María Rosa Ponce

Professor in Genetics. Universidad Miguel Hernández (UMH), Elche, Spain (2010-...).
Previous positions held at Caltech (Pasadena, California, USA), Universidad de Alicante and UMH.
PhD in Biology. Universidad de Alicante, Spain (1996).

Research interests

One of the mechanisms regulating the expression of eukaryotic genes is mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which include microRNAs (miRNAs). To negatively regulate their targets, siRNAs are incorporated into RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs). In all animal and plant species studied so far, the key role in RISC activity is played by a protein of the ARGONAUTE (AGO) family, which binds to a siRNA to cut or prevent translation of a target mRNA. The miRNA pathway has great biotechnological potential since through its manipulation any endogenous or viral gene can be silenced. We are studying the action and interactions of AGO1.

Teaching responsibilities

Taught undergraduate courses in Environmental Sciences, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, including: Genetics, Genetic Engineering and Molecular Genetics.