Xavier Daura

Xavier Daura

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Life & Medical Sciences

I studied Biological Sciences at UAB, Barcelona, where I graduated in 1991 and obtained my PhD in 1996. I then moved to the laboratory of WF van Gunsteren at ETH Zurich, an international reference in the field of computational modeling and simulation of biomolecular systems. These were extraordinary years in which we performed seminal work on the simulation of polypeptide folding using molecular dynamics methods. In 2002 I was appointed ICREA Research Professor and returned with this position to the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (IBB) of the UAB, starting a group in Computational Biology. Today, our work is primarily concerned with the identification and development of new strategies to combat infections by multidrug-resistant bacteria, using computational and experimental approaches. I have also been an Adjunct Professor at the UAB since 2005 and, more recently, I have joined the CIBER-BBN (ISCIII). During the period 2011-2017 I served as Director of the IBB.

Research interests

The main objective of our research group is the development of new strategies to combat infections by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, in particular of the Gram-negative (GN) group. The increasing emergence and spread of MDR pathogens constitutes at present one of the major threats to public health. The shortage of effective antimicrobials for the treatment of MDR GN infections is particularly critical as cases of pan-resistance are not uncommon. The discovery of new drug targets and modes of action (MoA), less prone to the development of resistance, has therefore become a pressing need. In parallel, the development of effective vaccines may offer a solution for high-risk population groups. Our team combines a range of computational and experimental techniques for the identification of antimicrobial-target candidates with new MoA and vaccine candidates eliciting prescribed resposes. Much of this work is done in collaboration with the group of Bacterial Molecular Genetics of IBB.

Selected publications

- Gómez AC, Lyons T, Mamat U, Yero D, Bravo M, Daura X, Elshafee O, Brunke S, Gahan CGM, O'Driscoll M, Gibert I & O'Sullivan T 2022, 'Synthesis and evaluation of novel furanones as biofilm inhibitors in opportunistic human pathogens', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 242, 114678.

- Daura, X & Conchillo-Sole, O 2022, 'On Quality Thresholds for the Clustering of Molecular Structures', Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 62, 5738−5745.

Selected research activities

PhD Thesis from group member:
Valentin P. Junet. Machine Learning techniques in bioinformatics: From data integration to the development of application-oriented tools. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, February 1st, 2022