Javier Florenza

I graduated in Chemistry at the University of Barcelona with a project on environmental electrochemistry, but finding it not enough engaging I decided to turn to Biology, specifically Genetics. By then, I was in charge of the microscopes at the Cryo-electron Microscopy Unit of the Scientific and Technological Centers of the UB, a time at which I enjoyed a lot learning and working with people from many different disciplines in Biology. Be in contact with research in Biology motivated me to enroll in the M.Sc. on Genetics and Genomics at that same University. Especially interested in evolution, I have developed my master’s project at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, also in Barcelona, where I have been working until 2016 with Capsaspora owczarzaki, a unicellular holozoan close to the animals lineage. I have been performing bulk transcriptomic and differential gene expression analyses to reveal some aspects on the role of integrins in their aggregative stage, thus trying to shed some light on integrin function in the unicellular ancestor of animals. This environment helped me to notice the vast diversity found (and hidden) amongst unicellular eukaryotes, and finding it fascinating I applied for the SINGEK ESR 4 project. From October 2016, I will be working at Uppsala University on improving and developing single cell transcriptomic techniques to study ecology and diversity of uncultured microeukaryotes.