Irene Luque Fernández
Is a full professor and head of the Department of Physical Chemistry of the University of Granada, Spain and a member of the Institute of Biotechnology of this University. She obtained her Ph.D in Chemistry at the same University in 1998 working in the development of algorithms for structure-based rational design of peptide ligands and their application to the design of inhibitors of HIV-1 protease and the elucidation of the molecular origins of resistance. The developed algorithms have been patented and licensed to several pharmaceutical companies. Between 1998-2001, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Ernesto Freire´s laboratory (Johns Hopkins University, USA) working in the structural-thermodynamic study of the molecular basis of cooperativity, alosterism and signal transduction in proteins, SH2-SH3 cooperativity in Src tyrosine kinases and the molecular basis of drug resistance in HIV protease. In 2002, Dr. Luque joined the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Granada as a postdoctoral researcher and in 2003 she obtained a research contract in the context of the highly competitive program Ramón y Cajal from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. From her incorporation to the UGR, she has focused her research in the structural and thermodynamic study of proline-rich ligand recogition by protein-protein interaction domains combining experimental and computational techniques to further our understanding of the structural, energetic and dynamic determinants of binding affinity and specificity in polyproline recognition. Specifically, she has centered her studies on the SH3 domains of cSrc, cYes and Abl oncogenes, the WW domains of YAP and the cellular targets of viral Late domains (Tsg101-UEV and Nedd4-WW3) with the purpose of identifying novel antitumoral and antiviral agents. This line of work has been supported by four coordinated grants from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (BIO2006-15517-CO2, BIO2009-13216-CO2, BIO2012-29922-CO2 and BIO2016-78746-C2-1-R) financed with over 1.1 M euros. Dr. Luque´s research has contributed to the advancement of knowledge in highly relevant biomedical problems, such as Malaria, Cancer, Antibiotic resistance, AIDS or Ebola. She is the author of 39 scientific publications with an average IF of 5.1, most of them in journals at the top 10% (7 papers) or top 25% (30 papers) of their respective areas, such as Annual Reviews of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure (IF: 16.0), Nature communications (IF: 11.5), PNAS (IF: 9.7), Biomaterials (IF: 8,3), J. Biological Chemistry (IF: 5.5) or Biochemical Journal (IF: 4.5) and journals of reference in the field of biophysics such as J. Molecular Biology or Biochemistry. Her work has received over 1400 citations (with an average of 44 cites per year in the last 5 years). She has an h index of 17 and an i10 index of 28. She is an inventor in 3 international and 1 national patents and has served as a scienfic consultant for Fulcrum Pharmaceuticals for two years. She has presented more than 50 communications to internacional scientific meetings with 11 invited oral presentations. Dr. Luque has been actively involved in the training of young researchers, being the director of 6 doctoral thesis and several master degrees in the last 10 years and has been actively involved in several postgraduate and master programs.