Pau Gorostiza

Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)

Life & Medical Sciences

Pau Gorostiza graduated in physics at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), where he also obtained his PhD (European Doctorate) in the field of semiconductor electrochemistry. He also worked at the microscopy facility of the UB, where he gained experience in AFM and STM of biological samples, as well as in nanotechnology applied to materials science. He has visited the CNRS and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (France), and the University of California at Berkeley (USA). His recent works include the development of optical switches for remotely controlling neuronal activity. He obtained a Young Biomedical Investigator Award of the Francisco Cobos Foundation, a Career Development Award of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) and two grants from the European Research Council (ERC). He is currently ICREA Research Professor at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC).

Research interests

Research in the group is focused on developing nanoscale tools to study biological systems. These tools include instrumentation based on proximity probes, like Electrochemical Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy, that we are applying to study metal oxides and redox proteins. Another set of nanotools that we are developing is based on molecular actuators that can be switched with light, like azobenzene, which can be chemically attached to biomolecules in order to optically control their activity.

Selected publications

– Izquierdo-Serra M, Bautista-Barrufet A, Trapero A, Garrido-Charles A, Diaz-Tahoces A, Camarero N, Pittolo S, Valbuena S, Perez-Jimenez A, Gay M, Garcia-Moll A, Rodriguez-Escrich C, Lerma J, de la Villa P, Fernandez E, Pericas MA, Llebaria A & Gorostiza P 2016, ‘Optical control of endogenous receptors and cellular excitability using targeted covalent photoswitches’, Nature Communications, 7, 12221.

– Rovira X, Trapero A, Pittolo S, Zussy C, Faucherre A, Jopling C, Giraldo J, Pin JP, Gorostiza P, Goudet C & Llebaria A 2016, ‘OptoGluNAM4.1, a Photoswitchable Allosteric Antagonist for Real-Time Control of mGlu(4) Receptor Activity’, Cell Chemical Biology, 23, 8, 929 – 934.

Selected research activities

New research funding:

“WAVE SCALing Experiments and Simulations”, Future & Emerging Technologies FET Flagship grant: Human Brain Project (HBP).

Selected invited talks:

‘Electrochemical tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy: from metal oxide films to individual redox proteins’, Asilomar Bioelectronics Symposium, Pacific Grove, California, USA (Sept. 2016).

‘Optical control of endogenous receptors and neuronal excitability using targeted covalent photoswitches’, Meeting of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), Copenhagen, Denmark (July 2016).

‘Control of biological activity with light’, Lorentz Workshop in Optogenetics, Leiden, The Netherlands (March 2016).