Juan Valcárcel

Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)

Life & Medical Sciences

Juan Valcárcel studied biology and chemistry at the Universities of Santiago de Compostela and Autónoma de Madrid. He obtained his PhD in 1990 for work carried out at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa under the supervision of Juan Ortín. He did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Michael Green at the University of Massachusetts and in 1996 he joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg as a group leader. In 2002 his group moved to the Centre de Regulació Genòmica in Barcelona, where he is a senior scientist and ICREA Research Professor. Since the time of his PhD work, his research has focused on how pre-mRNAs are spliced and how this process can be regulated.

Research interests

The genome provides the instructions to build and maintain the function of a living organism. Strangely, in complex organisms these instructions are not written as continuous messages, but rather as smaller pieces interrupted by meaningless text. This arrangement has the advantage that the pieces can be combined in different ways to generate alternative instructions. We study the molecular machinery that puts messages together and how the production of alternative messages is regulated.

Selected publications

– Papasaikas P & Valcárcel J 2016, ‘The Spliceosome: the ultimate RNA chaperone and sculptor’, Trends in Biochemical Sciences, vol. 41, pp. 33-45.

– Julien P, Minana B, Baeza-Centurion P, Valcarcel J & Lehner B 2016, ‘The complete local genotype-phenotype landscape for the alternative splicing of a human exon’, Nature Communications, vol. 7, pp 11558.

– Hernández J, Bechara E, Schlesinger D, Delgado J, Serrano L & Valcárcel J 2016, ‘Tumor suppressor properties of the splicing regulatory factor RBM10’, RNA Biology, vol. 13, pp  466 – 472.

Valcarcel J & Ortin J 2016, ‘Influenza raids the splicing store’, Nature Microbiology, vol. 1, no. 7, pp 16100.

– Mourao A, Bonnal S, Warner L, Soni K, Bordonné R, Valcárcel J & Sattler M 2016, ‘Structural basis for the recognition of proline-rich motifs in spliceosomal SmN/B/B’ proteins by the RBM5 OCRE domain in alternative splicing regulation’, eLife, vol. 5, pp e14707.

Selected research activities

– Elected President of the RNA Society 2017 – 2018.