Alejandro Torrado Maya: Plant Physiology First Author

Alejandro Torrado Maya, co-first author of “Directing cyanobacterial photosynthesis in a COX knockout mutant via insertion of a heterologous electron sink”

Current Position: Distinguished Research Fellow ‘María Zambrano’, (University of Seville, Spain)

Education: B.Sc. in Biology, M.Sc. in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology and Ph.D. degree in Biology (University of Seville, Spain)

Non-scientific Interests: Videogames, Manga, Netflix, playing bass, Harry Potter and Muse

Brief bio: I grew up in a place called ‘Pino Montano’, where to become a researcher in photosynthesis was not a very realistic dream. However, since I started my B.Sc. in Biology, I have been fascinated by the mechanistic understanding of oxygenic photosynthesis. I continued my studies as a M.Sc. student in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, where I became engaged in the molecular study of cyanobacterial photosynthesis. This project was continued during my Ph.D. in the group of Prof. Molina-Heredia at the Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis Institute, in Seville. During this project, I characterised novel partners linked to photosynthesis in the cyanobacterial model Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. After my Ph.D. I joined the group of Prof. Dario Leister at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich as a postdoctoral researcher, where I expanded my knowledge about photosynthetic proteins and synthetic biology in cyanobacteria, using the model Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Next I joined the group of Prof. Thomas S. Bibby at the University of Southampton as Research Fellow, where I studied the improvement of photosynthesis the model cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 using exogenous electron sinks. After 5 years of postdoctoral experience in Europe, I have come full circle and have rejoined the group of Prof. Molina-Heredia as a Distinguished Research Fellow ‘María Zambrano’. In this new position, I am studying the functional implications of alternative cytochromes in cyanobacterial photosynthesis.