The IIBM participates in the Spanish Biology Olympiad another year

The IIBM participates in the Spanish Biology Olympiad another year

  • For the second consecutive year, the IIBM hosts finalists in the XVIII Spanish Biology Olympiad. The groups led by Drs. Juan Manuel Zapata and José Luis Orgaz receive two excellent students from the 2nd year of High School.

The Spanish Biology Olympiad (OEB) is a national competition that was born in 2005 and is organized by the Spanish Association of Biology Olympiads. The competition is attended by students of 2nd year of High School from all over the country who love the subject of Biology and with excellent scores in this discipline, both in the current academic year and in the past. The mission of this competition is to promote the study of Biology and to bring the students closer to the research work.

Competitions are held in each Autonomous Community and then the winners participate in a national competition (the so-called OEB). This year the XVIII OEB was held in Barcelona from March 23 to 26 and 62 students from all over Spain participated. The prize for the finalists consists of spending a week in a research center collaborating in this program. The Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols (IIBM), CSIC-UAM participates with the Spanish Association of Biology Olympiads in its commitment to encourage students' passion for research so that they may become future scientists.

Paula Castillo Cabanillas and María Sánchez Tirado are the two finalists in the OEB competition who have been hosted for a week in our Institute.

Paula, a student of the Colegio Salesiano María Auxiliadora of Mérida (Badajoz), has spent a week in the laboratory of Dr. Juan Manuel Zapata and has being supervised by José María Lanza (all shown in the photo below). This student from Merida and future medical student has learned how to culture cells, extract DNA, amplify genes by PCR, analyze proteins by electrophoresis and immunoblot, as well as other common laboratory techniques. Also, Dr. Mónica Belinchón, from the Microscopy service, has illustrated Paula on the basic principles of confocal microscopy. " All the results of Paula have been excellent, we are waiting to see her for for the realization of her doctoral thesis!", added Dr. Zapata.


María Sánchez Tirado is a student at the Virgen del Remedio College in Alcorcón (Madrid). She has shared a week in Dr. José L. Orgaz's group, where she has learned cell culture techniques with human cutaneous melanoma lines, cell survival measurements by crystal violet staining, as well as the extraction of proteins from cell lysates for subsequent analysis by Western blot. Dr. Orgaz has informed us that the experience with Maria has been excellent, and she has shown great interest in all the techniques and experiments learned.

The IIBM congratulates both Paula and Maria, as well as the host research groups for this wonderful experience of sharing the passion for research.