University of Alicante microbiologist Francis Mojica to receive the Jaume I Award on Basic Research
Also presented with the Balmis Award, CRISP system discoverer which has revolutionised molecular biology
Alicante. Tuesday, 7 June 2016
University of Alicante PhD in Biology and senior lecturer Juan Francisco Martínez Mojica, known as Francis Mojica, jumped into the media spotlight a few months ago after discovering the CRISPR system, "based on the innate immunity of bacteria." According to a statement issued by the Jaume I Awards Foundation, the genetic techniques developed by Dr. Martinez Mojica, "have been a global progress of increasing relevance that is revolutionising molecular biology," which is the reason why the jury agreed on granting the Jaime I Award on Basic Research.
PhD Mojica received the news during the presentation ceremony of the Balmis Prize that was awarded by Doctor Balmis Foundation, sponsored by the Alicante Rotary Club. The scholar confessed to being a bit "overwhelmed" and "very grateful" for these awards, which have spread since the journal Science published an article at the beginning of the year considering the CRISPR system as the Advancement of Science 2015. Since then , according to this prestigious publication, the international scientific community has agreed to enter the finding and its multiple applications for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Francis Mojica, who did not expect the prize, was "especially lucky" for his career and his findings and stated the importance of both basic science and attracting new talents to research activity in Spain.
CRISPR, name also coined by the University of Alicante researcher, is a genetic detection system of sequences in bacteria that allows a much more accurate diagnosis of the diseases produced by them and explain immune systems in some microorganisms that allow them to avoid control treatments. Thanks to this discovery, genome-editing techniques using the so-called CRISPR Cas 9 have been able to be developed.
The 8th edition of the Balmis Award, in honour of the Alicante doctor who took varicella vaccine to America will take place today at noon during an event organised by the Alicante Rotary Club. Francis Mojica was accompanied by University of Alicante President Manuel Palomar and Vice President for Research Amparo Navarro, who were "very pleased and especially proud of having this scientist at the University of Alicante".
Universidad de Alicante Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig Alicante (Spain)