Lluís Ribas de Pouplana

Lluís Ribas de Pouplana

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica

Life & Medical Sciences

Born in Girona. He studied Biology at the University of Barcelona, and Biochemistry at Edinburgh University, where he obtained a PhD in 1992 with the help of a fellowship from La Caixa/British Council. He then joined the Biology department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoc. In 1997 he moved to The Scripps Research Institute where he became assistant professor of Molecular Biology in 2001. In 2003 he joined ICREA, and became Principal Investigator at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, where he heads the Laboratory of Gene Translation. He is the founder of two biotechnology companies and has acted as Chief Scientific Officer of Omnia Molecular SL. (2010-2015). In addition, Dr. Ribas serves as a scientific advisor to aTyr Ltd, and chief editor of the Genetics section of the journal Life.

Research interests

Our laboratory investigates the process of protein synthesis, its evolution, and its connections to human health. We are preoccupied by two fundamental questions: what are the functional limits of the protein synthesis apparatus, and how is protein synthesis regulated and integrated within the context of the cell. We want to understand what defines the boundaries of the proteomes of species, and what specific adaptations allow certain organisms to fabricate proteins that are inaccessible to other species. In addition, we are studying protein synthesis in the mitochondria, with a particular emphasis on the mechanisms that coordinate mitochondrial protein synthesis to mitochondrial dynamics and cell cycle. How these biosynthetic routes are coordinated, and how are they synchronized with the cell cycle is unknown. We want to contribute to the resolution of this problem through the study of an essential mitochondrial protein that we discovered in the lab. Finally, we want to investigate the role of tRNA dynamics in the control of the cellular response to external insults in the form of inflammation. To that end we are developing a new model for the study of human inflammation based on the analysis of resected pediatric vermicular appendices.

Selected publications

- Murillo-Recio M, Martínez de Lejarza Samper IM, Tuñí I Domínguez C, Ribas de Pouplana L & Torres AG 2022, 'tRNAstudio: facilitating the study of human mature tRNAs from deep sequencing datasets', Bioinformatics, 38(10), 2934-2936.

Selected research activities

We continue our activities in drug discovery through a new technology transfer agreement signed between the IRB Barcelona and Chemotargets SL for the development of new molecular inhibitors against human ADAT based on screening technology developed by our group.