03 May Dr Alfonso Prado Cabrero
Alfonso is a Senior Scientist at the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG), with over 9 years of research experience in the field of carotenoids and 12 yeas of experience in research on Molecular and Human Genetics. He is currently managing a project funded by the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Programme focused in developing new biotechnology to produce natural carotenoids and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids at the commercial level. Alfonso received his BSc Degree in Biochemistry from University of Navarra (Spain) in 1999. Then he joined the department of Genetics of University of Seville to work on the description of genes involved in carotenoid biosynthesis in the fungus Fusarium. During this period he was awarded with an EMBO short term fellowship in 2005 to complete his research at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Freiburg (Germany). After graduating in 2006 (Honours), he worked for three years in the Unit of Immunology of Hospital de la Princesa (Madrid, Spain) to investigate the effect of hypoxia on lipid catabolism in the heart. Then he was awarded with a Juan de la Cierva Fellowship from the Spanish Government to join the department of Molecular Biology of Cancer at IIB (CSIC, Madrid), where he investigated the involvement of Ephrin-A3 on metastasis progression. In 2013 he joined the Centre for Desert Agriculture of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST, Saudi Arabia) as Research Scientist. There he developed his research on the biosynthesis of the carotenoid derived plant hormones Strigolactones and Abscisic acid. In 2014 he was awarded the Howard Fellowship at the Macular Pigment Research Group, to work on the origin of the macular carotenoid meso-zeaxanthin.