The Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB), belonging to the State Agency Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has changed its name and will be renamed "Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas", as provided by the Resolution of November 21st of the Presidency of the CSIC.
Prof. Margarita Salas was linked to the CIB for 13 years at the beginning of her brilliant scientific career. In this center, she completed her PhD on yeast metabolism between 1961 and 1964, in the group of Alberto Sols. After her postdoctoral stay in New York, in the laboratory of the Nobel prize Severo Ochoa, she returned to Spain in 1967 to work again at the CIB, where she established a laboratory with her husband, Eladio Viñuela. In 1969, the Molecular Biology Section was created, becoming the first department of Molecular Biology in Spain in 1971.
In the CIB, the systematic genetic analysis of a bacterial virus, phage ϕ29, started. Among other findings, Margarita Salas discovered that the linear double-stranded DNA of the virus had a specific protein bound at one end of each chain, which acted as a starting point when the viral genome replicated.
In 1977, the Asturian scientist moved to the recently founded Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center (CBMSO). It is there that she isolated the enzyme DNA polymerase from phage ϕ29 that has had such a great impact on biotechnology, giving rise to the most profitable patent of the CSIC during its term.
This name change is made at the initiative of the current CIB Management Board and Scientific Faculty, and has the favorable report of the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Governing Council of the CSIC. The request was made after Margarita Salas passed away last November 7th, at the age of 80, as a tribute to this scientist, a reference of science and Spanish female scientists, linked at the beginning of her long scientific career to the center that now bears her name.
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La voz de Asturias: link.