Former members

Former members

Albert Galera

PhD Student

I joined the protein nanomechanics lab at the Cajal Institute in September 2008 after receiving my degree in Biotechnology from Autonomous University of Barcelona. I took the doctorate courses on protein structure and function and since then I am doing my thesis research which is focused on studying the nanomechanics of the cellulosome: a protein complex synthesized by some bacteria to degrade polysaccharides such as cellulose, found in the plant cell wall. I am also interested in other biological processes where mechanics play an important role, as in the auditory cadherin system or in protein degradation system (study of the protein nanomechanics of the proteasoma).

email:albert.galera@cajal.csic.es

 

 

Andrés M. Vera, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I obtained my PhD from University of Seville (Spain) in May 2015. I obtained a degree in Biology at the University of Granada, (Spain) in 2005. In 2006 I jointed the Nanomechanics lab at Cajal Institute, and I start my PhD thesis under the supervision of Dr. Mariano Carrión Vázquez. During the last years I have been mostly focus on developing an unequivocal polyproteins based method for study single-molecule interactions. I am interested in studying the molecular interactions between SNARE´s proteins (minimal machinery needed for membrane phusion in eukaryotes), Cadherins interactions (essential in adhesion between eukaryotic cells), and  Cohesin-Dockerin interactions (essential for the assembly of the Cellulosome, a multienzymatic complexes produced by some microorganisms for efficient degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides).

email: avera@cajal.csic.es

 

 

Roberto Carro Vázquez

Roberto Carro Vázquez

Master´s Student

I graduated in Biotechnology in 2014 at the University of Leon, Spain. I carried out a collaboration grant and my Undergraduate Research Project in the Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED) at the University of  Leon, testing whether the antioxidant effect of the flavonoid quercetin could work as a treatment against the oxidative stress and inflammation generated in the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. I obtained the Bachelor Extraordinary Award granted by the University of Leon.

Although  it was a big change, I decided to enroll in the Master in Neuroscience at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) that will conclude in March 2016. I am currently doing my Master Thesis in Mariano Carrión´s laboratory at Cajal Institute-CSIC, studying the conformational polymorphism of some proaggregatory mutants of tau protein, which is implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases known as tauopathies. I have received the scholarship JAE Intro Programme for new researchers sponsored by CSIC.

Email: rcv.rqj@gmail.com

Laura Vay del Caño, PhD

Project Manager

I received my bachelor degree in Biology from IE University in 2003. Later this year, I started my PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics (IBGM) and the University of Valladolid. My work focused on the study of calcium homeostasis at subcellular level and the main channels involved, and in particular, on the characterization of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (UCM) and its role in the cytosolic calcium oscillations, obtaining my PhD in May 2008.

In 2009, I did my postdoctoral period at the University of Cambridge (CAM, UK), at the Department of Pharmacology to study chronic pain and its main components. The study I conducted focused on the characterization and purification of the thermo-receptor TRPV1, involved in the transmission of pain and heat, and a key component in the regulation of body temperature. During this period I developed and optimized protocols in order to obtain suitable amounts of the channel for subsequent crystallization studies, and I was involved in studies on of TRPV1 membrane trafficking regulation.

In 2013, I completed a Masters in Environmental Management at the Instituto de Empresa (IE, Madrid) and afterwards, I joined Bioversity International (BI, Colombia) as junior consultant. This institution is part of CGIAR, an international research organization that brings together several institutions engaged in research, and whose scientific work aims to ensure a more sustainable management of natural resources. Later, I joined Water and Agriculture´s team at WWF-Spain (Madrid) as technical project assistant. During this period I was mainly involved in projects whose common goal is a sustainable management of water and soil resources in Spain.

In parallel, I worked at the consulting enterprise ICATALIST (Madrid), as junior consultant, and research associate on a study of water management in the basin of Duero, which was carried out in collaboration with FAO.

In 2013 I joined the consulting Enterprise Biomedred S.L. (Madrid) as project manager. The main activities included the administrative management of research projects, mainly in the area of ​​biomedicine, and the review and translation of scientific papers.

I joined the Protein Nanomechanics Lab at Instituto Cajal -CSIC (Madrid), as project manager in October 2014. I am currently involved in the management of initiatives under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the EU.

email: l.vay@cajal.csic.es

Àngel Gómez Sicilia, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I obtained my PhD degree at Autonomous University of Madrid in October 2015. I obtained a degree in Physical Sciences in 2007 and a Master in Biophysics in 2009, both at University of Barcelona. After I finished it, July 2009, I joined Dr. Mariano Carrión-Vázquez's team. In the lab I am involved in several research lines; i) In the modelling of auditory cadherins, responsible for the conversion of mechanical impulses to electrical signals; ii) In the development of of force spectroscopy experiments, and more intensely iii) In developing molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations. Despite my diversification, the main objective of my PhD work is to find the structures that are responsible for the amiloidogenesis and toxicity of the neurotoxic protein monomers, such as polyglutamine or β-amyloid. I additionally dedicated part of my free time in activities of dissemination and communication of science. I am a formal member of a science dissemination association, Asociación Con/Ciencia, which organizes events for the general public in order to approach science to society.

email: agomezsicilia@cajal.csic.es

Ruben Hervás, PhD

Ruben Hervás, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

I obtained my PhD in Molecular Biosciences from Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) in March 2013. During this period, I developed my research under the supervision of Dr. Mariano Carrión Vázquez at the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neurobiology department in the Cajal Institute-CSIC. My work was focused in the nanomechanics analysis of different amyloidogenic proteins at the monomer level. By using AFM-SMFS and several biophysical techniques, I established the conformational polymorphism as a common molecular feature in all of them. This polymorphism is linked to protein misfolding and amyloidogenesis, a process critically related with the development of human neurodegenerative diseases.

