Marta Prado

Group Leader 
Food Quality and Safety  

Marta Prado is the group leader of the Food Quality and Safety Research Group (FQ&S) at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL). Her research interests are the development of new, fast and reliable detection methodologies combining molecular biology and nano- and microfabrication technologies for different applications particularly in the field of food safety and quality, but also for other biological samples. The research of the FQ&S research group deals with both targeted (using specific DNA amplification approaches and aptamer based detection) and non-targeted (mainly through Next Generation Sequencing, NGS) and the methodology is based on working on very specific analytical needs and on using a modular approach for each of the steps of the analytical process. This approach, help us to evaluate and to choose the best method in each case, to have a sound integrated final product, and at the same time a wide range of intermediate products that can be used by themselves to solve specific analytical challenges. From sample preparation to nanoparticle –aided detection. Our topics of interest involve the detection of microorganism, the detection of allergenic ingredients in food products and food authenticity, but also the detection of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the environment and microorganisms and viruses (e.g.: SARS-CoV-2) of interest in both environmental and clinical samples.

Marta has a PhD in Food Science and Technology from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and she has worked at the Joint Research Center from the European Commission (JRC-EC) in Geel (Belgium) as Scientific Officer between 2005 and 2010. In 2010, she moved to INL where she currently leads a team of 10 researchers including master and PhD students, technicians, postdocs and staff researchers. She has recently launched the spin-off neoxenica. Marta actively collaborates with international institutions such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or AOAC among others as an external expert.

Selected Publications