Dr. Borja Ibarra Urruela
Borja Ibarra (BSs in Biochemistry) obtained his PhD. in Molecular Biology from Universidad Autónoma Madrid in 2001. He made the ‘leap’ to molecular biophysics as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Carlos Bustamante lab at UC Berkeley (USA) where he learned to generate, analyze and interpret single molecule data on complex, multi-state biological systems. Back in Spain in 2007, he applied single molecule manipulation methods as optical tweezers at the CNB-CSIC (Madrid) to study biological molecular motors at single molecule level. He joined the Nanobiosystems research line at IMDEA Nanoscience in 2010, where he started the Molecular Motors Nanomanipulation Lab.
Our laboratory combines biochemical, molecular biology, single-molecule (optical tweezers) and theoretical modelling techniques to unravel the mechanistic aspects of biological molecular motors. Due to the highly interdisciplinary nature of the single molecule research field we successfully established a series of collaborations with national and foreign scientists from different. Our research lines include:
1. Single molecule characterization of the dynamic and mechanistic principles governing the operation of molecular motors involved in DNA replication and repair reactions. (EMBO J 2009, PNAS 2012, Cell Cycle 2012, Nucleic Acids Res. 2015)
2. Molecular Machinery. We are working to understand the dynamical and mechanistic processes behind the coordinated action of the molecular motors responsible for: A) the replication of the human mitochondrial genome (PloS One 2016, Nucleic Acids Res. 2017), and B) the membrane fission reaction.
3. Synthetic molecular motors. This research line aims to characterize at the single molecule level the mechanistic principles of operation of synthetic or hybrid molecular motors under physiological conditions. (Chem. Science 2017)
4. Technological developments in single molecule manipulation. We are working to improve the resolution of the optical tweezers technique and to combine optical manipulation with fluorescence detection and temperature control systems. This exciting marriage of techniques will open up a wealth of new promising applications.