Chemical Biology Metal Catalysis

Our Aims

Generation, training and transfer of knowledge

Development of creative and groundbreaking
research at the interface of Chemistry, Biology and Medicine.

Education of researchers in order they become
future leaders of academic or industrial projects.

Transferring of knowledge to Society in order
to propel economical and social progress

European Research Council Santiago de Compostela University Campus Vida CIQUS - Centro Singular de Investigación en Química Biológica y Materiales Moleculares
Latest News
Media Library

Our last publication at the J. Am. Chem. Soc. already on-line

This recent article at the Journal of the American Chemical Society is already available as just accepted manuscript

We are very glad to announce the publication of our latest paper at the Journal of the American Chemical Society, entitled "Gold(I)–catalyzed enantioselective annulations between allenes and alkene-tethered oxime ethers: A straight entry to highly substituted piperidines and aza-bridged medium-sized carbocycles", by D. C. Marcote, I. Varela, J. Fernandez-Casado, J. L. Mascareñas and F. López . In which, we report a gold-catalyzed annulation strategy that allows a straightforward assembly of piperidines and piperidine-containing aza-bridged products from readily available alkene-tethered oxime ethers (or esters) and N-allenamides.

External link:

Congrats to Cristian, best oral communication award at SIJ2018Toledo

Happy to announce Dr. Cristian Vidal has received the best oral communication award at the XV Young Researchers Symposium RSEQ-Sigma Aldrich

We are really pleased to announce Dr. Cristian Vidal received this award by presenting his work entitled "Concurrent and orthogonal gold(I) and Ruthenium(II) catalysis inside living cells" at the XV Young Researchers Symposium RSEQ-Sigma Aldrich (Merck):
The talk took place at Toledo on November the 5th, Monday, and he presented his recent research envolving the use of consecutive metal-catalysed reactions for chemical transformation at the cell.

Congrats, Cristian!!

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Congrats to Javier, who has received the GEQO-Young scientist Award 2018

We are really happy to announce our former Post-doc researcher Javier Francos has been awarded for his early career as a young scientist.

We are so pleased to communicate Javier Francos (Oviedo, 1983) has recently received one of the most important prizes for young scientists on their early careers at Spain: the Young Scientist Award, by the RSEQ-GEQO (Organometallic Chemistry specialized group, Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry).

Javier is a former Post-doc researcher at our group, and he is currently working at the University of Oviedo as a collaborating professor.

Congrats Javier!!!!

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Highlighted at Synfacts our last publication at ACIE

Happy to announce our paper Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57 (27), 8255-8259 has been highlighted at Synfacts

We are really happy to announce the paper entitled "Rhodium(III)‐Catalyzed Annulation of 2‐Alkenylanilides with Alkynes via C‐H Activation: a Direct Access to 2‐substituted Indolines" has been selected at Synfacts 2018; 14(09): 0915.
This work by M. Font, B. Cendón, A. Seoane, J. L. Mascareñas and M. Gulías reports the methodology for a new, mild, and selective oxidative annulation of readily available substrates in the presence of a rhodium(III) catalyst

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Synthetic models in Chemical Biology

Workshop on Nanomedicine 2012. Prof. Mascareñas, ERC - Advanced Grant METBIOCAT, explains his research lines in the chemical biology field.
DNA is the key macromolecule used by nature to store the genetic information, therefore containing all the instructions that control the day-to-day function of cells. As such, it has been a traditional target for the development of different type of drugs, particularly anticancer agents. These drugs include alkylating agents, like cis-platinum and derivatives, and non-covalent binders like the anthracyclines, which interact to DNA by intercalation between base pairs. There are other types of cytotoxic non-covalent DNA binders, like distamycin or propamidine, which interact to DNA by insertion in the minor groove.

We have been interested in this latter type of molecules, because they are sequence selective and therefore provide for molecular engineering of site-specific DNA-promoted processes. In particular, we have designed and synthesized a number of variants of propamidine that work as sequence specific DNA optical sensors, or as light-activated prodrugs.

Some of the knowledge acquired in the studies of light-promoted processes has been extended to area of DNA-protein interactions. In particular, we have developed a chemical approach to control the DNA interaction of synthetic mimics of transcription factors, and expect that the tactic can be used in the future to regulate processes of gene expression.
Part of our work in this area is also focused to the construction of optical sensors that can detect minute amounts of transcription factors considered as oncogenic biomarkers, like the bZIP protein Jun.

Meet our team

José Luis Mascareñas, PhD leads this team of researchers. Find out more about him and the rest of the team in our Group members section.

Group Members

Join Us

We are always looking forward to welcoming exceptional candidates into our research Group. Please visit our Opportunities section or send us your cv.


Living and working in
Santiago de Compostela

Are you new to the city and its University?
We have gathered some facts and figures you may find interesting.


Annual mean temperature. The humid oceanic climate guarantees mild weather throughout the year.


Students attend the University. With the city population around 100,000.


Year old University. Currently imparting more than 60 degrees.


Santiago is well connected, having its own international airport, train station, etc.


Amongst many awards, Santiago was declared World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1985.


Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia de most Nortwestern region of Spain.


Public transport is available in order to get around the city, which is also conveniently located to visit other sites in Galicia.


Spanish and Galician are the two official languages of Galicia. Your work will be carried out in English.


Official websites:
University of Santiago
Santiago Tourism