Genomics expert joins Benchmark Genetics in Edinburgh

editorial staff

Dr Carolina Peñaloza to lead the new program in molecular genomics in Edinburgh. 

Benchmark Genetics announces the appointment of Dr Carolina Peñaloza as Senior Scientist in the company’s new Molecular Genetics program in Edinburgh, Scotland. Peñaloza joins Benchmark from The Roslin Institute, where she has more than ten years of experience developing and applying genomic tools for aquaculture species.

Dr Peñaloza will lead the development of a new Molecular Genetics program from a state-of-the-art laboratory in Edinburgh. This program aims to optimize genotyping and other genomics solutions for Benchmarks’ salmon, shrimp, and tilapia breeding operations. This will support more efficient genomic selection and increase genetic gain for target production traits, keeping with the company’s mission to improve sustainability in aquaculture. In addition, Dr Peñaloza will lead the expansion of the genotyping and genomics offering to external clients as part of Benchmark Genetics Services. She will also develop R&D activities targeting future solutions in this rapidly evolving field, the message says.

She holds a MPhil and a PhD in Genetics and Genomics, both from The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. She has had several research positions, including postdoctoral roles at The Roslin Institute. Before joining Benchmark, she was involved in multiple aquaculture research projects, both national and international. She has designed and tested two successful and widely-used SNP arrays – a combined-species sea bass and bream array and a Nile tilapia array. She has also worked on expanding key genomic resources for the main aquaculture species. Dr Peñaloza has built strong links with academia and industry partners through her leading role in designing and implementing molecular solutions in large-scale genetics projects.

“We welcome Dr Carolina Peñaloza to Benchmark Genetics to lead the development and implementation of genotyping solutions for our internal breeding programs and external genetic services. Carolina’s impressive track record of molecular genetics and bioinformatics in aquaculture species makes her the ideal person to take this role. Her appointment significantly strengthens our capacity to design and apply cost-effective genomic tools to support the genetic improvement of aquaculture species,”Dr Ross Houston, Director of Innovation in Benchmark Genetics, says.

“I am excited to join Benchmark Genetics and keen to start building up the new Molecular Genetics programme to apply the latest genomic technologies into commercial practice. I have a strong background in designing and developing technologies for high-throughput genotyping, and I look forward to contributing and
being part of Benchmarks’ global team of experts working on applied aquaculture genetics programmes,” Dr Carolina Peñaloza says.


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