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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Dec;66(24):3827-30. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0175-3. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

A passion for research.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular Eladio Viñuela (CSIC), Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM), Spanish National Research Council, Univ. Autónoma, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


During my postdoctoral training in Severo Ochoa's laboratory, I determined the direction of reading of the genetic message and I discovered two proteins in Escherichia coli involved in the initiation of protein synthesis. After my return to Spain, I have been working with the Bacillus subtilis phage varphi29. We discovered a protein covalently linked to the 5' DNA ends that is the primer for the initiation of varphi29 DNA replication. We also found that the phage-encoded DNA polymerase has unique properties such as processivity and strand displacement activity. These properties, in addition to its high fidelity, have made the varphi29 DNA polymerase the ideal enzyme for DNA amplification, both for rolling circle and whole-genome amplification. I am happy to say that the work carried out in my laboratory has been possible thanks to many brilliant students and collaborators, most of whom have become high quality independent scientists.

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