CSIC, Spain

Title: How environmental bacteria invent new reactions—and how we can capitalize on them

Víctor de Lorenzo (Madrid, 1957) is a Chemist by training and he holds a position of Research Professor in the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), where he currently heads the Systems Biology Program at the National Center for Biotechnology. After his PhD at the CSIC Institute of Enzymology (1983), he worked at the Pasteur Institute (1984), the University of California at Berkeley (1985-1987), the University of Geneva (1988) and the Federal Center for Biotechnology in Braunschweig until 1991, the year in which he joined the CSIC in Madrid. He specializes in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of soil microorganisms (particularly Pseudomonas putida) as agents for the decontamination of sites damaged by industrial waste. Victor has made key contributions to understanding the biology and biotechnological potential of environmental bacteria, with an emphasis on transcriptional regulation of biodegradative pathways for xenobiotic compounds and development of molecular tools for programming whole cells as industrial catalysts. At present, his work explores the interface between Synthetic Biology and Environmental Biotechnology. In 2001 this work received the National Award Rey Jaime I for Environmental Protection. In 2008 he was honored with the GSK International Award of the American Society for Microbiology and he was granted a Grand Prix of the French Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and the American and European Academies of Microbiology. He has published well over 300 articles in scientific journals and specialized books (https://goo.gl/M4sA5N) and he has served as advisor of numerous international panels.