Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-IF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Microbiology

    01/09/2018 13:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

Professor Concepción Jiménez López, from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) in 2018 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information: http://sl.ugr.es/09Qg).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. It serves more than 60000 students per year, including many foreign students, as UGR is the leader host institution in the Erasmus program. UGR, featuring 3650 professors and more than 2000 auxiliary personnel, offers a total of 75 degrees through its 112 departments and 28 centers.

UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 5/10 of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding. UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking (http://www.arwu.org/), and it is also well recognized for its web presence (http://www.4icu.org/top200/).

Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of H2020, both at partner and coordination. For the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme, the UGR has obtained a total of 66 projects, with total funding of 17.97 million euros, and for H2020, until 2015, more than 25 projects with total funding of more than 6 million euros. Our more than 3,000 researchers are grouped into 365 research groups covering all scientific fields and disciplines.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group

The research topic carried out by the group led by Prof. Jimenez-Lopez is highly multidisciplinary and it is focused on bacterial biomineralization. In particular, we study the in vitro formation of magnetic nanoparticles mediated by magnetosome proteins from magnetotactic bacteria and their nanotechnological applications. In our laboratory we express those proteins as recombinant ones, we purify them and use them to produce biomimetic magnetic nanoparticles with specific properties. We characterize the nanoparticles and funcionalize them with different molecules with the goal of using them as smart nanotransporters for a targeted chemotherapy and immunotherapy, and for hyperthermia treatments. We also produce magnetoliposomes comprising these nanoparticles. We use as well these nanoparticles for ecological applications to detect specific molecules in the environment. These nanoparticles and their applications have been recently patented. 

Our group has had a continuous financial support from the Spanish government. The group is comprised by four Associate professors, two postdoctoral researchers, two PhD students and one Ms student. We have active collaborations with different universities in the USA, Italy and Israel. 


Project description

The proposal is based on the use of new biomimetic magnetic nanoparticles (BMNPs), recently patented, as drug carriers and hyperthermia agents for local treatments of diseases that may be targetable. We try to expand the range of molecules that can be coupled to these BMNPs with the goal of convert, when possible, systemic treatments to local. The proposed compounds could be used for the treatment of infectious diseases and for cancer. The important novelty of our BMNPs is the fact that, thanks to the MamC template effect that controls crystal growth, they display a larger magnetic moment per particle compared to other inorganic nanoparticles. This is important, since they respond strongly to an externally applied magnetic field and that improves the efficiency of the guidance of the BMNPs to the target site. Not only that, but also MamC becomes attached to the nanoparticles and changes their surface properties, providing it with functional groups that allow coupling with different molecules and their release at the target site based on electrostatic interaction and thus, able to respond to a natural stimuli such changes in the environmental pH. MamC also chelates iron and so, our BMNPs could also be used to selectively remove excess of iron from specific sites. Therefore, we also intend to physico-chemically characterize MamC to optimize such chelation. 

Previous of our experiments demonstrated that our BMNPs are cytocompatible when naked and become cytotoxic when coupled to DOXO. If they are also coupled to an antibody, our BMNPs selectively recognize and efficiently release DOXO, improved by hyperthermia. The coupled BMNPs have proven to reduce cancer cells viability and tumor size more efficiently than soluble DOXO with less secondary effects. 


Research Area

  • Environmental Sciences and Chemistry (ENV-CHE) 
  • Life Sciences (LIFE) 

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Concepción Jiménez López (cjl@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)