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Fèlix Ritort

ICREA Acadèmia 2008, 2013 & 2018

Universitat de Barcelona · Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Fèlix Ritort

Dr. Felix Ritort got his Ph.D. in spin glasses in 1991 under the supervision of G. Parisi (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2021). He has contributed to disordered systems and nonequilibrium physics, and single-molecule biophysics to investigate energy processes in the molecular world. Ritort’s group is recognized worldwide as a leader in applying the finest and most powerful methods to extract accurate quantitative information about the 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 a 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

Dr. Ritort’s scientific research is multidisciplinary at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, and biology. Small Biosystems lab is a reference worldwide in merging theory and experiments to investigate the thermodynamics and nonequilibrium behavior of small systems using single-molecule methods. He applies the finest concepts and tools from statistical physics to extract valuable information about a wide range of molecular processes: from the folding of nucleic acids and proteins to binding kinetics in proteins, peptides, and other macromolecular complexes. A recurring theme in his research is understanding how molecular systems embedded in noisy thermal environments outperform the efficiency of macroscopic systems: being small has advantages that nature has exploited. He has recently directed his interest to study energy and information and search for principles that govern the emergent complexity of evolutionary ensembles in the molecular and cellular world.


Statistical physics, Molecular biophysics

ICREA Memoir 2023