Dr. Aitziber L. Cortajarena earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Universidad del País Vasco in 2002. Then, she joined the group of Prof. L. Regan at Yale University, USA, as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She worked on protein design, structure, and function. In 2006, she was Visiting Scientist at the Weizmann Institute, Israel, with Dr. G. Haran working on single molecule spectroscopy. Then, continued her work at Yale University, as an Associate Research Scientist with Dr. Regan. She joined IMDEA Nanociencia as Group Leader in 2010 to established her independent research group focused on protein engineering toward the generation of bio- functional nanostructures and bioinspired materials for applications in nano-biotechnology and nanomedicine. In 2016, she joined CIC-BiomaGUNE in 2016 as Ikerbasque Research Professor to lead the Biomolecular Nanotecnology group focused on the development of modular versatile platforms for the fabrication of multiple protein-based hybrid functional materials. She holds an Associate Scientist position at IMDEA-Nanociencia.
The group has varied interests at the interface of biochemistry, bioconjugation, functional materials and nanomedicine. The two main research lines of the group are:
Bio-functionalization of nanoparticles for biomedical applications The objective of this research line is the generation of versatile functional nanoparticles with a selec- tion of biomolecules and optimized properties for targeting and diagnosis of several diseases. In this context, multifunctional nanoparticles are utilized as drug carries and as sensors for in vivo and ex-vivo applications (J Mat Chem B 2015, Breast Cancer Res. 2015, Nanotechnology 2016).
Biomolecular design for functional nanostructures and biomaterials In this research line we use mainly proteins as platforms for the fabrication of multiple protein-based hybrid functional nanostructures and biomaterials for their use in different technological and biomedical applications. We combine engineering and bioconjugation methodologies to produce molecular hybrids that will be the basis of functional materials and devices (Nanoscale 2014, Biomacromolecules 2015, ACS Applied Mat Interfaces 2016).