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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

The elimination of endocrine disruptors to improve food security

Lead Researcher:
José Luis García López

Research Centre:
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB). CSIC. Madrid.


José Luis García LópezThe shortage of water and problems connected with its quality are priority concerns when designing strategies to guarantee food security. Due to this, the treatment of waste water and re-use of the same are efficient ways of contributing to food security. However, the presence of micro-pollutants in regenerated water is a critical problem for its use, and increasing attention is being paid to this. These micro-pollutants include endocrine disruptors (EDC), which cause serious health problems in humans and animals. Although the development of more effective biological waste water treatment systems is of key importance for reducing EDC contamination, there is still very little knowledge about the organisms which can break down EDC. It is therefore necessary to study microbial routes for breaking down EDC in greater depth, with the aim of improving their efficacy in biotechnological processes for treating waste water.

The main aim of this project is to provide new biotechnological tools to eliminate EDC from waste water, so that the project therefore has two main objectives: 1) Characterisation of a route for the aerobic degradation of steroid oestrogens. Applications. 2) Characterisation of the route for the bacterial degradation of aromatic EDC. Applications. The subsequent development of microorganisms with higher potential for the elimination of EDC is based on our experience with steroid and aromatic compound degradation routes which have been studied in our laboratories for many years.

Researcher's web address:

José Luis García López

Degree and doctorate in Chemistry (specialising in biochemistry) and Degree of Pharmacy, Universidad Complutense, Madrid (UCM). He has worked as Assistant Professor in the UCM, and as Research Group Head in the Antibióticos SA company. He is currently Research Professor of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB) and is the leader of the Environmental Technology Group. His experience in research centres on several aspects within the fields of biochemistry, microbiology, genomics and biotechnology, with more than 300 publications including papers, books and patents. He has been President of the Sociedad Española de Biotecnología. He founded two CSIC spin-off companies working on genome analysis (Lifesequencing S.L.) and genetic diagnosis (Secugen S.L.). He has held several positions in the national scientific administration, and is currently Adviser and Collaborator to the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation in the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. From 2007 he is the National Representative of the 7PM IDEAS program which continues in the current H2020 ERC program.

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