About Entrechem  >  Founders

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The founders of the EntreChem are or have been linked to the University of Oviedo,
from where EntreChem SL spun off in 2006.

Francisco Morís, Ph.D.

Francisco Morís received his Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Oviedo (Spain) under the supervision of Prof. Vicente Gotor. Following his Ph.D. studies, he worked two years in the labs of Prof. Chi-Huey Wong at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (USA).

In 1997 he joined the biocatalysis firm ThermoGen, Inc. (Chicago, IL), where he worked as Associate Director of Biocatalysis focusing on high-throughput assay development and biocatalytic process development. ThermoGen merged in May 2000 with MediChem Research, in turn acquired by deCode Genetics on March, 2002. From September 2002 until Dec 2004 he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Syracuse, NY), in the biotransformations group, developing a large scale process for saxagliptin.

In 2005 he came back to Spain to set up EntreChem, a start up company focused on drug discovery and development of new drugs based on combinatorial biosynthesis and biocatalysis. Francisco is co-author of over 25 scientific international publications, co-inventor in over 12 patents and has raised 3MEUR to date from local Business Angels, Family Offices and Public Agencies.

Prof. José A. Salas

José Antonio Salas (h index 43) completed his degree in Biological Sciences and Ph.D. at the University of Oviedo. After his doctoral thesis he spent several periods as a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge and Leicester Universities (UK). In 1984 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Oviedo and he is Full Professor of Microbiology at the same university since 1999.

He has authored more than 160 scientific articles and is the co-inventor of 15 patents. He has supervised 26 doctoral theses and has been the head researcher in 20 research projects funded by Spanish institutions and 10 European Union projects. He has also carried out 5 projects with private companies.

His current line of research is focused on the application of combinatorial biosynthesis to the generation of new derivatives of anti-tumour compounds produced by microorganisms with better anti-tumour activity or improved pharmacological properties and the activation of “silent” biosynthesis gene clusters in actinomycetes.

Prof. Vicente Gotor

Vicente Gotor (h index 35) is the Rector of the University of Oviedo since May, 2008. Holder of a Bachelor´s Degree and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Zaragoza, he is a full professor at the University of Oviedo since 1983. He held a Max-Planck-Gesselshalft fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute in Mülheim (Germany, 1975-1977) and became associate professor of the University of Oviedo in 1978.

He was Head of Area for Academic Planning (1987-1996), Vice-rector for Research (1996-2000) and director of the Department of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry (2003-2008). He was also president of the International and Local Scientific Committee of BIOTRANS International Symposium on Biocatalysis and Biotransformations held in Oviedo in July, 2007. Co-author of approximately 400 articles in international journals and co-holder of eleven national and international patents, he has also supervised 60 Ph.D. theses.

He has been invited to write 17 chapters in different books as a guest writer. Editor of the book Asymmetric Organic Synthesis with Enzymes (2008) and guest editor of a special issue of the Journal Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic (2008). Principal investigator in more than 25 national, regional and international projects, as well as researcher in charge of several projects with different Spanish and international companies.

Prof. Carmen Méndez

Carmen Méndez (h index 43) completed her degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oviedo, graduating with distinction in 1979. She then joined the Interfaculty Department of Microbiology at the University of Oviedo, where she completed her Doctoral Thesis, under the supervision of Prof. C. Hardisson and Prof. M. B. Manzanal, and received her Ph.D. in 1984. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Streptomyces genetics group at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, UK, she re-joined the Microbiology Area at the University of Oviedo and in 1988 was appointed Senior Lecturer in this area, and she is now Professor of Microbiology at the same university.

Co-author of 140 scientific articles in international journals, and is co-inventor of 15 patents. She has supervised 18 Doctoral Theses and has been the head researcher in 8 research projects funded by Spanish institutions, and has participated in 10 European Union projects.

Her work as a researcher has primarily focused on the characterization of gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of bioactive compounds, such as anti-tumour compounds, and the use of these genes to generate by combinatorial biosynthesis new compounds. She is also involved in improving production yields of those compounds by metabolic engineering.

Prof. Miguel Ferrero

Miguel Ferrero is currently Professor of Organic Chemistry at Universidad de Oviedo. He has received his Ph.D. from Universidad de Oviedo in 1992 under the supervision of Prof. J. Barluenga and Prof. F. Palacios. Latter, he spent two and a half years as postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Riverside, with Professor W. H. Okamura. In July 1995, he moved back to Universidad de Oviedo and joined the research group of Professor V. Gotor. He is currently the director of natural products research area in the Bioorganic research group at Departamento de Química Orgánica e Inorgánica.

In 1997 he has received the IV “Dr. Severo Ochoa” Award of the Fundación Príncipe de Asturias for a project in vitamin D3 and neurodegenerative diseases. His current research focuses on the chemoenzymatic synthesis of vitamin D3 analogues, nucleosides/nucleotides, and quinic/shikimic acid derivatives, including enzymatic mechanism studies. Also, he is involved in several projects related with applied research in connection with several companies.

He is author of around 75 publications in international reputed journals, 8 book chapters, 3 review articles, and 2 international patents. Additionally, he is President of Principado de Asturias Chemists Association (Asociación de Químicos del Principado de Asturias, Spain) and Vice-Dean of Chemists Official College of Asturias and León (Colegio Oficial de Químicos de Asturias y León, Spain) since October 2009.