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13 Mar 2017

News: CRAG hosts two guest researchers through the EU-funded project DEANN

Collaboration among researchers and exchange of ideas are crucial for the advancement of science. In order to strengthen research partnerships within the field of Next Generation Sequencing data analysis, researchers in Europe and the Americas created the DEANN project (Developing an European-American NGS Network), a network formation initiative financed by the European Union under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action.

The Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) is among the six European research institutions involved in this international enterprise, and during this year it welcomed two fellow researchers from Argentina, Vanesa Nahirñak and Martin Mecchia.

Over three months, Vanesa Nahirñak – postdoctoral student at the Biotechnology Institute-National Institute for Agricultural Technology of Argentina of Argentina (INTA) – developed her work at CRAG, focusing on the identification and the functional analysis of genes involved in stress responses in Solanum tuberosum, the plant that produces the potato.

“This short stay in an excellent lab of a prestigious institution certainly represents a perfect opportunity to develop my personal and professional experience in an exciting research environment,” Vanesa says. “The DEANN project has given me the chance to establish new international collaborations and to get in touch with leading European research groups.”

Martin Mecchia – CONICET assistant researcher at the Fundación Instituto Leloir in Argentina – and the CSIC researcher at CRAG Ana I. Caño-Delgado first met in 2008 when she gave a lecture on root development in Rosario (Argentina), and since then Martin has wanted to work with her. The DEANN project has provided him the means and the opportunity to achieve this purpose, and currently he is spending a whole year at CRAG, working in association with Ana’s group in brassinosteroid-regulated root development and growth.

“In Argentina, most plant research groups focus on physiology or molecular biology, the latter being my expertise field,” Martin claims. “Thus, I am certain my stay at CRAG will be an enriching experience and I expect to bring a new research line back to my country for further studies.”



From left to right: Martin Mecchia, Ana I. Caño-Delgado and Vanesa Nahirñak.