Meet the professor: Jesús Gómez Ochoa de Alda

Written on June 22, 2010 by Roberto Arribas in Biology, General

Dr. Jesús Gómez Ochoa de Alda (IE School of Biology)

Can you explain your professional and academic career to us in detail?

My professional career is both international and interdisciplinary. After finishing my Ph.D. in Biochemistry, I did some research at King’s College (UK), Institut Pasteur (FR) and the CNRS (FR). Besides, I spent some time doing some research also in Liège (BE), Seville and León.

I have been working both on basic and applied research on the molecular and environmental levels of Biology. At present I am working with different national and international research teams.

I am also the director of the IE Univeristy research group on molecular evolution.

Regarding my teaching experience, it is very diversified. I have taught more than 8 different subjects for the Bachelor in Biology and others in science which were aimed towards people of all ages.

You are currently studying the Master in Biotechnology Management here at IE. What do you expect from it?

The Master in Biotechnology Management is providing me with formal education in management that complements my previous education on research, development and innovation. Undoubtedly, what I am learning in the Masters degree helps me to understand fully how ideas turn into knowledge and how this same knowledge turns into products and applications at the same time.

How and when did you get to IE University?

I joined the faculty as Dean of the School of Biology, leading the School for six years.

What is the Science Week?

The Science Week is an activity that promotes science, technology and innovation in Europe, bridging science and society.

 What courses do you teach? Why is your course important for a future biologist?

I teach courses that are related to my professional and research experience. I like teaching all my courses from a practical perspective, far from fixed principles and dogmas. Biology is for open-minded people.

I teach a good number of courses. I am currently teaching Microbiology, Methods on Biochemistry, Laboratory Management, Evolutionary Biology, Bioenergy and Comparative Physiology. I have also taught Clinical Biochemistry and Methods in Microbiology.

Can you tell us what books, movies, etc. you would recommend to a soon-to-be biologist?

Undoubtedly a biologist must be interested in literature and arts. There are many different aspects in Biology that are closely related to both of them, but most of all, a biologist must learn how to describe what he/she sees precisely. Otherwise, he/she would not appreciate the complexity of life. A biologist must have the curiosity of a painter and the precision in description of a writer. In order to improve these, there is nothing better than going to the classics like Don Quixote or One Hundred Years of Solitude.

 Any advice for the students?

To study biology in the best way possible I strongly recommend being an open-minded person, curious, a team-player and someone who loves international environment if you are looking towards a research career.


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