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MECHANO-BIOLOGY GROUP

What We Do

Our group is interested in understand how mechanical forces modulate critical biological processes, from muscle elasticity to bacterial adhesion. Specifically, we aim to understand the mechanisms implemented within the cell in response to mechanical cues, describing the genes involved and how the proteins coded by those genes are adapted in nature. 

In the last year we established a mechanical assay that allowed us to characterize the giant protein of striated muscle, titin (Nature Comm 11; 2060). These experiments will help us to contribute to determining the emerging role that this gene and protein play in the myocyte.

Furthermore, we have implemented several experiments that aim to determine how a gene family highly conserved in the Group A Streptococcusadhesin gene—, is involved in the adhesion to human epithelia. We analyze the evolutive differences found in the sequences, and how these changes are translated to protein structure and modify the adhesion mechanisms (Methods Mol Biol. 2020; 2136:347-364). 

Currently we are working to develop new strategies for interfering with the folding and formation of bacterial adhesins. We are combing computational tools, protein engineering and single molecule mechanics to probe our anti-adhesive peptides. 

Research
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A LITTLE ABOUT THE LAB

We started the lab on early 2019, focusing our efforts to set up a research line on the emerging field of the mechano-biology, the interface between biology, chemistry, and physics. Our motivation is to understand how mechanicial processes modulate biological responses. We use a combination of molecular biology, protein engineering, computational tools, and biophysics aiming to determine how force become one of the most important signals in the cell. 

We are located at Universidad Mayor in the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics (CGB), Laboratory of Microbe Genomics. Recently and with the collaborations of Fernádez lab (Columbia Univ)  we finished the assembly of our first single-molecule instrument–SOPHIA– but also know as Mjölnir. The microscope is a modified atomic force microscope designed for mechanical pulling at the single molecule level. We are working in our second setup, which with the collaborations of our friends at SMAT-C (USACH) we hope to finish within the following months. 

Check it out  our research projects! 

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NEWS

(updated April 17, 2021)

Misty Slope

CONGRATULATIONS JOSEFA! NEW ARTICLE PUBLISHED WAS HIGHLIGHTED IN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER

Aug 12,  2023

Misty Slope

NEW ARTICLE PUBLISHED! PORPHYROMONAS GINGIVALIS EVOLUTION

July 31, 2023

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DON'T MISS THE VISUALIZATION WORKSHOP!

April 17, 2021

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NEW STUDENTS JOIN THE TEAM, WELCOME JOSE MANUEL AND MARCELO

April 1, 2020

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LOCKDOWN 2.0 WORKING AGAIN FROM HOME

March 29, 2021

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STORMBREAKER AKA "OPTIMUS" IS ALMOST READY

March, 2021

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AFTER MONTHS AT HOME WE ARE BACK IN THE LAB!

Oct 2, 2020

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NEW STUDENTS JOIN THE TEAM! WELCOME  TOMAS, VICENTE, AND PABLO

Aug 24, 2020

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CONGRATS ANDREA! A NEW BIOTECH ENGINEER

May 12, 2020

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LOCKDOWN 1.0
WE ARE STILL WORKING BUT FROM HOME

June, 2020

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Home: Noticias y recursos
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