02 August 2010
The Group of Mutagenesis, where this project will be carried out, has very well equipped laboratories to carry out those scientific tasks related to this project including facilities for molecular cytogenetics, cell biology and molecular biology. The Group of Mutagenesis leaded by Professor Marcos was created in 1980 and, since then, it has already participated in 14 EU sponsored projects in the recent years, almost all related with the topic of the human biomonitoring and mechanistic aspects of mutagenesis. These participations have permit a wide and fruitful collaboration with many European groups as it can be observed in many of their publications. This wide experience in scientific collaboration at a European level will be very useful in the context of the present project.
Professor Ricard Marcos has over 25 years of research experience in genotoxicity testing and in the biomonitoring of human populations exposed to genotoxic agents. He founded the Group of Mutagenesis in 1980 and he is the President of the Spanish Section of the European Environmental Mutagen Society (SEMA) since its foundation in 1988. He was the Chairman of the 23rd Annual Meeting on the European Environmental Mutagen Society (EEMS), has coordinated several courses and scientific meetings and has been nominated as Spanish expertise in different national and international committees on the genotoxic risk evaluation. He is specialist in genotoxicity studies employing a variety of classical and molecular cytogenetic methodologies such as FISH, COMET, micronuclei, SCE etc. and has more than 200 international publications in the field of genetic toxicology and related subjects. He has supervised a number of PhD students (27) working in the different research lines of the Group.
One of the recent fields of research included in the group is nanogenotoxicity. Studies in this field included in vitro and in vivo approaches. The in vitro research use different cell lines and the main genetic endpoints are the detection of DNA breakage and the induction of oxidative damage by means of the comet assay, using specific enzymes detecting oxidized bases. The induction of micronucleus is another biomarker of genotoxicity effects used. To detect the origin of the induced micronuclei fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques are used; thus, chromosome breakage and aneuploidy are detected with this approach. In addition, in vivo approaches using Drosophila are also included. This in vivo approach permits, in addition to genotoxicity, the detection of somatic recombination. Until now, the studies of nanogenotoxicity have been conducted using nanoparticles of silver and cobalt
Contact : Professor Ricard Marcos, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Biosciences Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallés (Barcelona), Spain.