Currently, I am involved in an ambitious research project to get insight into the conformational changes that occur during the protein folding and aggregation pathway in functional amyloidogenic prion-like proteins (CPEB and Orb2). Aforementioned conformational changes are of critical importance since they can provide epigenetic mechanisms of inheritance related with basic functions such as long-term memory consolidation.

email: ruben.hervas@cajal.csic.es

 

Adrián Bartoll Andrés

PhD Student

I studied Pharmacy’s degree at Miguel Hernández´s University. Since 2008 to 2013, I have been interested in Neuropharmacology. In 2011 I started to collaborate for three years with Jorge Manzanares Robles’ lab at Neuroscience Institute from Alicante. From this lab, I have learnt what I really want in the future. During 2013-2014 I did the Master in Neuroscience at the same university. My intention is to do a doctoral thesis to comprehend better the molecular mechanism of memory and study neurodegenerative diseases that affect it, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

To continue developing my experience, I have arrived to Dr. Mariano Carrión laboratory, at the Cajal Institute. Since September of 2014 I am beginning a new step in my work. From this moment, I will develop a PhD testing a new treatment for post traumatic stress. If this therapeutic approach is effective, it will not only be useful to patients, but also to increase our knowledge about the molecular reactions that are produced in memory.

Elena Sevilla

Elena finished the degree of Sanitary Biology from the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. In the lab, as part of her degree practice work, she worked in the structural characterization and amyliodogenic properties of the Orb2 prionoid.

 

Marta Castellana

Marta finished the Biochemistry Degree in the Autonomous University of Madrid, working in the lab, as part of her degree practical work, in "Nanomechanics of B harmonin and Fyn kinase as key components of the cadherin system".

 

 

María del Cerro

Elena finished the Sanitary Biology degree in the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. In the lab, as part of her degree practice work, she work in the molecular analysis of the amyloidogenic pathway of the CPEB prionoid.

 

 

Patricia Bondia

She was born in Valencia and graduated in Biotechnology (2013) at Politechnic University of Valencia. She studied a Master in Biophysics at Autonomous University of Madrid. In the Cajal Institute she carried out her Master Thesis project which aims the nanomechanical characterization of Eplin protein in the synaptic cadherins system using single-molecule force spectroscopy methodology (SMFS-AFM). Her professional goal is to earn a PhD-degree and become a research scientist in this field located in the intersection between physics and biomedicine.

 

 

Francisco Ramos

I studied my Biology degree at the University of Oviedo. Later I obtained a MSc in Neuroscience at the Autonomous University of Madrid. My master's project was done at Carrion-Vazquez's lab and was devoted to the study of amyloidogenic pathway through the characterization of molecular polymorphism of E46K alpha-synuclein mutant. I continued this line of research more deeply also involving additional techniques done by some of our collaborators.

 

 

Oscar Salazar, PhD

Oscar Salazar, PhD

Project Manager.

Oscar Salazar obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Autonomous University of Madrid in 1994 and his PhD in 1998 at the National Centre of Biotechnology, CNB-CSIC (Autonomous University of Madrid) in the development of molecular identification techniques and biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi.

In 1998 he joined the Centro de Investigación Básica de España (CIBE) - the basic research site of Merck, & Co. in Spain- as Senior Scientist, where he has lead for ten years the application of pre-screening methods based on molecular biology techniques for the discovery of bacterial natural products with biological activity as a source of new leads in drug development. During this time he contributed to the discovery of several new molecules with therapeutic potential - some of which are currently in different developmental phases as future drugs.

In 2008 he joined as Diagnostic. Lab Head to Biotools B&M labs SA, a Spanish Biotech company focused in the commercialization of molecular biology reagents and in the development of molecular diagnostic kits by real time-PCR. In 2009 he was hired as R&D Manager in Genomica SAU, a spanish company devoted to molecular diagnostics, been responsible of the coordination of the development of diagnostic kits and the clinical validations of in vitro diagnostic products in hospitals.

In 2013 he joined to the Deputy General Directorate for International Projects, State Secretary of Research, Development and Innovation, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), as European Project Manager and Coordinator, been responsible of the sub-contracted team for the qualified management of European Research Initiatives (ERA/Inco-nets). He was in charge of the managing of 5 Project Managers and 4 Project Assistants.

He joined the CSIC as Project Manager in January 2014 for the qualified management of the EU 7FP Project CellulosomePlus, and left the lab in August 2014 to work in other projects related to I+D+i.

 

email: oscar.salazar@cajal.csic.es

Javier Oroz, PhD.

Postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany.

email: jaor@nmr.mpibpc.mpg.de

Alejandro Valbuena, PhD.

Postdoctoral researcher at "Severo Ochoa" Molecular Biology Centre, CBMSO-CSIC. Madrid, Spain.

email: avalbuena@cbm.csic.es

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