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

Two further papers accepted over the last ten days, great! And both are open access

So happy to announce our last review at ACIE and also a colaborative paper with Del Pino group at ACSnano are already available on-line

Here it is the short info for each of the articles.

ACSnano: "Plasmonic-Assisted Thermocyclizations in Living Cells Using Metal−Organic Framework Based Nanoreactors", authored by C. Carrillo-Carrión, R. Martínez, E. Polo, M. Tomás , P. Destito, M. Ceballos, B. Peláz, F. López, J. L. Mascareñas, P. Del Pino.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.: "Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Annulations Involving the Activation of C(sp3)−H Bonds", authored by M. Font, M. Gulías, J. L. Mascareñas.

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We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of CiQUS, our research center

The CiQUS workshop 2021 is now taking place

Today and tomorrow we are 'workshoping' for the 10 years of CiQUS research celebration. During the event, promotion of new synergies and intramural collaborations are central aims... looking forward ten further years of success.

It's been a while since the very beginning... and best is yet to come!

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Our former PhD student, and 'Xunta de Galicia' postdoctoral fellow, David F. Fernández has been working for almost two years in the research group of the brand-new Nobel Laureate David W. MacMillan

David MacMillan, postdoctoral supervisor of David F. Fernández, has been awarded with the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

David F., nowadays a postdoc researcher at MacMillan's lab, received his PhD on July 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Mascareñas, Dr. López and Prof. Gulías, at the University of Santiago de Compostela. In 2017, he also performed a short stay at MacMillan's lab during his predoctoral stage.

He has been conducting his postdoctoral research at Princenton since January 2020, under the supervision of Dave MacMillan, 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, thanks to the funding from the 'Xunta de Galicia'. During 2+1 years duration of this fellowship he will complete his first postdoc stage, also under the cosupervision of Prof. Mascareñas.

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The contribution of our lab members to the RSEQ symposium has started today with the short-lecture of Soraya, 2021 Lilly-RSEQ Awards PhD Students

2021 RSEQ symposium started today and our lab member, Soraya Learte-Aymamí, has given her short-lecture at the Lilly session during this opening morning (11:15).

Congrats again to Soraya, 2021 Lilly-RSEQ Awardee for PhD Students,
who has shortly presented her PhD work during her talk entitled "Metallopeptides and metalloproteins in chemical biology: from DNA binding to intracellular catalysis" (

So proud of you, Soraya!

Some other members of the group are also presenting their contributions as oral, flash or poster communications.

Hope you all enjoy the conference!!

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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