Santiago F. Elena

Santiago F. Elena

Position: Professor at Institute for Integrative Systems Biology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Research focus: virus experimental evolution & systems biology of host-virus interactions

What do you love about viruses?
Their evolvability

Who is your favourite scientist and why?
Newton. He created the basis of modern science.

On what topic could you give a 30-minute presentation without any preparation?
Virus evolution

What is your favourite way to spend a day off?
Mountain biking

What are you currently learning?
How host aging changes selective constraints upon viruses

If you could create a new invention, what would it be?
A device to evaluate virus evolution in real-time

What is the most interesting question or challenge in science that is still unanswered?
Origin of life

What is the coolest thing about your research?
Everyday is something new to learn and discuss

What was your most surprising scientific finding?
Pathogenic viruses can evolve as mutualistic in response to environmental stresses

For which project idea are you still looking for a cooperation partner?
Single-cell infection dynamics and multilayer network analyses

What was your biggest achievement, and what your biggest failure?
My family / never got an ERC AdG

Which scientific topic (outside of your field of research) do you think should have more scientific attention?
Physics of complex systems

If you were completely free to choose a scientific topic to work on, which would it be?
Multiscale modeling of virus dynamics

If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?
Get a degree in Physics in addition to the degree in Biochemistry