José María Valpuesta
Centro Nacional de Biotecnología
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Campus Universidad Autónoma of Madrid
Tel.(34) 91 - 585 - 4690
Fax (34) 91 - 585 - 4506


José María Valpuesta obtained his M. Sc. in Biology with Honors at the Universidad del País Vasco 1981. In 1985 he obtained his Ph. D. In Biochemistry at the Universidad del País Vasco. He was a Postdoctoral student at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC, Cambridge) (1986-1989), under the supervision of Drs. Richard Henderson and John Walter .He worked as full Profesor and Vicedirector of the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología C.S.I.C., Madrid. He was iInvolved as a Research Scientist in more than 20 International and National projects, most of them as Principal Investigator. Author of more than 90 articles in journals such as Nature, Nature Structural Biology, EMBO Journal, EMBO reports, PNAS USA, Structure, J. Mol. Biol., J. Biol. Chem, Biochemistry, …Referee of Journals such as Cell, EMBO Journal, EMBO reports, Molecular Cell, Journal of Molecular Biology, FEBS letters, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Protein Science, Molecular Microbiology. Invited Editor of the Journal Structural Biology. Scientific evaluator of the National Science Foundation (USA), Wellcome Trust Foundation, Human Frontiers Science Foundation, Israel Science Foundation, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Cancer Research UK and several spanish agencies. President of the Spanish Microscopy Society (SME) (2003- ). Member of the “Faculty of 1000”.

Scientific interests

Structural and functional characterisation of the structure and function of large macromolecular complexes, specially molecular chaperones. Our group has been working over the last years in the structural characterisation of large macromolecular complexes, in particular some molecular chaperones, which are proteins that assist the folding of other proteins. Using mainly electron microscopy, but also biochemical and molecular biology techniques, the group has worked in the structural and functional characterisation of eukaryotic chaperonin CCT and its interaction with some co-chaperones such as PhLP and PFD, and with various substrates. Our group is also interested in using electron tromography to study various cellular structures such as the centrosome. Finally, our group is very interested in the use of new techniques capable of dealing with single molecules. One of these techniques is the so called optical tweezers, which we have, in collaboration with the group of Dr. L Carrascosa, installed in Spain for the first time. This technique will allow us, among other things, to characterise the forces involved in the conformational changes of various protein complexes, among them CCT.

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