Víctor de Lorenzo is a chemist by training and holds a position of Research Professor in the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), where he currently heads the Laboratory of Environmental Molecular Microbiology 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, supported inter alia by an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council. His current research attempts to develop the genetic software and the matching instruments for breaking the barriers between biological and non-biological reactions. In 2001 this work received the National Award Rey Jaime I for Environmental Protection.
In June 2008 he was honored with the GSK International Award of the American Society for Microbiology, and in October of the same year 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, and he has co-chaired with Anne Glover the President's Science and Technology Council of the EC during the Barroso Administration.
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.
Encarnación Aguilar Criado is a Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Seville (Spain). She made her postdoctoral studies at the University of California in Berkeley (UCB). Along with her scientific career, she has experience in university management issues, being appointed to the following positions: Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning at the International University of Andalusia (UNIA), Vice-Dean of Academic Organization at the Faculty of Geography and History of the University of Seville, and Director of the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) in Seville.
Most of her research career is in the fields of economic anthropology and rural societies, subjects in which she has taught in various courses both at the University of Seville and in many foreign universities, as invited professor at both Bachelor and Master levels, as well as conferences and specialized workshops in UC Berkeley (California), U Central de Caracas (Venezuela), Metropolitan Autonomous University Iztapalapa. (UAM) (México),
U Javeriana of Bogotá (Colombia), and U Wageningen (Holland).
Since 1995 she has been the former head of the Research Group Territory, Culture and Development TECUDE (http://grupo.us.es/tecude/). During all these years she has developed an intense research activity on topics about the new rurality, with field work in Europe (Holland and France) and Latin America (Brazil and Mexico).
She has led 15 research projects on the subject of the rural world, development and agrofood quality production, and currently she carries out a project granted by the National Spanish Research Agency entitled Quality Brands in The Rural World: New Challenges for Producers and Consumers.
She has 4 books as single author and 4 acting as coordinator, has published 40 book chapters and 50 papers in national and international journals, and has directed 9 Doctoral theses. She is a founder and current member of the European Research Group Local Agrofood Systems (ERG LAS), a network of European research centers and universities centers which are integrated with the Latin American network of the same title.