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  • Margarita Salas

    Photo: THE WORLD
  • Margarita Salas and Eladio Viñuela

    Source: Budibuno
    After graduating in Chemical Sciences, he went to New York with her husband, Eladio Viñuela, a scientist. He died in 1999.
  • Margarita Salas


Margarita Salas

Canero, Asturias, Spain

  • occupation

    Geneticist, biochemistry and university professor
  • area

  • nationality
  • Acknowledgments
    He belongs to several of the most prestigious companies and national and international scientific institutes, collaborating and being a member of the editorial board of important scientific publications. He has won several awards, being named “European researcher 1999” by UNESCO and was awarded the Jaume I research 1994. She was appointed director of the Instituto de España (1995-2003), organization that brings together the whole of the Spanish Royal Academy. In addition, has been named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University Rey Juan Carlos, d’ Oviedo, of Extremadura, Murcia, Politécnica de Madrid, Jaen, Cadiz, Malaga, UNED i Universitat Internacional Menéndez Pelayo. In May 2007 she was named a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first Spanish woman who joined the institution. She has been Marquise of Canero since July 11 2008, by Royal Decree. The nobility, to be hereditary, was awarded for his "dedication to scientific research on molecular biology, conducted intensively and rigorously throughout their careers ".

DNA polymerase the virus bacteriòfag Φ29

Among its highlights major scientific contributions determining the directionality of reading genetic information, during his time in the laboratory of Severo Ochoa, and the discovery and characterization of phage DNA polymerase Φ29, which has multiple biotechnological applications due to its very high DNA amplification capacity.

Currently (2012) is honorary professor at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center, research center of the CSIC and the Autonomous University of Madrid, where the virus continues to work with bacteriophage Φ29, useful in biotechnology research and pathogen which infects a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis. [1]

The creator of the most profitable patent in Spain

He 1967, Sales chose the mechanisms for replication or reproduction of the Φ29 virus as the subject of study; Virus simple enough to have only 20 nothing but, at the same time, sufficiently complex to draft conclusions.

Without waiting for any practical application, came up with this virus infecting bacteria, which led to the discovery of DNA polymerase protein, the person in charge of producing the copies of the genetic material. The chemical patent for this protein has been the most profitable in the history of our country, as it has generated more than 6 million euros.

Margarita Salas – Amplification of genomic DNA for

More information on exceptional inventors and the European Inventor Award organized by the European Patent Office:

When I was young, women were not considered capable of research
Margarita Salas



What repercussion had their research?

His research allowed Kary B. Mullis, The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1983, design known PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), a reaction that allows millions of copies of any DNA fragment to be produced, something essential for geneticists, biologists, researchers, archaeologists, forensic and law enforcement experts, those who work every day with DNA samples but don’t always have the amount needed.





  1. Margarita Salas Wikipedia
  2. Margarita Salas between Scientific