Meet Our 2019 Fellow: Irina Peña
We want to showcase the experience of our 2019 Fellow, Dr Irina Peña. She is a Colombian biologist with a Ph.D. in Genetics/Microorganisms-Biotechnology. She reminisces about her time in Chile. Her research project was focused on the study and performing of transcriptomic analysis of the industrial yeast «Dekkera Bruxellensis» fermenting sugar to fuel ethanol with different nitrogen sources.
Her work specifically was based on understanding the metabolism of nitrogen in the industrial yeast of «Dekkera Bruxellensis» which is considered the major contaminant in this fermentative production. She worked under the guidance and direction of Professor, Dr Marcos Antonio De Morais Jr.
Thanks to the fellowship, she shares how they were able to further understand the metabolism through general genomic and proteomic inspection analysis. And how the needed to use molecular tools to help comprehend how Dekkera Bruxellensis behaves to assimilate nitrogenous compounds.
Her research prompted Irina to contact Professor Maria Angelica Ganga at the LAMAP laboratory, at the University of Santiago de Chile, since Dr Ganga works with this yeast— with a concentration of related processes of contamination related to wine.
Dr Peña shared that thanks to the support of this fellowship, she got the resources to study in Chile and perform comparative transcriptomics assays using two sources of nitrogen ammonium and nitrate, and thus was able to understand boradly and globally how genetic regulators behave for the assimilation of these sources.
Watch the complete Dr Irina Peña’s testimonial video.
We invite you to stay tuned to our next enrolling period for UNU-BIOLAC Fellowships.
The UNU-BIOLAC fellowship programme focuses on overcoming limitations in the LAC region by improving abilities, skills, and techniques and promoting learning through the experiences of regional experts.
The programme consists of short fellowships to build strong research networks with training outputs that include research reports, policy recommendations, manuals, handbooks, protocols, and other reference materials. It is crucial for the programme that the knowledge acquired by fellows will benefit their institutions and country capacities.