Vega Fernández, María Cristina
91 837 3112 Extension: 4270/4221
The Structural Biology of Host-Pathogen Interactions group focuses in the understanding of the protein-protein interactions that mediate the communication between human beings and the bacterial communities to which we are continuously exposed. These interactions often involve bacterial pathogens, which attempt to evade the constant surveillance of human innate immunity and, specifically, the activated branch of the complement system. Our group studies other processes that are vital for bacterial cell survival in the human body as well as in environmental pools, including enzymes of the sugar and amino acid metabolism and sulfur mobilisation and trafficking. To this aim, we use a combination of advanced protein production techniques, X-ray diffraction, biochemical, biophysical, and computational chemistry methods to analyse snapshots of the protein complex interactions as well as their associated dynamic behavior, both of which underlie the functional outcomes of those interactions.
As a result of our participation in the European ComplexINC consortium, we have recently co-founded a start-up biopharmaceutical company, Abvance, to deliver innovative antibody-based medicines for the treatment of immune disorders, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.