Satellite Workshop: "New & Notable in Biophysics"
Dr. Francisco J Blanco
CIC bioGUNE. Structural Biology Unit.
Structure of the p15PAF/PCNA complex and implications for clamp sliding on the DNA during replication and repair.
Francisco Blanco obtained his Bachelor and Doctorate degrees in Chemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid, and did his Ph.D. thesis as supervised by J.L. Nieto at the Instituto de Estructura de la Materia (CSIC, Madrid) in 1992. Using NMR he characterized for the first time peptides folded into beta-hairpins. In 1993 he started as Postdoctoral Fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg) in L. Serrano’s Group studying the structure and folding of the spectrin SH3 domain as a model protein, showing that the appearance of a new fold from an existing one is unlikely to occur by evolution through folded intermediate sequences. In 1997 he moved to R. Tycko’s Lab at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH, Bethesda), as Visiting Fellow. Solid state NMR analysis of the HIV-Rev protein fibers supported a helix-loop-helix structural model. In 2000 he returned to Spain to work with M. Rico at the Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano (CSIC, Madrid). He determined the structure of an archaeal protein revealing a novel fold and a possible role in cell division. He was awarded a Ramón y Cajal contract in 2002 and joined the CNIO to establish the NMR group. There he characterized native and engineered endonucleases as tools for gene repair in human cells with low citotoxicity. In 2007 he joined the Structural Biology Unit at the CIC bioGUNE as an Ikerbasque Research Professor.
His current interest is the structure-function of proteins involved in chromatin remodelling and DNA repair. He studies the ING family of tumor suppressors, which recognize methylated histone tails in nucleosomes, and PCNA, a DNA sliding clamp essential for DNA replication and repair through interactions with many proteins.
He has coauthored 90 scientific publications, has an h-index of 33, and has supervised 6 PhD Thesis.