Dr. Magda Faijes is Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Researcher of the Laboratory of Biochemistry in the Bioengineering Department at the Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS), Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona. She graduated in Chemistry (IQS, 1996), Chemical Engineering (University of Ramon Llull, 1997) and MSc in Food Chemistry and Engineering (IQS, 1998). She obtained the PhD in Chemistry (University of Ramon Llull, 2003) with a predoctoral stay at CERMAV-CNRS (Grenoble, France) working in the protein engineering of glycosidases as glycosynthases for oligosaccharides synthesis. She performed the postdoc in the Top Institute of Food Nutrition (formerly Wageningen Center of Food Sciences) in Wageningen, The Netherlands with Profs. Willem de Vos and Eddy Smid (2003-2004) in the project of functional genomics of Lactobacillus plantarum. She was appointed by the IQS in 2004, joined the Laboratory of Biochemistry and promoted to Associate Professor in 2010. She has been Visiting Professor at the Center for Synthetic Biology of the Ghent University (Belgium) with Prof. Marjan de Mey (2014). She has been Coordinator of the MSc in Bioenginnering since 2011.
Dr. Faijes has been member of the board of the Chemists Association of IQS from 2003 to 2009, member of the Food Professional Group of AIQS from 1998 to 2010 and affiliated to several scientific societies (ACCA, AIQS). She has organized several scientific meetings, highlighting the organization of the EUROCARB2017 (European Carbohydrate Symposium) in Barcelona, July 2017, Food Studies on Health and Chemistry: Healthy Ingredients, Barcelona,(April 2008, 2006, 2004), Workshop on Foods for XXI Century: Bioactive Proteins and Prebiotics as Functional Ingredients, organized by Food Professional Group of AIQS and the European project Early Nutrition Programming for Adulth Health in Barcelona (October 2005), Sweeteners in Food Industry (Barcelona, 2002) and News on fats and oils (Barcelona, 2002).
She had received several awards: from the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication for the work of the dissemination of scientific research: Proteins and carbohydrates: Very human relationships (Faijes, 2004), from the European University of Applied Sciences Fresenius (Germany) for the best master thesis that was carried out by Alexandra Parich under the direction of Dr. Faijes and Dr. Planas (Parich, 2006), from the Chemists Association of IQS for the best master’s thesis of the Department of Bioengineering that was performed by Marc Caballé under the direction of Dra. Faijes, Dra. de Mey, Dr. Planas (Caballé, 2017).
Her expertise is in the field of the biotechnological production of added-value glycoconjugates using either protein engineering of carbohydrate-acting enzymes or cell factory approach via metabolic engineering. The most recent work is the protein engineering of glycosidases for human milk oligosaccharides (Faijes et al., 2019) and chitooligosaccharides (Alsina et al., 2021) and the metabolic engineering platform of E. coli for glycolipids (Orive-Milla et al., 2020). The most cited articles are Faijes et al., 2007 commented As a reference methodology for bacterial strains and extended to mammalian cells by others (Alvarez-Sanchez et al., 20120, Sellick et al., 2011), Pérez et al., 2011, Faijes et al. ., 2001; 2003; 2004; 2007, commented As a first proof of expanding the ability of glycosynthases to catalyze the polymerization of carbohydrates (Gullfot et al., 2009).