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Jesús R. Requena, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

CIMUS Biomedical Research Institute, University of Santiago de Compostela-IDIS

“I am a biochemist whose focus of research is the biology of prions. My ultimate scientific goal is to contribute to the understanding of “how prions work”, this is, how a protein can behave as an infectious agent, propagating information, something that had been thought to be reserved to complex organisms relying on the duplication of nucleic acids. For this, I have devoted over many years a considerale effort to elucidation of the structure of PrPSc. In collaboration with Dutch and Canadian colleagues, my group completed the first cryo-electron microscopy study of PrPSc ever, and later built the first physically plausible atomistic model of PrPSc and the first atomistic model of prion propagation. Although our models were not quite accurate, they paved the way to the eventual cracking of the PrPSc structure. Currently I am working on a refined method of prion propagation based on a combination of computing modelling and experimental data. Once we have begun to understand prion propagation, the time is ripe to start a rational search of anti-prion therapies, and that is currently my second line of research. In particular, I am interested in the development of anti-prion vaccines.

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where I lead the PrionLab, located at the CIMUS Biomedical Research Institute. I have published numerous papers in peer reviewed sicientific journals and in 2018 organized and hosted the yearly international Prion conference in Santiago de Compostela.”