Antoni Bennasar Figueras (from now on, ABF) is Doctor in Biology from the Universitat de les Illes Balears (1995). In addition to Professor and Researcher of the Microbiology Area since 2000, ABF has been the responsible for the Biotechnology Department of the company GridSystems (2001-03) and the Founder President of Biogenia Research (2003-05), a spin-off biotechnology based company of the UIB. The Biogenia Research company was awarded at the VI Business Projects Contest (2003) and as the best project in Mallorca of the III Illes Balears Innovation Competition, in the modality of ideas for technological innovation projects (2004).
Since the development of the Doctoral Thesis (1995) and to date, ABF has devoted much of his professional activity to the areas of applied environmental microbiology, molecular microbial ecology, characterization of microbial communities, biological containment systems for recombinant bacteria, food safety and traceability, the application of microbiological analysis methods; and especially to the development of advanced strategies and techniques for the detection, identification and characterization of microorganisms (Legionella, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Mycobacterium, Caulobacter). In this regard, it is noteworthy the development of a highly sensitive method, based on the immuno-PCR technique, for the detection of aflatoxins in foods.
The experience acquired in the business world has allowed ABF to gain skills for the phenotypic identification and molecular characterization of pathogenic microorganisms; especially those related to the food quality control and safety. The responsibilities performed in GridSystems and Biogenia Research, its participation as a main researcher in two genomics projects of the Spanish National Plan for research and as a researcher in a CONSOLIDER project (Microgen); have allowed ABF to specialize in the application of new high-performance sequencing technologies NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) to microbiology and to acquire the necessary knowledge and know-how in bioinformatics for the assembly, annotation and comparative analysis of microorganism genomes; as well as for the construction, maintenance and mining of databases.
ABF is currently an active member at the Research Group of the Microbiology Area of the Department of Biology of the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) and the Institut Universitari d'Investigaciķ en Cičncies de la Salut (IUNICS). As responsible for the experimentation with biological agents, ABF has been the Vice-President (2014-18) and the President of the Biosafety Committee of the UIB (since june 2018).
In summary, ABF currently has four five-year periods (quinquenios) or teaching merits and four six-year terms (sexenios) or research merits recognized by ANECA. The consolidation and continuous updating of the different knowledge and skills acquired through the research experience and the incursions into the biotechnology business world, constitute the essential pillars on which ABF intends to sustain both teaching and research work in an integrating manner, which allows the development of innovative research and offers training with promising perspectives to new student generations in the Microbiology field.