Areas of expertise
I am a biochemist and structural biologist who trained with Francisco Bolívar-Zapata (the co-creator of the plasmid pBR322, one of the first widely used E. coli
cloning vectors, and a member of the pioneer team at UCSF that for the first time overproduced human proteins like insulin and somatostatin in bacteria using genetic engineering techniques) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); Ermanno Gherardi at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB)-MRC and Sir Tom L Blundell at the University of Cambridge. As a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellow, I studied the mechanisms of regulation of cell proliferation and motility by the MET kinase receptor in collaboration with Gherardi and Blundell. The research experience acquired on this signalling system prompted me to initiate work on the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), the regulatory mechanism of higher organisms that ensures the proper segregation of chromosomes upon cell division. The initial studies were conducted in collaboration with Ashok Venkitaraman (MRC Cancer Unit, Cambridge) and Tom L. Blundell and supported by Cancer Research UK.
Membership of professional bodies
2016-to date. iCASE Industrial Panel Committee Member, BBSRC Doctoral training Programme (DTP). Univ. of Oxford-Oxford
Brookes University-Hartwell Research Campus-Pirbright Institute-Diamond Ligh Source, ISIS.
2016-to date. Oxford Brookes University representative, Oxford Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) Theme 2 Strategy
2015-to date. Member of the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre.
2015-to date. Member of the Oxford UBIQUITIN Club, University of Oxford
2013-to date. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) of the United Kingdom.
2013 - 2014. Editor of Advances in Enzyme Research.
2012-to date. Member of the Biochemical Society.
2009-to date. Member of the Cambridge Cancer Centre (http://www.cancer.cam.ac.uk).
2003-to date. Member of the European Crystallographic Association (ECA).
2000-to date. Member of the British Crystallographic Association (BCA), United Kingdom.
- National Polytechnic Institute (IPN). "New biotechnologies to overcome multiple drug resistance in cancer cells". Mexico City, Mexico. 23th June.
- University of Pavia. “Functional insights of Protein Repeat Motifs from the physics of condensed matter”. Pavia, Italy. September 9.
- The Centre for Drug Research and Development(CDRD). “Targeting core components of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) for the treatment of cancer. Vancouver, Canada.
- Laval University. Faculty seminar: “The role of disorder to order transitions in mitotic checkpoint signalling”. Quebec, Canada.
- Novo Nordisk Fundation. Invited speaker for the Workshop “Heterologue Systems for Protein Expression”. Copenhagen, Denmark.
- The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). “Targeting core components of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) for the treatment of cancer. Vancouver, Canada. June 25.
- National Autonomous University of Mexico. Invited Keynote speaker. “New trends in drug discovery”. Mexico City, Mexico. March 26.
2011-2012. Appointed as a Post-doctoral Teaching Associate after a competitive application process. Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, England.
2006-2012. Research Associate, University of Cambridge. (Department of Biochemistry, Group of Prof. Sir Tom L. Blundell). Cambridge, England.
2005-2011. Small group teaching. Supervisor of the papers MVST Par1A (Molecules in Medical Science) and the Natural Sciences Tripos (Part IA and B and Part II Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology and Physiology of Organisms) to undergraduate students from Queen’s, St Edmund’s and Homerton College, University of Cambridge, England.
2003-2006. Research Associate, University of Cambridge. (Department of Biochemistry, Group of Prof. Sir Tom L. Blundell in collaboration with Prof. Ashok Venkitaraman, Cambridge).
2000-2003. Wellcome Trust International Research Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cambridge. Cambridge, United Kingdom.
My research programme bridges together a quantitative understanding of the interactions underpinning chromosome segregation with biochemical, biophysical, molecular, cellular, and structural biology methods. The interdisciplinary nature and substantial societal impact of the research concerns central areas of bioscience: Cell and Developmental Biology, Cell Cycle regulation, Cancer, Drug Discovery, Pharmacology, Radiation Biology, Functional Genomics, Systems Biology, Clinical Biochemistry, Medicine, Healthy Ageing, Structural Biology and the human and animal health industries, where an understanding of the cell regulatory systems, the structure-guided design of vaccines and new drugs and the causes and treatment of genome instability and age-associated malignancies remains important. The research represents a valuable opportunity for high-quality training and transference of a wide range of high-level skills to the new generation of researchers thus contributing in the long term to the competitiveness of these important bioscience industries in the UK. Understanding the dynamics and the structural features of the molecular interactions underpinning mitotic checkpoint signalling will ultimately open up new opportunities for improving the quality of life of an ever growing population and therefore contribute to reducing pressure on social and healthcare systems.