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

Today, we have the visit of our former lab member Dr. Olalla Vázquez

Dr. Olalla Vázquez is visiting CiQUS today together with her research group members.

We are really pleasure to have Dr. Olalla Vázquez, who recently received the Biotechnology and Nanotechnology Award 2018 from the city of Marburg (, visiting us at the CiQUS.

Olalla has been a PhD student at our group, and she is now a Junior-Professor at Philipps-Universität Marburg.
She and her group were discusing about science and research with us over the morning.

Happy you all came here today!!

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Prof. Dr. Bernard L. Feringa has received the Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Santiago de Compostela, sponsored by our group leader, Prof. Mascareñas

Prof. Feringa, 2016 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, was sponsored by our group leader at his investiture as Doctor Honoris Causa by the USC

Today, in a beautiful and emotive ceremony, Prof. José L. Mascareñas has sponsored Prof. Ben Feringa at his investiture as Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Santiago de Compostela.

The joint ceremony (together with Prof. Nicholas A. Peppas investiture) took place at the "Sala Nobre" of the "Colexio de Fonseca", according to the University protocol and rules.

Prof. Ben L. Feringa received the Nobel Prize in 2016 (Chemistry), right after several weeks of his previous visit to Santiago.
One of our senior PIs, Dr. Fernando López, was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Groningen under his supervision (2003-2005). Fernando has been one of the contributors to the great work developed at Prof. Feringa lab.

It was a great time for celebration!

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Our group leader, the ERC grantee Prof. Mascareñas, has participated in the ERC Summit 2019 (INL, Braga, PT)

This event is powered by the goal of celebrating the Iberian ERC Awardees having the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in mind

Prof. Mascareñas has attended the ERC Summit 2019, which took place at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) in the city of Braga, Portugal.

During two days, Iberian ERC awardees were sharing knowledge and discussing about research, science, and so on. They also were identifying common challenges and synergies for the future.

Click below to see some pics from the event!!

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Already available our first publication at ACS Omega

We are very pleased to announce our latest manuscript has been published at ACS Omega

Glad to announce our most recent publication at the ACS Omega journal, entitled "Rhodium(III)-Catalyzed Intramolecular Annulations of Acrylic and Benzoic Acids to Alkyness" and authored by D. F. Fernadez, N. Casanova, J. L. Mascareñas and M. Gulías, is already available.

Rh(III) catalysts can promote a formal (4 + 2) intramolecular oxidative annulation between acrylic or benzoic acid derivatives and alkynes. The reaction, which involves a C–H activation process, allows for a rapid assembly of appealing bicyclic pyran-2-ones and tricyclic isocoumarin derivatives in moderate to good yields. The α-pyrone moiety of the products provides for further manipulations to obtain relatively complex cyclic skeletons in a very simple manner.

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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