Full Professor of Microbiology (since 1981-emeritus since 2018); Rector of Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (2012-2017); Honorary Rector of UIMP (2018-); President of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) (1996-2000); Director of the Special Chair UIMP-MSD on Health, Economic Growth and Sustainability (2018-); President of the Foundation Carmen and Severo Ochoa (1994-) appointed by Dr. Severo Ochoa in his last will; President of Foundation QUAES (2018-).
Graduate in Pharmacy and in Chemistry by Complutense University (1969); PhD in Science (Microbiology) by the University of Salamanca (supervisor Julio R. Villanueva). Postdoctoral Research Associate to Severo Ochoa at New York University and the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (New Jersey) in 1972-75.
Tenured Scientist of CSIC at the Institute of Biochemical Microbiology (1975); Professor of Microbiology at Santiago de Compostela University and Complutense University (1979); Full Professor of Microbiology of Santiago de Compostela University (1981), in 1982 moved to the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Complutense University to fill what had been the first Microbiology Chair in the university in Spain (established in 1900). Head of Department for 16 years.
President of the Spanish Society for Microbiology (1982-1990) and Chairman of the Federation of European Microbiology Societies (FEMS) (1995-1998). Member of the board of Lilly Foundation (2001-) and of the CSIC General Foundation (2012-)
His research in Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology has been focused on model microbial eukaryotes and produced 220 publications and 25 PhD thesis and gave rise to a scientific school with more than 15 professors and scientists. His key scientific finding was the discovery of a mitogen activated protein kinase (MAP) in yeast that defines a conserved signalling pathway essential to activate a response to stress that is known in the scientific literature as Cell Integrity (CI) pathway. Founder and first director of the DNA Sequencing Center at the University Complutense also promoted the first Special Chair in Genomics and Proteomics of any Spanish university (supported by Merck, Sharp & Dhome). Editor and senior editor of several international journals including “Microbiology” a leading European publication in the field. His research has been supported by funding agencies in Spain (FIS, CICYT, special programmes in Biotechnology and Biomedicine) in the European Union and by contracts with 10 international pharmaceutical companies.
He participates regularly in press, radio and TV activities of information, science diffusion and public debate in fields such as university education, scientific policies and bioethics. Member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1998-2004), President of the Advisory Committee on Ethics in Science and Technology in Spain (2002-2005) and Member of the Bioethics Committee of Spain (2008-2018). Author the book “Stem Cells. Biological Crossroads for Medicine” (Editorial EDAF. Madrid 2007).
Academician of the Spanish National Academy of Pharmacy, of the Academia Europaea and the European Academy of Microbiology. Award in Science by the Confederation of Companies in Spain (CEOE) in 1995, has also received de medals of honour of the University of Lleida, the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the University Internacional Menéndez Pelayo. He has also been awarded de Great Cross of Civil Merit and the Great Cross of the order of King Alphonse X the Wiseman. Appointed as “Hijo Predilecto” by his native village, Carriches in the Toledo province (2015).