Volunteer: Beatriz Martínez
Beatriz Martínez got her PhD in Biology at the University of Oviedo (Spain) in 1996 on the topic of bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria. From 1997-1999, she was a postdoc at TNO Voeding, Zeist (The Netherlands), working on the role of S-layer in host-lactobacilli interactions. In 2000, she joined the DairySafe group at IPLA-CSIC, where she was appointed a permanent position in 2003. She was head of the department of Technology and Biotechnology of Dairy Products (2012-2016) and she is currently leading the Biotechnology of bacteriocins group at IPLA-CSIC. She has been the leading investigator of several competitive research grants and results have been published in more than 80 scientific papers.
She has focused her career on the biotechnological applications of bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria. Initially, she studied the biodiversity of bacteriocins produced by bacteria in raw milk cheeses, with a focus on food biopreservation. Later on, she moved towards more fundamental questions to address the molecular basis of the mode of action of bacteriocins acting on the cell wall, and went deeper into the physiology behind bacteriocin resistance and bacterial defense mechanisms. Currently, her strategic objective is harnessing these highly targeted cell wall antimicrobials as tools to evolve Lactococcus lactis with improved technological traits as dairy starter, including bacteriophage resistance. In the last years, she has also collaborated actively in the implementation of phages infecting undesirable bacteria as biocontrol tools in food safety.
FEMS Microbes is excited to present its latest thematic issue, focusing on bacterial-viral co-infections. Host and microbial factors are critically important for influencing the severity and outcome of infection. Interactions between microbes is an understudied yet important aspect to this process.