ICREA Academia

Fèlix Ritort

ICREA Academia 2008, 2013 & 2018

Universitat de Barcelona · Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Dr. Felix Ritort got his PhD in 1991 in spin glasses. Since then he has made  contributions to the field of disordered systems and nonequilibrium physics. In  2002 he made a turn in his career working in single-molecule biophysics to investigate energy processes in the molecular world. Ritort’s group is recognized worldwide as leader in applying the finest and most powerful methods to extract accurate quantitative information about thermodynamics and kinetics of molecular interactions in nucleic acids and proteins. He has been awarded several prizes for his research: Distinció de la Generalitat de Catalunya in 2001 for his research during the years 1991-2000; ICREA Academia Awards 2008,2013,2018 for his research as scholar at the University of Barcelona; Premio Bruker 2013 from the Sociedad de Biofísica de España for his contributions to molecular biophysics research in Spain. He is chair of the Division of Physics for Life Sciences of the European Physical Society.

Research interests

The Small Biosystems Lab is a worldwide reference in the research of the thermodynamics and kinetics of biophysical processes at the single molecule level using laser tweezers, a fabolous playground to explore nonequilibrium physics at the nanoscale. Recently we have started a new line of research based on single molecule translocation electrical measurements across nanocapillars.This setup combined with optical tweezers allows for controlled molecular translocation through electrical and force measurements, offering a powerful tool for single molecule sequencing. I also emphasize my interests in measuring information content in nonequilibrium processes and heterogeneous molecular ensembles, a field that aims to explain biological evolution from physical principles. I also carry out a spin off activity that consists in building optical tweezers instruments for universities and instittutes in a novel scientific collaborative framework.


Statistical physics, Molecular biophysics