DOMCA - RAFAI studied a BSc in Biotechnology at the University of Cádiz, in southern Spain, also working as a research assistant at the Microbiology department. There I was given an independent project studying genetics of wine yeasts and I started to develop a passion for research. During my studies, I realized that my driving force is to exploit the knowledge generated by research in biosciences to obtain real and practical benefits. This was crucial in my decision to study an MSc in Molecular Biology Applied to Biotech Companies, which allowed me to gain experience in the private sector. Then I decided to start my adventure abroad by doing an internship at a Finnish company (MetGen Oy), aiming to develop new enzymes for the industrial valorization of lignocellulosic biomass.
For me, the YEASTDOC ITN is an awesome opportunity to continue doing what I love, while building strong international collaborations that for sure will be fruitful in the near future. Furthermore, I truly believe that this research will be of great value to the field of Industrial Microbiology, allowing us to obtain useful information about the metabolism of yeasts as well as develop new strategies that may have a high impact on the market.
Feel free to visit my LinkedIn account if you want to know more about my background.

About Project 1:
Metabolic network and genetic basis of aroma production in Saccharomyces hybrids
By incorporating phenotypic traits of their two original species, yeast hybrids exhibit a unique combination of properties and an array of fermentation products. For example, wine yeast hybrids can combine the low temperature tolerance of one parent with the profile of volatile molecules (aromas) produced by the other. This project will first aim to generate new Saccharomyces interspecies hybrids with metabolic phenotypes of interest for the wine industry. The second key point will be the identification of the metabolic network and genetic loci responsible for fermentative characters and formation of aroma and flavour by these strains.

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