María J. Macías

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Life & Medical Sciences

  Since 2002 at the IRB Barcelona working in the Structural and Computational Biology Programme as GL of the Structural Characterization of Macromolecular Assemblies group. Past positions: 1998- 2002, Staff Scientist at the EMBL (Structural Biology) Heidelberg, Germany 1993-1998 Post Doctoral position at the EMBL (Structural Biology) Heidelberg, Germany in the group of Prof. Dr. H. Oschkinat 1993-PhD Degree: PhD in Organic Chemistry, Salamanca University (Spain), supervised by Prof. M. Grande Research Fields: Structural Biology, NMR, X-ray crystallography, Computational Biology, Signaling Current Research:   Structural determination of protein domains and complexes involved in splicing, transcription and signaling Protein folding and stability Analysis of tumor mutations  

Research interests

  Our research interest is focused on deciphering the mechanisms that correlate cell signaling with gene expression using high resolution structural biology. We also aim at discovering how these mechanisms are regulated, and their consequent implications in human diseases from the structural point of view. Recently our work has been focused on the family of transcription factors Smads, where we have discovered a mechanism that labels these key components of the TGF-beta pathway first for activation and then for degradation. Using NMR and X-ray crystallography we are currently characterizing the interactions of Smad proteins and cofactors with DNA promoters, to provide a first understanding of how these molecular machines work and to pave the basis for the design of small molecular inhibitors specifically targeted towards tumor-derived SMAD forms.   

Selected publications

- Guca E, Suñol D, Ruiz L, Konkol A, Cordero J, Torner C, Aragon E, Martin-Malpartida P, Riera A & Macias MJ 2018, 'TGIF1 homeodomain interacts with Smad MH1 domain and represses TGF-β signaling', Nucleic Acids Res, 46(17): 9220–9235  

Selected research activities

- During this year the group defended three Master Thesis, Santiago Cobos (UB) Carles Torner (UB), Natalia de Martin (Pompeu Fabra) and one PhD Thesis, Jordi Medina (UB)

- I have participated in the programme "BCN Inspiracy" (Cosmo Caixa) to motivate young women researchers to continue with their careers

- Member of the mentoring programme Pulsar organized by la fundación Everis