Welcome to our lab!

We are studying the nanomechanical properties of various bio-nanomachines from the nervous system (the proteasome, neurotoxic proteins and other amyloidogenic proteins, cell adhesion machinery and machinery for membrane fusion) and other biological systems (e.g., the cellulosome).


Our main interest is to understand at a molecular level important neural processes like memory consolidation, neurodegeneration, neurotransmitter release, cell adhesion and spatio-temporal coordination of enzymatic cascades.



Only one key aspect distinguishes the proteins that trigger Alzheimer's from those involved in memory consolidation

  • A study led by the Cajal Institute finds a crucial difference between "bad" and "good" amyloid protein aggregates.
  • The research could provide new targets for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Madrid 27th January 2016

A group form the Cajal Institute has found a key difference between amyloid proteins that trigger neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, which are neurotoxic, and those involved in memory consolidation, which are "good" amyloids. The study, published in the journal PLoS Biology, and selected with a special comment in the highlighted articles section, could provide new targets for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and  Mad Cow Disease.

Rubén Hervás, Liying Li, Amitabha Majumdar, María del Carmen Fernández-Ramírez, Jay R. Unruh, Brian D. Slaughter, Albert Galera-Prat, Elena Santana,Mari Suzuki, Yoshitaka Nagai, Marta Bruix, Sergio Casas-Tintó, Margarita Menéndez, Douglas V. Laurents, Kausik Si, y Mariano Carrión-Vázquez. Molecular basis of Orb2 amyloidogenesis and blockade of memory consolidationPLOS Biology. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002361.

Protein unfolding by biological unfoldases: Insights from modeling.

We have recently published data of Protein unfolding by biological unfoldases: Insights from modeling. M. Wojciechowski, P. Szymczak, M. Carrion-Vazquez, and M. Cieplak. (in press).  2014. Biophys. J.

A nanomechanics scientific group at Cajal Institute leads a European consortium projected to research the molecular origin of neurodegenerative diseases.

An innovative project coordinated by a scientific group at Cajal Institute-CSIC has been funded by the Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Diseases Research (JPND). The international and multidisciplinary consortium, called MisingLink, will study the molecular origin of the amyloidogenic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s Disease and Parkinson´s Disease.

Neurobiology of brain disorders. Gordon Research Conference. Gerona 27 Julio-01 Agosto 2014

Our laboratory has participated in the meeting "Neurobiology of brain disorders", Gordon Research Conference, that will be celebrated in Gerona, Spain, July 27-Aug 01 2014, with the poster presentation: Nanomechanics of Tau pseudo repeats at the monomer level.


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