Structural and Molecular Biology
Researchers of the SMB Group develop research in structural biology and glycobiology and have a long-standing interest in a variety of topics that are focused in two main areas: health & disease and environmental impact. The topics are addressed from a functional and structural point of view, relying on complementary expertise in protein production and biochemical, structural and functional characterization (NMR, X-ray crystallography, SAXS, EPR, Moessbauer, Glycoarrays, Kinetics, Microcalorimetry). The optimization and development of new techniques in these fields is a fundamental and active topic of research within the group.
In 2015 a new line of research in functional glycobiology was established focusing on microbial and endogenous recognition systems for development of cancer therapies and to understand the interaction diversity in the human gut microbiome.
Targets of our research are metalloenzymes and we have contributed to the structural and mechanistic elucidation of several enzymes relevant in human health & disease (Aldehyde Oxidases, Peroxidases, etc) as well as on the environment (Formate Dehydrogenase, N2O Reductase) and the results achieved have granted us international recognition.
Other active areas include molecular mechanisms for iron storage, metal tolerance and detoxification of ROS from pathogenic bacteria; mechanisms of protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases; bioelectricity production by electroactive bacteria and Extracellular Electron Transfer to allow converting renewable biomass into electricity.
In 2013-2017 SMB has: published 159 papers in international journals with 1191 citations as well as 13 books or book chapters; supervised 9 PhD and 33 MSc theses; participated in 5 international projects (3 of which as PI) and 33 national projects (22 as PI), with an approximate total funding of 2.9 M€.