Patrick Aloy

Patrick Aloy

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica

Life & Medical Sciences

Dr Patrick Aloy is an ICREA Research Professor and Principal Investigator of the Structural Systems Biology lab at the IRB. He has a BSc in Biochemistry and a MSc in Biotechnology from the Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and spent six years as postdoctoral researcher and staff scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany. For twenty years, Dr Aloy has been developing and implementing new technologies and algorithms, applying state-of-the-art methods to specific problems and bridging the gap between theoretical models and experiments in different disciplines. In the last years, he has pioneered system-scale analyses of macromolecular assemblies and networks using high-resolution three-dimensional structures, which has become a new discipline in structure prediction. Dr Aloy has over 130 publications in first-rate journals, with over 16,000 citations and remarkable press coverage, illustrating the scientific and social impact of the work.

Research interests

The main goal of his lab is to combine molecular, cell and computational biology to unveil the basic wiring architecture and dynamics of physio-pathological pathways to increase our understanding of how biological systems change from the healthy state to disease. In the last years he has been developing resources to process, harmonize and integrate bioactivity data on small molecules, providing compound bioactivity descriptors that push the similarity principle beyond chemical properties. Currently, the main research line in the lab is to collect heterogeneous datasets and develop novel methodologies to integrate different layers of regulation to unveil disease signatures. Moreover, they are convinced that artificial intelligence (AI) will transform drug discovery, as it is reshaping other areas of science and technology, and biological signatures are the key to guide the (semi) automated design of chemical compounds to globally revert disease states, beyond individual targets.

Selected publications

- Graupera I, Isus L, Coll M, et al. 2022, 'Molecular characterization of chronic liver disease dynamics: From liver fibrosis to acute-on-chronic liver failure', Jhep Reports, 4, 6, 100482.

- Fernández-Torras A, Duran-Frigola M, Bertoni M, Locatelli M & Aloy P 2022, 'Integrating and formatting biomedical data as pre-calculated knowledge graph embeddings in the Bioteque', Nature Communications, 13, 1, 5304.

- Fernández-Torras A, Comajuncosa-Creus A, Duran-Frigola M & Aloy P 2022, 'Connecting chemistry and biology through molecular descriptors', Current Opinion In Chemical Biology, 66, 102090.

- Douglass EF Jr, Allaway RJ, Szalai B, et al. 2022, 'A community challenge for a pancancer drug mechanism of action inference from perturbational profile data', Cell Reports Medicine, 3, 1, 100492.

Selected research activities

- Visiting Scientist at the EMBL-EBI, UK (Jun-Aug) as Salvador de Madariaga fellow.