M. Llagostera has a B.Sc. (1976, UAB), and a Ph.D. (1983, UAB) in Biological Sciences. She was Director of the Biological Laboratory Hoechst Ibérica, S.A., Spain (1976-1981), and Assistant teacher (1981-1986), Auxiliary Associate Professor (1986-1987), Associate Professor (1987-2009) and Professor of Microbiology (2009-until now) of Microbiology at the UAB. She has held some relevant responsibilities at the UAB: Coordinator of the Unit of Microbiology (1992-95, 1996-98, and 2001-03), Coordinator of the doctorate of Biotechnology (1999-2007), Coordinator of the master of Advanced Biotechnology (2006-07), Member of the Biosafety Committee of the UAB (2006- until now), Member of the Governing Council (2007-09), Director of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology (2007-09, and 2013-2015) and Coordinator of the Microbiology degree (2010-2012). Besides she is member of the Directive Board of the Spanish Society of Microbiology and President of the Group “Education and Communication of the Microbiology” of this Society (2010-presently). She is also member of the Spanish Commission for evaluation of Associated Professor (ANECA, Spain) from 2013 until now, and of the Commission for Bioscience Research Evaluation of the Quality Agency of the Catalan University System from 2012 until now (AQU) and president of this Commission from 2015 until now. She is evaluator of national and international agencies for funding projects, and for several international journals from 1990 until now.
She has an experience of 33 years in teaching and research, and she has led and participated in the following lines of research:
i) DNA repair and mutagenesis in bacteria: Identification of DNA binding regions of the LexA regulator in different bacterial phyla, which have enabled trace the possible evolution of this sequence along the Bacteria domain. The study of the mutagenesis mechanisms due to different chemicals, such as quinolones, capable of inducing mutations in bacterial cells and their involvement in the emergence of resistance to antimicrobial agents.
ii) Virulence factors and design of vaccine strains. The study of the systems involved in uptake of divalent cations, such as Fe2+ and Zn2+, in animal pathogens as Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis and Streptococcus suis. Based on these studies, construction of bacterial strains which confer protection to infection caused by these pathogens.
Iii) Relationship between the RecA protein and the bacterial swarming. We have shown that this motility is modulated by the interaction between CheW and RecA proteins in the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The possible residues involved in that interaction have been identified. This modulation occurs as a result of changes in the cluster of bacterial chemoreceptors and this occurs in both the swarming and swimming motilities. The phenomenon can be involved in bacterial pathogenesis.
iv) Biotechnological applications of bacteriophages. Search of safe bacteriophages against Salmonella to be used in bacteriophage therapy and in food. Studies about molecular and genomic characterization of bacteriophages, characterization of their biological cycle, determination of their effectiveness in a poultry model, developed by us, and in food have been performed. In addition, the possible emergence of bacterial resistance to bacteriophages in in vitro and in vivo assays has also been done. Finally, methodologies of encapsulation of bacteriophages have been developed to improve their effectiveness. This last work has been performed in collaboration with the NanoUp Supramolecular NanoChemistry & Materials group of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Spain).
This extensive research work has been conducted within 31 competitive research projects with public funding (14 of them as principal investigator) and 4 competitive EU-funded projects, being the general coordinator of one of them. It has also been part of 4 public national networks and participated in 29 agreements / contracts with private companies, being responsible for 21 of them. The detailed research work is summarized in the publication of 91 manuscripts in scientific journals indexed in JCR principally in the areas of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, Biotechnology, Applied Microbiology, Veterinary Sciences, and Toxicology. She has supervised 8 PhD in the last 10 years. She is inventor of one patent based on the development of a cocktail of bacteriophages of Salmonella.