Interview with José Luis Legido, PI of the Applied Physics 2 Group

Professor José Luis Legido is one of the 9 PIs of the Applied Physics 2 group at CINBIO and is  also chairman of the Galician Thermal Peloid Society. Legido is in charge of a line of research focused on monitoring bacteria growth using microcalorimetric techniques, in which the effects of drugs on the bacteria are analysed. As a result of this research he has published eleven scientific articles, one book, three completed theses and one international patent in collaboration with the Vigo Hospital Complex.

Prof. Legido has four six-year terms,  has directed 28 doctoral theses, 30 Master’s final projects, 28 research projects as PI, 200 JCR publications, 60 books or book chapters (with a h index of 26) and has participated in 200 international congresses.

 

The creation of the group

 All researchers from the areas of Applied Physics (from the three faculties of the Experimental Sciences building) make up the Applied Physics 2 group.

The group began its activity in 1992 led by Teresa Pérez Iglesias and Legido. All researchers that joined the area were also included in the research group. The initial idea was to create a transversal and multidisciplinary group with two main research lines: one related to materials and the environment, and another linked to biomedicine and biophysics.

The group is multidisciplinary with regard to their academic background; they come from physics, chemistry, pharmacy and biology. Nine people form the permanent staff. They are all principal investigators with their own lines of research and their own teams. This increases the number of researchers to 30 people. In addition, the Applied Physics 2 group has six predoctoral scholars, others from private entities and several contracts through European, National and Regional R&D projects.

 

Group funding

 The Applied Physics 2 has been declared a “Grupo de Referencia Competitiva” of the Xunta de Galicia until 2019. At the moment they are carrying out three National research projects and six research contracts with companies. The group is awaiting the resolution of European projects, four networks (two national and two regional).

Regarding European funding, they have recently finished two SUDOE projects, one related to environment, specifically water treatment with microalgae, and another related to the development of hydrotherapy.

 

Main Indicators

The main indicator for the group, according to Prof. Ledigo, is scientific production, with an average of 35 JCR publications annually, 90% of Q1 and Q2. They publish around five books per year, and ten book chapters.

Dissemination is also relevant for the group. They publish around five dissemination articles per year.

Regarding congresses, they attend around 50 national and 30 international congresses per year. They also take part of international fairs, for example Termatalia, the international fair for thermal tourism, where they are official members.

 

Technology transfer

The group’s transfer capacity is another distinguishing point. They have founded four technology-based companies (EBT): Visia System, Peloides Termales S.L., Energy Control, VITA S.L.

They are now working on a project with high potential for being transferred: the application of Nanofluids in solar panels.

The group also has an international patent in collaboration with the Vigo hospital complex: “Method and device for the detection of microorganisms”. Furthermore, the group has agreed several research contracts with spa resorts and other entities.

 

The group’s main lines of research

 At the present, the group is working on 14 lines of research. Inside the scope of CINBIO, Prof. Legido highlights the following:

A main line, led by Prof.  Legido, centred on the agents’ thermophysical characterisation for therapeutic use in spa resorts, working mainly with two types of agents: waters and peloids. Regarding waters, they use seawater, and medicinal mineral water, collaborating with thalasso centres and spas. As for peloids, their use has increased in thermal centres that collaborate with the group.

Prof. Legido also leads a research line focused on the study of bacterial growth against external agents, analysing the effects of drugs, external physical fields or metals.

Dr. Verónica Salgueiriño works on another main research line centred on the use of magnetic nanoparticles for biocompatible processes. There is increasing use of drugs, which contain magnetic bioparticles, and these drugs could be administered thermo-therapeutically for the treatment of many illnesses, for example cancer.

 

CINBIO and the Applied Physics 2 group

 For Prof. Legido and his group, CINBIO represents a very important framework, as inside the structure of the University of Vigo they have a top-level biomedical research centre.

Furthermore, being under the CINBIO umbrella allows them to maintain collaborations with other groups in the centre, such as the Molecular Biomarkers group led by Prof. Berrocal, the Food and Analytical Chemistry group led by Prof. Gago and the Nanotechnology group led by Dr. Correa, among others.

 

Highlighted Collaborations

 Beyond CINBIO, the Applied Physics 2 group has other important collaborations. They highlight those with the Alvaro Cunqueiro Hospital (SERGAS) and with the General Tourism Management (Xunta de Galicia), in charge of health tourism. They also have a very important relationship with the Spa Association Galicia and with the Thalasso Association Galicia.