Navigation Links
The American Society for Microbiology honors Marc Torrent

Marc Torrent, Ph.D., Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, has been honored as a recipient of a 2013 ICAAC Young Investigator Award. Torrent is being recognized for his outstanding research, which includes developing the first algorithm to predict antimicrobial regions in proteins. Luis Rivas, Centro de Investigaciones Biolgicas(CSIC), said, "we are now applying this algorithm to interrogate full genomes in order to define new antimicrobial peptide leads with very appealing results."

Torrent obtained his Ph.D. from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona. During this time, he was interested in understanding the mechanism of action of antimicrobial proteins, particularly human ribonucleases. He was fascinated by the ability of a particular protein (RNase 3) to agglutinate gram-negative bacteria. His investigations revealed that RNase 3 was able to aggregate on the external layers of these pathogens in an amyloid-like manner. Failure to aggregate would cause the loss of agglutination. This was the first report of amyloid-like aggregates pursuing a defense function. During his time as a Ph.D. student at the Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona, Torrent worked under Ester Boix's supervision. She said Torrent, "has an outstanding capacity to work independently and develop new methodologies, contributing to our project with brilliant ideas."

After he completed his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra where he expanded upon his interest in antimicrobial peptides by studying them from a chemical perspective. He directed his efforts to see whether antimicrobial proteins could be dissected in smaller peptides in order to be used as anti-infective drugs. He continued using ribonucleases as protein models and discovered that their antimicrobial properties were retained at specific domains that could be further dissected without losing activity. Later, he showed that these results could be generalized to include other proteins and developed computational tools to identify antimicrobial domains. These studies revealed, once more, that aggregation properties could modulate the activity of antimicrobial peptides. Hence, he directed his efforts to understand whether antimicrobial peptides could be related to amyloid-prone proteins. Surprisingly, his results suggested that antimicrobial peptides might have arisen during evolution after cationization of amyloid-prone sequences.

Presently, Torrent is a Marie Curie fellow at the Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, where he is investigating the regulatory roles of tRNAs. These studies can help to understand, among other questions, how viruses manipulate tRNA populations to favor translation of their own proteins.


Contact: Garth Hogan
American Society for Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. American College of Rheumatology releases first classification criteria for polymyalagia rheumatica
2. Common North American frog identified as carrier of deadly amphibian disease
3. UC research tests new tool to guide reintroduction of the American chestnut
4. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
5. Scripps Research Institute Professor Gerald F. Joyce elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
6. Professor known for work with hunter-gatherers elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
7. Elsevier selected as new publisher of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
8. New study published on fertility awareness among American university students
9. The American Society for Microbiology honors Ellen Jo Baron
10. Steve Fisher joins American Health IT LLC as VP of Operations
11. University of Tennessee anthropologists find American heads are getting larger
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the gene ... new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report scientists ... and Harvard and the University of São Paolo in ... pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle regeneration, ... Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, is ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015 About ... that helps to identify and verify the identity ... considered as the secure and accurate method of ... a particular individual because each individual,s signature is ... especially when dynamic signature of an individual is ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists for ... – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend ... result in lower margins but higher volume share ... increased capacity and scale, however, margins in the ... Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ... and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. th ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola ... a corporate overview. --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... the year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 ... 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> ... "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services (Primer, Probe, ... DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic Labs) ... market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million by ... CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: