FEMS Yeast Research Poster Prize: Sonia Albillos-Arenal

We send our congratulations to Sonia Albillos-Arenal, who won the best poster prize at PYFF8 in Cork. This award is sponsored by our journal FEMS Yeast Research

Sonia’s poster was titled “Deciphering the pathway of erythritol synthesis in Saccharomyces and its function”.

Read our interview with Sonia about her research below:





What is your current position, and what was your scientific journey to get there?

I am a PhD student in the group “Synthetic Biology in Yeasts of Biotechnological Interest”, in the Department of Food Biotechnology of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC) in Valencia, Spain. I arrived there to do my Master’s Thesis with my supervisor Amparo Querol (to whom I am very grateful for all her support) and I liked it so much that I started my PhD. I studied the MSc in Food Biotechnology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), having previously done my BSc in Biotechnology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain).”


Could you describe the research your poster covered?

My poster deals with the study of the metabolic synthesis pathway of erythritol in a Saccharomyces uvarum wine strain. In this research, the production of this metabolite has been described for the first time in Saccharomyces. We have discovered the main genes that encode for the enzymes involved in the reduction of erythrose to erythritol. The main protein acting in this reaction was GRE3p and its function is related to stress tolerance, and redox balance during high sugar concentration fermentations.’


What do you hope to focus your research on in the future?

I hope to continue learning about yeast, metabolism, genetic engineering, and evolution.  Also, after my PhD I would like to find a postdoc and increase my knowledge of bioinformatics. And for the more distant future, my ideal plan would be to have a permanent position as research professor.”


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