Dr. Maria R. Diaz-Torres

Executive Vice President, Co-Founder, Head of the Department of Research
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Proven track record in the development of innovative biotechnology & biomedical products and solutions, and in leading cross-functional teams both in Europe and U.S.A.

Ph.D. in Industrial Microbiology with Professor M.J. Geoghegan at University College Dublin (UCD), National University of Ireland (Rep. of Ireland) and further specializations in Genetics with Professor S. R. Kushner at the University of Georgia (Georgia, U.S.A.), Molecular Genetics with Professor A. Wright at the Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences,Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, U.S.A), and Biotechnology including Microbial Engineering and Directed Evolution at Genencor International (a DuPont Company) in the silicon valley, California (U.S.A) were she was a Senior Scientist.

Research awards including the U.S.A 2003 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for Microbial Production of 1,3 Propanediol, the 2005 DuPont Sustainable Growth Excellence Award Bio-Based Materials for the Noteworthy Achievement of Production of Bio-PDOTM from Renewable Resources, the 2007 Heroes of Chemistry Award at the 234th ACS National Meeting in Boston for the Bio-PDO(TM) as a new 100 percent renewable ingredient.

Over 95 international patents and publications including papers in Cell and Journal of Biological Chemistry. In addition she is the sole inventor of 4 granted patents two of them licensed to Pfizer with a non-exclusive license to technology that enhances the level of expression of secreted polypeptides (proteins) in microorganisms for use in the development of protein therapeutics. The technology described in United States Patents #6,544,792 and #6,642,027 improves processes for protein production in microorganisms which in turn may reduce the cost of developing protein-based drugs.

Co-founder in 2007 of AlerGenetica S.L., located in Spain.
Currently Editorial Board member of the journal BMC Biotechnology.