From Spain to Kannapolis: NCRC has new Genomics Lab Leader

From Spain to Kannapolis: NCRC has new Genomics Lab Leader

KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - From the North Carolina Research Campus: The road from Valencia, Spain to Kannapolis, NC is a long one. For Jorge Marques Signes, PhD, it has prepared him well for the job of Genomics Laboratory Group Leader at the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), located on the NC Research Campus.

"What I like about the DHMRI is that we are producing real, translatable results," he said. "We have skilled professionals who work here and the emphasis is on teamwork and developing new protocols and methods."

Marques Signes began his career at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain. He studied brittle leaf disease in date palms. He applied genomics, microscopy and proteomics, three of DHMRI's specialties, to study the disease at a molecular level. His research showed that bacteria in the soil lead to low magnesium levels in the trees and caused the disease. He then developed biomarkers that led to a protocol to predict which trees would develop the disease and could be injected with magnesium as a preventative measure.

After finishing his doctorate in 2011, he accepted a position in the Department of Biology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina working with a preeminent researcher in plant immunology.

"My years at Duke," Marques Signes added, "gave me experience in next generation sequencing and library preparation."

Experience he uses every day at DHMRI. His immediate priority is to build relationships with scientists on and off the NC Research Campus.

"I'm motivated by teamwork and how dynamic and versatile DHMRI is, and I'm intrigued by the challenges that researchers present us," he emphasized. "One moment I'm talking about an innovative project with carrot, and the next, we're looking at new ways to address a human disease. It keeps me right on the edge of new technologies and discovery."

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