Members of the Food Proteins Group

Isidra Recio

Isidra Recio - Staff - Research Professor Food Proteins

Research Professor

Beatriz Miralles

Beatriz Miralles - Staff - Senior Scientist Food Proteins

Senior Scientist

Marta Martínez

Marta Martínez - Staff - Senior Scientist Food Proteins

Senior Scientist

Biography of our members

Isidra Recio

Research Professor

Isidra Recio, BSc. In Pharmacy by the University of Salamanca PhD in Pharmacy, University Complutense of Madrid. Research Professor of CSIC at the Institute of Food Science Research, CIAL (CSIC-UAM) in Madrid (Spain).

Co-author of more than 160 publications in indexed scientific journals in the areas of Food Science and Nutrition, Agriculture, and Analytical Chemistry. These articles have been cited over 10000 times and she has an h-index of 54 (Web of Knowledge).

She was awarded as Highly Cited Resercher in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by this scientific platform. Isidra has coordinated more than 30 national and international projects and numerous contracts and technology transfer projects with the industrial sector.

Main research interests aim to study health implications of the protein fraction of foods, focused on the intestinal signalling of food protein digestion products.

Other research activities include: the upgrade proteins by enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation to obtain products with enhanced functional and biological properties; development of cost-effective methods to produce functional ingredients.

She has worked at different foreign Institutes: NIZO food research (The Netherlands, 1997-2000) and AgroParisTech (France, 2013-2015). Her research has been also oriented to the industry with 10 patent applications; two of them have been licensed to the industry.

She was awarded by the Royal Spanish Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Egg Studies for her developments. She is member of the Editorial Board of different scientific journals.

Beatriz Miralles

Senior Scientist

Beatriz Miralles (ORCID 0000-0003-4544-9074), is PhD in Pharmacy and full scientist (Científico Titular) at the Institute of Food Science Research, CIAL (CSIC-UAM) in Madrid, Spain. Co-author of more than 70 publications in indexed scientific journals in the areas of Food Science and Nutrition, Agriculture, Polymer Science and Analytical Chemistry.

During her scientific career she has undertaken research stays at the Universities of Liège (Belgium), Potsdam (Germany) and the Hannah Research Institute (United Kingdom). Her current research covers the effects of food proteins on health, with focus on digestion and metabolism in relation to the industrial treatments. Her activity is also oriented to the technology transfer with participation in projects funded by competitive programs (CIEN, FEDER-INTERCONNETA, CENIT, PROFIT), contracts with companies, and she is co-author of two patent applications, one of them currently exploited by a biotechnology firm.

Her research expertise in proteomics and peptidomics applied to food has been recognized by the invitation to impart technical seminars in specialized courses and master’s programs. She currently participates in the INFOGEST network “Improving health properties of food by sharing our knowledge on the digestive process” leading the Working Group on absorption models of digestion.

Marta Martínez

Senior Scientist

Marta Martínez is a tenured scientist at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). She is a Chemical Engineer and holds a PhD on Food Science (Polytechnical University of Valencia). She has a wide experience on the production and characterization of renewable biopolymers (e.g. cellulose and other polysaccharides) and on the valorization of biomass to develop innovative packaging materials (e.g. aerogels) and food ingredients.

Furthermore, Marta has a unique expertise on the application of advanced structural characterization techniques, such as small angle scattering techniques (SAXS, SANS and USANS), in the food science area. Along her career, she has applied scattering techniques, in combination with complementary methods such as X-ray diffraction, rheology, spectroscopy and microscopy, to characterize the multi-scale architecture of plant cell walls, bacterial cellulose model systems, polysaccharides extracted from a variety of biomass sources (e.g. seaweeds, microalgae, agroindustrial waste, etc.), food proteins and food packaging materials. Her research interests are currently focused on understanding the effect of food structure and polysaccharide-protein interactions on the gastrointestinal digestion.

Her scientific activity has led to more than 75 publications and 6 patents. She has experience in participating and coordinating research projects and participates in several cooperation networks (Aerogels and Ocean4Biotech COST actions).

Furthermore, during her research career, she has done stays in different international research institutions, such as Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (Sweden), Fraunhofer Institut (Germany), US Department of Agriculture (USA), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) (Australia), Chalmers University (Sweden) and RISE (Sweden).

Marta Martínez Senior Scientist Food Proteins

Tel: +34 910 017 900 (ext. 817)


Santiaga María Vivanco

PhD Student

Santiaga María Vivanco studied Biology at UCM where she completed a master’s degree in Health Biology.

She did her final degree project in the Structural Biology and Chemistry Department in CIB (CSIC) studying the protein-DNA interaction in Clostridum Botulinum. During her final master´s project at CNIO, she carried out the ADME and pharmacological characterization in rodents of different inhibitors as possible anti-tumoral agents.

Currently, she is doing the doctoral thesis in the Food Proteins group (CIAL) and her study focuses on describing the mechanism through which the products of food proteins digestions are involved in the release of anorexigenic hormones.

She performs gastrointestinal digestions of various proteins, characterization of the peptides obtained by HPLC-MS/MS and studies cell activation and hormonal secretion in the enteroendocrine cell line STC-1 of these products.

Santiaga María Vivanco Phd Student Food Proteins

Laura Díaz

PhD Student

Laura Díaz Piñero has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Seville and a master’s degree in Biomolecules and Cell Dynamics from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She is a predoctoral student at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

Her professional career spans several research fields: oncology at the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS), immunology at the Center of Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa (CBMSO), pharma and clinical trials in Oncology Pipeline and, finally, food research at the Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL).

She has received a research grant from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) and a JAE Intro fellowship (CSIC).At CIAL she works in the Food Proteins group and her PhD thesis is focused on the development of strategies to modulate protein gastrointestinal digestion for different purposes. Amongst the different strategies used in her thesis, she is working on encapsulation through polysaccharide-based gel-like structures. For this purpose, encapsulated proteins are digested following the gastrointestinal food digestion simulation protocol (INFOGEST) and the products obtained are analysed using structural and omic tools.

Protein encapsulation is carried out with polysaccharides such as agar and carrageenans, since they have an effect on the kinetics of digestion so that a higher number of bioactive peptides capable of modulating hormonal responses and appetite are expected to be obtained. She will also explore the effect of dietary fibres, naturally present in alternative protein sources such as seaweeds on the digestibility of proteins and the nanostructure of the generated digestion products.

Laura Díaz Phd Student Food Proteins

Pablo Jiménez

PhD Student

Pablo Jiménez-Barrios studied Biotechnology at the University Pablo de Olavide (Seville) and then a master in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at the Open University of Catalonia.

He is currently employed as a higher degree-qualified technician at the Institute of Food Science Research, applying bioinformatics tools to the study of food peptides. Specifically, he is interested in the interaction of protein digestion products with different receptors expressed in enteroendocrine cells.

He is also in charge of the peptidomic data analysis of different projects in the group.

Pablo Jiménez Phd Student Food Proteins