Biological membranes provide unique environments for molecular function. Biomembranes also define the cellular architecture and stipulate the foundation for cellular identity. The study of biomembranes is of major interest in contemporary life science research with important implications for essentially all fields of basic and applied biomolecular science. The central focus of our research is on membrane proteins. Membrane proteins are involved in an impressive range of biological functions, including signalling, energy transduction, small molecule and ion transport, cell motility, cell-cell interactions and nerve conduction. Furthermore, they are targets for a majority of the pharmaceutical drugs currently on the market. In fact, the general scientific and industrial interest in membrane proteins has grown sharply over the past few years, posing new problems and technical challenges for protein chemistry, proteomics, structural biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, and biotechnology.
About a quarter of cellular proteins are found embedded in lipid bilayers. Yet, much of their structural and functional properties are still waiting to be unravelled.
Our Group focuses on basic aspects of the folding and assembly of proteins in lipid membranes. Using simplified models, we aim to understand how membrane proteins insert, fold and pack in biological membranes.
Our projects provide an optimal interdisciplinary setting for training at the PhD and Postdoctoral level. This work includes basic research in the development of new methodologies as well as its application to specific problems, and it has a strong component of interaction with research groups (both in Spain and abroad) of other technical expertise covering the full spectrum from Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biophysics.