VdL is a Chemist and Research Professor in the CNB-CSIC where he currently heads the Laboratory of Environmental Molecular Microbiology. After his PhD at the CSIC Institute of Enzymology (1983), he worked at the Pasteur Institute (1984), the UC Berkeley (1985-1987), the Univ Geneva (1988) and the GBF in Braunschweig. Since 1991 he is based in Madrid, where he works at the the interface between the Synthetic Biology and Environmental Biotechnology. He has advocated for a long time the use of engineered soil bacteria as agents for the decontamination of sites damaged by industrial waste. In 2001 this work received the National Award King James I for Environmental Protection. In 2008 he was honored with the GSK International Award of the American Society for Microbiology, and the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the EMBO, the American Academy of Microbiology and the European Academy of Microbiology. He has co-chaired the EC-US Working Group on Synthetic Biology and the EC President’s Science and Technology Council. He has published > 300 articles in scientific journals and specialized books, and he has served as advisor of numerous international panels.