in La Nau. Luis Franco, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will conduct the laudation. This ceremony is included in the Commemoration of 50 years of Biology studies at the University of Valencia.
Martínez Mojica was graduated in Biology by the University of Valencia and got a PhD in Biotechnology by the University of Alacant. He was born in Elx in 1963. He is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Physiology, Genetics and Microbiology and a member of the Multidisciplinary Institute of Environmental Studies Ramon Margalef from the University of Alacant. He discovered the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeteats), which is the basis of a prokaryotic immune system.
His research was focused on archings and palindromical repetitions that consistently spread. It has contributed to understand the physiological malfunction of archings, its phylogenetical distribution and its evolutive age.
Martínez Mojica proposed his first hypothesis about the role of CRISPR as a prokaryotic defense mechanism based on the viral origin (bacteriophages) of spacers.
His scientific activity has been awarded several times and includes the Jaume I Award for Basic Research, the Fronteras del Conocimiento Award of BBVA Foundation, the Alberto Sols Award and the Lilly Foundation Award for Preclinical Biomedical Research.