ICREA Academia
Antonio Villaverde

Antonio Villaverde

ICREA Academia 2008, 2013 & 2018

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona · Life & Medical Sciences

Antonio Villaverde

A. Villaverde is Chair Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Genetics and Microbiology and leader of the Nanobiotechnology group at the Institute for Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona. He coordinates a research team of about 20 people (Nanobiotechnology), that is full member of the Networking Biomedical Research Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN). Prof. Villaverde has authored more than 260 peer-reviewed research and review papers on microbiology-biotechnology-nanosciences, apart from several books, book chapters, patents and more than 330 communications to congresses. A. Villaverde founded the Open-Access journal Microbial Cell Factories, (ISSN: 1475-2859), of which he has been Editor-in-Chief from 2002 to 2016.

Research interests

My activities can be summarized through two main research lines:

1- Design of protein nanoparticles for cell-targeted drug delivery. We have evaluated peptidic ligands of cell surface tumoral markers as convenient agents of innovative antitumoral drugs and drug vehicles. The most potent identified ligand, the peptide T22, has been incorporated as targeting agent in self-assembling protein nanoparticles.

2- Exploitation of bacterial inclusion bodies as in vivo depots for slow protein drug release. Bacterial inclusion bodies (IBs) are submicron functional amyloids. Recently, we have offered insights on their biomedical applicability by revealing that IBs mimic functions of the endocrine system. Many peptidic hormones are released from amyloidal reservoirs, with a structure compatible with that of IBs. By exploring further this issue we have described how tailored IBs can be implanted in animal models….


Biotechnology; Nanomedicine; Nanobiotechnology; Biomaterials; Recombinant proteins