Alfredo Herrera Estrella has been honored with the 2023 National Science Award

In recognition of his research work that has contributed to scientific progress, technology and innovation, Alfredo Herrera Estrella, assigned to the Advanced Genomics Unit (UGA-Langebio) at CineVestav, has received the 2023 National Science Award. Jose Mario Molina Pasquel and Henriquezin the physical, mathematical and natural sciences.

The honorary researcher at Cinefest also considered it a great honor to receive this honor for figures who contributed to the advancement of knowledge in the country. “More than anything, I am flattered that all of my research was conducted in Mexico, and I am grateful that the public school education I had the opportunity to attend allowed me to become a scientist.”

Herrera-Estrella, a member of the research teams whose work has successfully deciphered the genomes of maize, avocado and cactus, among other species, said that the award is a recognition of the ongoing work of CineStaff, which has been carried out for more than 60 years and is distinguished by its “academic quality and important contributions to Scientific development, as well as its work in high-level education for thousands of young people, which strengthens our institutional identity and sends a message to the community of the importance of this center.”

Who was part of the group of researchers who conceived, designed and promoted the creation of the National Laboratory for Genomics of Biodiversity, today UGA-Langebio del Cinvestav, pointed out that it is important to recognize the work of Mexican scientists, because this can stimulate that young people develop in the wonderful field of science, which is Also the basis of the social and economic development of any country.

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Alfredo Herrera pointed out that biotechnology, instead of helping, represents a danger for some people; However, nothing could be further from reality. This field of knowledge In itself It does not represent any danger, and there is a lot of scientific evidence that proves the opposite, that is, its benefits and benefits to humanity and life on planet Earth.

“Biotechnology has helped combat many diseases that would otherwise have been incurable, and has also contributed significantly to ensuring that the problem of hunger today is not a matter of productive capacity, but rather a political and distributional condition; biotechnology is our best tool for the future.” To combat the impact of climate change on food security and protect biodiversity.

Alfredo Herrera Estrella (1961) received all his education from public schools, completed his postgraduate studies at the Belgian State University of Ghent (also public) to obtain his PhD in Genetics (1990) and embarked for 32 years on a scientific career, first as a member of Cinvestav Unidad Irapuato and currently in UGA-Langebio at the same center, of which he was director (2018-2022).

His first contribution was to demonstrate the existence of covalent union of transcribed DNA Agrobacterium tumefaciens To culture cells with one of their virulence proteins; Because he was the first researcher to prove that the aforementioned bacterial protein is able to direct the entry of other proteins into the nucleus of plant cells, which strongly indicates its role in integrating foreign DNA with them, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

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His longest line of research is the organism-level study of biological control agents belonging to the genus trichoderma, In response to community concern about the use of chemical pesticides, several species of fungi of this genus have been successfully used to combat fungi that cause plant diseases, in addition to stimulating plant growth.

For almost two decades, he has been engaged in plant structural and functional genomics, producing internationally influential results in the study of food-important plant crops in Mexico; Participating in sequencing the maize genome, which is the first of its kind in the country. He led a multinational effort to sequence the common bean genome, supported by 23 countries in Latin America, and carried out by seven laboratories in Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Mexico. In addition, he recently led work on deciphering the genomes of agave, lemon, papaya, vanilla and blackberries, which are strategic crops for the country.

Alfredo Herrera Estrella has published 130 international publications, including magazine articles nature, Science, Genome Biology And Banas, In addition to obtaining seven patents and producing 21 master’s theses and 30 doctoral theses.


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