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

Already available on-line our last publication in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.

The manuscript "Rhodium‐catalyzed annulation of ortho‐alkenylanilides with alkynes" has been recently accepted in the prestigious journal Angewandte

The article "Rhodium‐catalyzed annulation of ortho‐alkenylanilides with alkynes: Formation of unexpected naphthalene adducts" by A. Seoane, C. Comanescu, N. Casanova, R. García-Fandiño, D. Xabier, J. L. Mascareñas and M. Gulías is already on-line as an accepted article.

Abstract: o‐Alkenyl‐N‐triflylanilides undergo Rh(III)‐catalyzed oxidative annulations with alkynes to produce different types of naphthylamides, in a process which involves the cleavage of two C‐H bonds. Remarkably, in addition to formal dehydrogenative (4C+2C) cycloadducts, the reaction also produces variable amounts of isomeric naphthylamides whose formation requires a formal migration of the alkenyl moiety from the ortho to the meta position of the anilide. Also interestingly, the annulation reaction can be efficiently carried out in the absence of external oxidants, such as Cu(OAc)2.

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Jean-Pierre Sauvage, 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, visited us at CiQUS

Today we had the pleasure to show our research work to Prof. Sauvage

We are really grateful we could share some time with the 2016 Nobel laureate in chemistry, Prof. J.-P. Sauvage, and also show him an overview of what we are working on.

Fruitful morning!!

Pleasure to have you here, Jean-Pierre.

External link:[0]=68.ARDQWE_QlG7zpuU0WquQrlhhmoQdQ...

"2nd open day" activities at CiQUS were a success

Several members of our group takook part in the divulgative sessions at our research center on November, the 10th

We really had a nice and productive time on Saturday, bringing chemical sciences close to the general public.
The 10th of November was a fantastic day during which people from our research group, among others, have share activities, talks and presentations at the CiQUS research center on the open day.

We love to participate in this dissemination activities.

See you around next year!!

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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.

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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