Cristina Soriano Úbeda Soriano Úbeda

I got my DVM degree, in 2009, and MS in Biology and Technology of Reproduction in Mammals, in 2010, at the University of Murcia (Spain), and MS in Biology of Human Reproduction, in 2013, at the University Miguel Hernández of Elche (Spain). I got my Ph.D. in the Department of Physiology of the University of Murcia (2017) funded by a public Ph.D. Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Innovation and Science developed from 2014 to 2017. I presented my Ph.D. in December 2017 and obtained an “International Mention” and the highest grade “Cum Laude” unanimously. I was a visiting scientist at the Department of Animal Science, Graduate School of Environmental & Life Science, Okayama University (Okayama, Japan) in 2015, and at the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham (Birmingham, United Kingdom) in 2016. I participated in 7 Spanish national or regional public grants (3 of them funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance; 1 funded by the “Seneca Foundation” of the Region of Murcia, Spain; 1 funded by the University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; and 1 funded by the “Junta de Castilla y León”, Spain, and the European Regional Development Fund), 1 international (funded by the National Institute of Health, USA) and 2 grants with private companies (IVI-RMA S.A. and IMPOR-VET S.A.). I have published 22 scientific articles and 54 communications to conferences (23 of them published as abstracts in Q1 JCR journals) and 1 book chapter. From 2014 to 2019, I taught in the Degree in Veterinary Medicine (in the subjects “Veterinary Physiology I and II”) and in the MS in Biology and Technology of Reproduction in Mammals (subjects of “Analysis of sperm functionality”, “In vitro maturation, fertilization and embryo culture”, “Gametes-oviduct interactions prior to fertilization” and “Morphology and function of the female reproductive organs”) for 5 academic years (60 hours/academic year). I have also directed one Honor Thesis, which was scored with 9.4 above 10. After my Ph.D. I did one year of postdoctoral research, from 1.1.2018 to 31.12.2018, under the direction of Dr. Pilar Coy and Dr. Raquel Roman (University of Murcia, Spain), while I was the Director of the Embryocloud Laboratory specialized in mammalian reproduction including humans. I am a member of the Murcian Institute of Biomedicine (IMIB, Murcia, Spain) as a collaborating researcher with the research group ‘Reproductive Physiology and Assisted Reproduction’.

From January 2019 to April 2021, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (Amherst, MA, USA) in Dr. Rafael Fissore’s laboratory, a widely recognized leader in mammalian fertilization and oocyte activation. During that time, I interrogated the molecular implications of a cation channel in the oocyte plasma membrane, TRPM7, in the oocyte activation and embryo development, which is carried out in mice and highly relevant to human reproduction. From May 2021 I joined the REPROBIO research group at the University of León, which is directed by Dr. Felipe Martínez-Pastor. In REPROBIO I am currently studying the status of the chromatin condensation and damage in pig spermatozoa, and its implications on fertility. These studies are especially interesting for the animal industry because they will allow us to develop new technologies to improve the efficiency of porcine production.

I have a mastery of complex cellular and molecular biology techniques: analysis of gametes functionality, oocyte in vitro maturation and fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), embryo culture and transference, gametes and embryo cryopreservation, computerized semen analysis, genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic analyses, microscopy, immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, fluorimetry, spectrophotometry, confocal imaging, laboratory management, and database management and analysis. With this experience, I developed the skills and knowledge to carry out research projects in the laboratory, to design and conduct experiments and to write and review scientific articles. My long-term research goals are to study the molecular basis of gametes’ functionality related to fertility. My objective right now is to gain new insights into assisted reproduction technologies that can be applied to overcome infertility and for species conservation. My main professional goal is also related to teaching, which could contribute to training the next generation of scientists.