Members of the Food Proteins Group
Biography of our members
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 (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 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).
Santiaga María Vivanco
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.
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.
Cristina Gómez Marín
Cristina Gómez Marín has a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and a Master’s degree in Translational Medicine Research from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
She did her final degree work on the influence of breast milk and formula milk during the first 3000 days of life on later health status. Later she did her master’s thesis at the Department of Inflammatory Bowel Disease of the Digestive Unit of the Hospital de La Princesa (IIS-HULP), where she studied the ex vivo effect of biological drugs for inflammatory bowel disease on the migratory capacity of peripheral blood antigen presenting cells, a project in which she continued working later in the professional field.
She is currently pursuing her PhD studies at the Food Science Research Institute (CIAL-CSIC), where she is studying the effect of different protein compounds after digestion on the anorexigenic response. For this purpose, he performs in vitro digestions from protein extracts using the INFOGEST protocol, and performs peptide characterization and signaling from HPLC-MS/MS. It also performs hormone secretion and cell activation assays in the STC-1 line.
Cynthia Fontes is Chemical Engineering by the Autonomous University of Chihuahua in México with a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the same university and Ph.D. in Food Science, Technology and Management (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain). Currently, she develops her scientific activity as a postdoctoral researcher Margarita Salas at the Institute of Food Science Research, belonging to the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CIAL-CSIC).
Her research focuses on understanding the relationship between structure and functionality of food ingredients for a rational design of materials with improved functionality. During her PhD thesis, her work was focused on two lines of research: (i) the development and characterization of gel-like structures (e.g., aerogels, hydrogels) for food applications and (ii) the valorisation of marine biomass to produce bioactive extracts through simple and environmentally friendly extraction processes with potential food applications. She has experience in advanced analytical technics such as spectrometry (FT-IR, Uv-Vis) chromatography (HPLC-UV-Vis), food structure (texture, rheology) and microscopy (optical, confocal and scanning electron microscopy), peptidomics/proteomics characterization techniques, such as HPLC-MS, MALDI TOF/TOF and SDS-PAGE, SEM and Confocal microscopy. During her predoctoral work, she made a short research stays at the University of Chalmers (Gothenburg, Sweden). During this stay she had the opportunity to acquire knowledge both in the area of advanced rheological characterization, and in the development and characterization of materials for biomedical applications
The scientific activity developed during her predoctoral period resulted in 9 scientific publications in high impact scientific journals in the area of food science, 2 patents, 4 dissemination publications in popular journals and 12 conference contributions (10 oral presentations and 2 poster). She has participated in several national and international research projects and is active member of several international cooperation networks (COST CA18125, CA18238).