Dr. Elena Junquera González
Department of Physical Chemistry I, UCM. (Universidad Complutense of Madrid)
What May Colloidal and Supramolecular Chemistry Provide in Gene Therapy?
Elena Junquera is co-leader of the Group of Colloidal and Supramolecular Chemistry, recognized by CAM as an excellent group, with a scientific trajectory of more than 25 years involved in the physicochemical characterization of colloidal and supramolecular systems as vectors or solubilizing agents of substrates with biological interest. She got the PhD degree in 1992 (UCM) and afterwards she was involved in two post-doctoral stays, the first in 1994-95 in the Carbohydrates Group (CSIC, Madrid) working on the characterization of the carbohydrate-carbohydrate interaction in aqueous media from a physicochemical stand point, and the second one at the University of California Irvine (UCI) in 1997-98, involved in the study of the folding of artificial proteic eta-sheets in competitive media (peptide-mimic chemistry). Since then, she has opened different researching lines in her group, all having in common a clear multidisciplinary approach to biophysical events. Nowadays, her most active research is focused on searching efficient and safe non-viral gene (DNA and siRNA) vectors, with better outcomes than the viral ones, an important challenge in the field of gene therapy. For that purpose, rigorous and well designed biophysical and biochemical studies are necessary, reason for what Prof. Junquera has well established collaborations with a number of prestigious national and international groups of organic chemists, theoretical physics and biochemists.