Beatriz Rapún Araiz defends her doctoral dissertation on Tuesday, October 27

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Beatriz Rapún Araiz defends her doctoral dissertation on Tuesday, October 27

Beatriz Rapún Araiz, a predoctoral researcher in Navarrabiomed’s Microbial Pathogenesis Unit - IdiSNA, will read her dissertation for the Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA) on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. The defense will take place at 11 a.m. in the Navarrabiomed assembly hall. Due to current COVID-19 regulations, attendance is limited, but a videoconference of the reading will be available.

The dissertation, “Characterization of the two-component sensorial network of Staphylococcus aureus”, was prepared at Navarrabiomed under the direction of Iñigo Lasa Uzcudun, the Director of the center and head of the Microbial Pathogenesis Unit.

Bacteria’s ability to adapt to new environmental conditions is controlled by two-component systems (TCSs). Although highly detailed knowledge about how each TCS works and the function it performs has been acquired in recent years, our knowledge is still limited regarding global aspects of the network, such as the overlap between the signaling pathways of each TCS and its specific purpose.
In her dissertation, Rapún uses a unique genetic tool developed in the laboratory to reconstruct the complete TCS regulon (collection of genes or operons controlled by the same regulatory protein) in a living cell. She also studied how the presence or absence of the TCS affects bacteria biology and speciation (the process of formation of new species) of the genus Staphylococcus. Finally, the dissertation discusses and assesses new therapeutic strategies against the TCSs of Staphylococcus aureus.

This dissertation led to the publication of three scientific articles in the journals mSystems, published by the American Society for Microbiology, Current Opinion in Microbiology and Scientific Reports.

The results were also made public at four conferences, two of which were organized by the Molecular Microbiology group of the Spanish Society of Microbiology and held in Seville (2016) and Zaragoza (2018). In 2017, the research study was also presented in Valencia as part of the international conference organized by the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), and in 2019, it was presented in a course of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in Spetses (Greece).

To carry out the research study, Rapún received a training grant as a UPNA research staff member to complete her doctoral dissertation.