Current appointment: Professor of Biochemistry. Universidad del País Vasco.
Born in Bilbao, 1955. M.Sc. in Biology, Ph.D. in Biochemistry (University of Bilbao). Her thesis and a large part of her further research has dealt with the interactions of cell and model membranes with detergents and with the role of lipids in membrane fusion. Post-doctoral scientist with Dennis Chapman, at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Lecturer and, since 1992, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of the Basque Country, in Bilbao. In 1998, she was the first Head of the newly created Unidad de Biofísica, a joint center of the Spanish National Research Center (CSIC) and the University of the Basque Country, where she works now. In 1999-2000 she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). President of the Spanish Biophysical Society SBE (2006-2010), Vice-President of the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology SEBBM (2010-2014), Member of the Council of IUPAB, International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (2008-2014). Present General Secretary of COSCE (Confederación de Sociedades Científicas de España).
Author of 165 scientific publications on various aspects of membrane biophysics. Researcher WoK ID: E-5310-2012.
Awards/Distinctions: 2017 Manuel Rico – Bruker Award of the Sociedad Biofísica de España.
Research interests: Her current research is focused on two main areas:
– The role of sphingolipids in membranes. We explore the biophysical properties or changes that the presence of these lipids confers to the cell membranes and we are correlating the results with different pathologies associated with the presence of those lipids.
– Lipid-protein interaction in different processes where a membrane remodelling is taking place. In particular, we are now concentrating our studies on the autophagosome generation /elongation and further fusion with the lysosomes. Our methodological approach is multidisciplinary with a combination of biophysical, cellular biology and nanotechnological techniques.