Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Dr. Isabel Haro
  • Email:

Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC)

Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC) Unit of Synthesis and Biomedical Applications of Peptides / Department of Biomedical Chemistry
  • Address: Jordi Girona, 18. 08034-Barcelona
  • Province: Barcelona

Research Area

  • Life Sciences (LIF)

Brief description of the institution:

The Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC) ( belongs to the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) ( and it carries out research of excellence in chemical sciences, both basic and directed to solve specific problems of our society. Using chemistry as a guiding thread, the research developed at IQAC is organized around two main nodes: Biomolecular Sciences and Nanosciences.
The Biomolecular Sciences node integrates research lines in Biological, Biomedicinal and Supramolecular Chemistry, with an emphasis on addressing biological systems and processes of relevance in diagnosing, preventing and fighting against disease.
Research in Nanosciences is directed to the development of various nanobiotechnological applications based on the Chemistry of Nucleic Acid, the Chemistry and Biophysics of soft matter and the design, generation and use of immunoreagents.
A common goal of IQAC’s research programs is the use of sustainable alternatives for chemical synthesis and technology. These environmentally friendly alternatives include the design and use of biocompatible surfactants, ionic liquids and tailored biocatalysts, as well as the development of plasma chemistry-based methods.
Research in Computational Chemistry is also conducted at IQAC and it represents a valuable complement to the experimental studies carried out in other areas. Chemical reactivity, enzymology, bioinformatics and molecular modeling of supramolecular structures are addressed.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The research group has been working with peptides for over 25 years. The group’s main objective is the chemical synthesis of peptides with biomedical applications. The group has collaborated with other Spanish research groups and also with groups from abroad in different fields, including morphinomimetic peptides, novel alternative cancer treatments, the inhibition of proliferative vitreoretinopathy and peptide vaccines; as well as the use of peptides in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and both hepatitis A and G.

We are currently researching peptide chemistry from three different perspectives: design (lipoderivatives; cyclic; multimeric peptides), synthesis (solid phase and solution) and research into their possible application, both in therapy (HIV entry inhibitors; peptide controlled-release nanosystems for ocular administration of drugs) and in the diagnosis of human diseases (rheumatoid arthritis; HIV/GBV-C co-infection).

The MSCA-2018 fellow will be involved in one of the research lines described above.

Project description:

PEPTIDE HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS ENTRY INHIBITORS: The interest in inhibitors of viral entrance and fusion, as future anti-HIV-1 drugs, is growing exponentially. They can be applied in combined therapies or when resistance to other antiretroviral drugs is detected and they can have the same potential as the immunity induced by a vaccine: pre-exposure prophylaxis. The objective of this line of research is the design of new therapeutic agents based on peptide entry inhibitors to be used as microbicides.

PEPTIDES FOR THE DIAGNOSIS AND PROGNOSIS OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA): There is growing interest in improving the precision of the tests for the diagnosis of RA and also for its early differentiation from other rheumatic diseases that affect joints and connective tissue. In this line of research, we aim to identify new peptides, derived from proteins present in rheumatoid synovial fluid to identify patients who require more aggressive therapies right from the moment of diagnosis of the disease. Through the simultaneous analysis of the target peptides, incorporated into a multiplex test, we aim to facilitate the biological fingerprinting of autoantibodies in serum to identify subgroups of patients with specific clinical characteristics; different prognoses; and who either respond well to, or suffer negative effects from, certain therapeutic interventions.

PEPTIDE NANOSYSTEMS FOR OCULAR ADMINISTRATION OF DRUGS: The administration of drugs via ocular tissues is problematic due to the low bioavailability of drugs in the current topical formulations. The aim of this line of research is the development of new systems of administration based on liposomes and nanoparticles targeted with peptides that can ensure sufficient bioavailability and compatibility with ocular tissues.


Complete curriculum vitae stating background and skills

Letter of motivation (research interest, etc)

Two letters of recommendation

I want to contact the Institution

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