UPNA researcher Miriam Osés Ruiz receives the “Startup Fellowship”, the most prestigious scientific aid in the EU

La investigadora de la UPNA Miriam Osés Ruiz recibe una “Starting Grant”, la ayuda de mayor prestigio científico de la UE

Researcher Miriam Osés Ruiz from Navarra State University (UPNA) (Pamplona, ​​1983) recently receiving a “Startup Grant” by the third party from the institutionthis greater scientific prestige European Union (EU). It assumes a financing of up to 1.5 million euros over five years to the beneficiary, which determines the European institution to which it will apply. Miriam Osés Ruiz will dedicate herself to study and work on her project.The infection process of one of the most threatening agricultural fungal pathogens in the worldmagnaporthe oryzae

The goal of Miriam Osés Ruiz’s research is to understand how it works at the molecular level to provide solutions to help combat the devastating disease caused by this fungus. This fungus destroys 10 to 30% of the rice crops that feed more than 60 million people worldwide each year and also affects wheat and barley. They are spores that can reproduce very quickly and produce more than 50,000 new spores per day from a single lesion, spreading over fields and surviving in adverse conditions. Being a clonal organism, the fungus shows heterogeneity in its cells; this mechanism is the basis of resistance to antibiotics and fungicides, but little is known about how it arises and works. The researcher’s mid-to-long term goal is to ensure worldwide food security and produce scientific discoveries that add value to society, as reported by UPNA in a note.

The researcher currently works at UPNA, IMAB (Multidisciplinary Research Institute in Applied Biology), and considers “a significant commitment to the development of cutting-edge research and new research areas”.

Two other “Starting Grant” researchers owned by UPNA Iñigo Liberal Olleta (2020) and Asier Marzo Pérez (2022)both from the Intelligent Cities Institute (ISC).

European Union’s “Startup Grant” Assistance

Grants from the European organization ERC (European Research Council) are considered the most prestigious scientific grants in Europe and are aimed at researchers from anywhere in the world who present groundbreaking ideas beyond the limits of current knowledge. Proposals accepted by the ERC can be framed in any field of research, and evaluation of supported proposals is based on the sole criterion of scientific excellence of both the researcher and the project.

In the final call, with 636 million euros going to institutions in 26 countries, fifteen scientists from Spain received “Startup Grants” to carry out projects related to physical sciences and engineering, life sciences and sciences, social and humanities. . The Miriam Osés Ruiz project is one of five Spaniards selected at the life science panels (Life Sciences – LS) in this ERC Startup Grant 2022 call.

In the words of Francisco Javier Arregui San Martín, UPNA Vice-Chancellor for Research, this third “Startup Grant” “implies the coexistence of three researchers at the University with projects of the highest prestige worldwide, resulting in great visibility and international prestige” . “This creates a multiplier effect by creating centers of attraction for talent around their projects,” he says. It is a privilege for both UPNA and Navarra and, of course, an incentive to pursue collaboration among all to create favorable working environments that allow the development of scientific careers with the capacity to generate disruptive ideas”.

A molecular approach to solving a global problem

Researcher Miriam Oses Ruiz’s project focuses on investigating how and why intercellular variability (cellular heterogeneity) is produced in organisms and particularly pathogens. The importance of understanding this is crucial worldwide, as cellular heterogeneity is one of the foundations that contributes to one of the most important problems of the 21st century, antibiotic resistance. This topic has been investigated in the clinical setting for some time, but little is known in the context of agricultural and fungicide resistance.

The basic research portion focuses on identifying which molecular mechanisms help create cellular heterogeneity and thereby designing disease control strategies that disrupt it and respect the environment. The proposed experimental approach is very novel and multidisciplinary and includes cutting-edge molecular techniques such as single cell-RNA sequencing to help understand how cells behave individually, chemical genetics, cell biology and phosphoproteomics.

Biography of Miriam Osés Ruiz

Miriam Osés Ruiz is an agricultural engineer from UPNA and holds a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology from Wageningen University (Netherlands). He received his PhD in Molecular Biology on a Marie Curie-Sklodowska fellowship from the University of Exeter (UK) under the tutelage of Professor and EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) Nicholas J. Talbot. I am doing a postdoctoral stay at the University of Exeter and in 2018 at the “Sainsbury Laboratory” center of excellence in Norwich (UK).

The researcher has devoted the last fifteen years of his career to understanding the mechanism of agricultural pathogenic fungi and how plants defend themselves against this threat. He has attended international conferences on this subject as a speaker and was responsible for organizing the last world meeting on the Magnaporthe mushroom. He has more than fifteen publications in international journals with the highest scientific level such as PNAS, Science, Nature and Nature Microbiology.

Miriam Osés Ruiz has received funding from the Spanish Association of Scientists in England to lead various projects throughout her career. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Graduate Women in Science she. In 2021, he received funding from the State Research Agency with a Young Researchers grant (Retos Investigación JIN) to investigate cell cycle regulation of pathogenic fungi.

It currently has an ANDÍA contract to set up its own laboratory from the Talent Attracting Program of the University, Innovation and Digital Transformation Department of the Government of Navarra and this year received a Ramon y Cajal contract from the State Research Agency.

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