Dr Carmen Sánchez-Cañizares
Research Member of Common Room
Department of Biology
I am an agronomist and the main focus of my research is a process called Biological Nitrogen Fixation, which only certain microbes have the ability to carry out in order to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a biochemically usable form for the plants, mimicking the effect of chemical fertilisers. These microbes are soil bacteria called rhizobia and they associate with legume plants, making legumes essential in crop rotation programs worldwide. I am currently working in the Department of Biology as a postdoctoral researcher in the rhizosphere laboratory, deciphering the regulatory networks that control the carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism and how these cellular processes enable bacteria to swim towards plant roots based on nutrient availability. The overall goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the establishment of an efficient symbiosis with legume plants, what will lead to sustainable crop yields and a positive impact on the environment in the long-term future.
Before coming to Oxford, I received an MSc degree in Plant and Forest Biotechnology from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). I then completed a PhD in the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP) in Madrid, doing an internship at the Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland (Baltimore, USA). During my time in Oxford, I have been a lecturer in Biological Sciences for the last three years at The Queen’s College (2016-2019). For the last two years I have also been the director of the Oxford constituency of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK) and I am currently the Vice-president at the UK level.