Characterisation of lectins from emerging fungi and identification from fungal extracts

Dania Martínez

Dania Martínez obtained her Bachelor’s in Biotechnology at the University of Querétaro (Mexico) in 2015. For her thesis project, she worked under supervision of Dr. Teresa García, performing genetic modifications on beans to induce secretion of anticarcinogenic lectins through plant roots.

After her B.Sc. she continued her work by developing new strategies for efficient and profitable production of recombinant lectins with pharmaceutical purposes. Subsequently, Dania obtained her Master’s degree in 2017, with a thesis project focused on the heterologous expression of bioactive lectins in P. pastoris. This project was developed under supervision of Dr. Alejandro Blanco at CINVESTAV (Mexico) and in collaboration with Prof. John Gatehouse and Dr. Elaine Fitches at Durham University (UK).

During her stay in Durham, Dania became interested on the specific binding ability of lectins and approached the study of sugar-lectin interactions through the production of mutant proteins.

In April 2018 she joined the PhD4GlycoDrug European Program as a PhD student to work on the characterization of lectins from emerging fungi. This project is performed under the supervision of Dr. Annabelle Varrot at CERMAV (CNRS, University of Grenoble) and Prof. Roland Pieters at the University of Utrecht.

Poster Prize

CHAINS is the most important Dutch chemistry conference in which students from different nationalities can #MixandMatch with the leading scientific community. The 2019 edition of CHAINS took place in Veldhoven, and counted on the participation of worldwide renowned scientists such as Frances Arnold, Nobel laureate in 2018, who gave an astonishing and inspiring lecture on enzyme engineering.

With more than one thousand participants and 481 posters, PhD4GlycoDrug contributed to this fantastic conference with four posters. The posters were judged by a jury for their attractiveness, clarity and quality of research and results, and for the oral presentation during the poster session, in order to select the winners of the 7 poster awards.

We are really proud of our ESRs Dania Martinez and Gabriele Conti, who were both selected as recipients of two Best Poster Awards.


  1. Dania Martínez-Alarcón, Annabelle Varrot, Elaine Fitches, John A. Gatehouse, Min Cao, Prashant Pyati, Alejandro Blanco-Labra, Teresa Garcia-Gasca, Recombinant Lectin from Tepary Bean (Phaseolus acutifolius) with Specific Recognition for Cancer-Associated Glycans: Production, Structural
    Characterization, and Target Identification, Biomolecules 202010, 654. doi: 10.3390/biom10040654.
  2. Dania Martínez-Alarcón, Viviane Balloy, Jean-Philippe Bouchara, Roland J. Pieters, Annabelle Varrot, Biochemical and structural studies of target lectin SapL1 from the emerging opportunistic microfungus Scedosporium apiospermum, Scientific Reports 202111, 16109. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95008-4.