From the beginning
Born in the USA Spain 🙂
I won the third prize in the Spanish Mathematical National Olympics.
Commencing my Degree in Biotechnology
At the University of Salamanca. It equals to a BSc and a MSc in Biotechnology. It was very exclusive (max. 30 people per course), and the degree hold the highest mark cut-off in Spain. I am fond of having met all my colleagues and work with such passionate people. It was an amazing environment to learn.
Student at the Molecular Medicine Lab
I started collaborating on the Molecular Medicine Laboratory in Salamanca as an intern student, helping on a study sequencing genomic mutations in PTEN in human glioblastomas. I would work there for more than a year, except on holidays. The people were really nice, and I get to have a glimpse of the full workflow, from bench to computer.
Our degree had been created barely some years ago, and most laws did not even contemplate us. As an example, we could not work in positions such as Biology teacher or Biology Resident at a hospital. I wanted to change that, and I joined the now almost empty Association of Biotechnology of Salamanca -10 members-. After some months and new elections, I was chosen President. My plan for the next years would consist mainly on involving new people, engaging them in collaborating in activities and making them feel part of the Association. From that point, more things could be done. That would result to be the best decision I could have taken. Not only because it was a success, but also because thanks to that I have met many people and made many good friends.
Student at the Laboratory 15 Lab
I did a small internship of one month at the Laboratory 15 of the Cancer Research Center of Salamanca, where I learned more about breast cancer and cell culture. It was a good experience, although I did not feel wet lab was my ideal area. I enjoyed more designing the experiments and analyzing them!
Intern at the Jesus Uson Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre
In July, I did a small internship at the Jesus Uson Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre, in my hometown, Caceres, doing cell culture with stem cells and learning about how to apply them to animal models.
Scholarship at the International Iberian Laboratory of Nanotechnology
I was awarded with a scholarship to work at the International Iberian Laboratory of Nanotechnology in Braga (Portugal). I was in charge to design DNA probes for the design of a lab-on-chip tumor biomarker detector. It was a really nice experience, where I met many North American (MIT students), Portuguese and Spanish students, and where I had the opportunity to be autonomous and learn a lot.
During my last year at the University of Salamanca, I kept studying and getting involved with the Association. We were slightly continuist (organized the II Conferences on Agricultural Transgenics, participated in the next edition of FEBiotec Divulga, etc.), while we focused on applying for private and public funding for a huge popularization event at the next year, the II Biotechnology Week, and searching for involvement of other biotechnologists. The year ended with 120 members. At the end of the year, I was chosen Vice-President of the Spanish Federation of Biotechnologists -FEBiotec-. With the rest of the Executive Board, we focused on dealing with the Spanish Goverment, trying to change some laws, promoting the biotechnologists and coordinating projects and managing issues between the different regional entities.
Professionally, I realized that I was more interested in dry lab than wet lab, and I started reading about machine learning, and dusting off my old Statistics books.
Commencing my MSc in Bioinformatics
In 2013 I moved to study a MSc in Bioinformatics at the University of Valencia. I developed my Master Thesis in the Principe Felipe Research Center, where I worked on a pipeline for functional annotation of lncRNAs in non-model species from RNA-Seq data. My colleagues were amazing, and I still remember with admiration how friendly and how professional they were. Each one of them was an expert in one area (Statistics, Informatics, Mathematics, etc.), and I got to get a glimpse of how nice was having so many experts involved in the same project. I learned a lot. Looking back, I realize how much I’ve grown as a professional.
Leader of Tomorrow 2014
Due to my work in the field, I was chosen worldwide as one of the 100 Leader of Tomorrow 2014 by the think-tank Global Biotech Revolution.
Scholarship at the Valdecillas Research Institute
I obtained a scholarship for two months to work at the Cancer Genomics group of the Valdecillas Research Institute at Santander, Spain. There, I worked detecting CNV in different Exome-seq datasets of diffuse large B cell lymphomas.
III Biotechnology Week
Sponsored by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, dependant of the Ministery of Economy and Competivity, the University of Salamanca, the Spanish Federation of Vegetal Physiology and the Spanish–Portuguese Agricultural Research Institute, it was one of the most important Biotech popularization events organized during 2014, Spanish National Year of Biotechnology. As the Project Manager, I lead a team of more than 50 people for its realization. We reached about 5.000 people.
Finishing my MSc in Bioinformatics
After reading my Master Thesis, I came back home and started searching for a job while I kept collaborating in some projects of the Spanish Federation of Biotechnologists.
Specialist in Genomic and Proteomic Analysis and Diagnosis
I was employed through the Youth Employment Programme by the Spanish National Research Council, CSIC. I worked as a Specialist in Genomic and Proteomic Analysis and Diagnosis at the Proteomics Unit of the Cancer Research Center, in Salamanca, Spain. To me, it has been a great opportunity to grow and learn, to work as part of a group and collaborating with very different entities and laboratories. I am in charge of any bioinformatic analysis related to MS/MS data, following the ISO 9001:2015 rule. I have implemented new analyses, new protocols and new tools.
On my free time, I have collaborated with different laboratories, trying to make merits. I have done multi-Omic integration, ChIP-Seq analyses, protein microarray analyses, microarray analyses, operon prediction, RNA-Seq analyses, evolutive genomics, etc. Some of these efforts have came to fruition as papers, others remain just as new and interesting experiences. I am the only bioinformatician in my environment, and sometimes it is hard to do all by myself, from learning about something to executing it, but it is also very satisfactory and self-realizating. I love the feeling of joy when an informatic result is validated experimentally, but I also enjoy when you have to re-tweak an analysis in order to improve it. It is really fun!
Additional work (II)
During this period, I have also participated in two Bioinformatics-related courses as a teacher, assisted to two Summer Schools, and I keep working for the Spanish Federation of Biotechnology, offering counselling to professionals and students. Nowadays I am doing some courses in Deep Learning, Bayesian Statistics, Big Data and Systems Biology. It is hard to keep up, but all of them are really interesting!
Marie Curie PhD candidate at Amsterdam UMC
Started my PhD as an ESR in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network (ETN) COSMIC consortium in the Amsterdam UMC.
Systems Biology applied to Immunology. I cannot be happier!
I used C++, R (R Shiny) in order to create models of the germinal center or to analyze antibody sequences. I also earned two prizes to the best poster/project!
The title of my project: “Development of multiscale mathematical models of the germinal center to study its role in B-cell lymphoma and/or rheumatoid arthritis”
President of the Association of Spanish Scientist in the Netherlands
I have leaded an association with more than 130 members and 30 active volunteers. Since 2021, we have worked on projects from Science policy (collaborating on the ATRAE report and giving feedback to some Science-related laws in Spain) to Science communication (several Science Fairs, creating CENLab, our national Sci-comm programme, gender-equality-related events, launching our podcast, our blog, collaborating with the media, etc.) to Science networking events (specific for different areas, from AI to cancer).