Iñaki Bastida Saiz
Iñaki Bastida Saiz
Chemical Immunology Lab
Address: Bizkaia Science and Technology Park, building 801A, Derio (Bizkaia)

The clinical success of anticancer and antiviral vaccines often requires co-administration of an adjuvant, a substance that enhances the immunogenicity of the antigen and potentiates the immune response. However, few adjuvants exhibit sufficient potency and negligible toxicity to be suitable for clinical use; moreover, their mechanisms of action are generally not fully understood. Current subunit vaccines based on weakly immunogenic carbohydrate and glycopeptide antigens are not being very successful in eliciting a strong immune response against cancer, and no such carbohydrate-based anticancer vaccine has yet been approved for humans despite extensive research efforts and several clinical trials. In this context, building upon the PI's previous background and expertise in the area, the research program in the Fernández-Tejada Group has a double, ultimate goal based on applying chemistry to address the above clear gaps in the adjuvant/vaccine field. With this idea in mind, the Chemical Immunology Lab established by Dr. Fernández-Tejada at CIC bioGUNE will develop new improved adjuvants and novel chemical strategies towards more effective, self-adjuvanting synthetic vaccines. Moreover, leveraging the extraordinary facilities and scientific expertise available at CIC bioGUNE, we will also focus on investigating the molecular mechanisms of the synthetic constructs by combining extensive immunological evaluations with molecular target identification studies and detailed conformational analysis. Thus, the Fernández-Tejada Group builds upon a highly multidisciplinary program integrating ambitious objectives and complementary approaches at the chemistry-biology frontier. Research in the Chemical Immunology Lab connects chemical synthesis and chemical/structural biology with cellular and molecular immunology to explore key unresolved mechanistic questions in the adjuvant/vaccine arena with extraordinary chemical precision.

The Fernández-Tejada Lab is funded primarily by the European Research Council through an ERC Starting Grant, which provides €1.5 million funding for a transformative and timely research program aimed at developing novel synthetic self-adjuvanting vaccines with improved properties and efficacy, as well as unraveling the molecular basis and three-dimensional structure underlying the biological activity of these constructs.

Latest Publications

beta-Glucan as an immune activator and a carrier in the construction of a synthetic MUC1 vaccine

Wang, HX;Yang, B;Wang, YL;Liu, F;Fernandez-Tejada, A;Dong, SW

Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)


Antibodies Against Specific MUC16 Glycosylation Sites Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Growth

Rao, TD(Rao, Thapi Dharma);Fernandez-Tejada, A(Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto);Axelrod, A(Axelrod, Abram);Rosales, N(Rosales, Nestor);Yan, XJ(Yan, Xiujun);Thapi, S(Thapi, Sahityasri);Wang, A(Wang, ...

ACS chemical biology


Glycans in Medicinal Chemistry: An Underexploited Resource

Fernandez-Tejada, A(Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto);Canada, FJ(Javier Canada, F.);Jimenez-Barbero, J(Jimenez-Barbero, Jesus)



Recent Developments in Synthetic Carbohydrate-Based Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Therapeutics

Fernandez-Tejada, A(Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto);Canada, FJ(Canada, F. Javier);Jimenez-Barbero, J(Jimenez-Barbero, Jesus)

Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)


Design, synthesis, and immunologic evaluation of vaccine adjuvant conjugates based on QS-21 and tucaresol

Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto; Chea, Eric K.; George, Constantine; Gardner, Jeffrey R.; Livingston, Philip O.; Ragupathi, Govind; Tan, Derek S.; Gin, David Y.

bioorganic & medicinal chemistry


Development of a minimal saponin vaccine adjuvant based on QS-21

Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto; Chea, Eric K.; George, Constantine; Pillarsetty, NagaVaraKishore; Gardner, Jeffrey R.; Livingston, Philip O.; Ragupathi, Govind; Lewis, Jason S.; Tan, Derek S.; Gin, ...

nature chemistry


Chemical Synthesis of the beta-Subunit of Human Luteinizing (hLH) and Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Glycoprotein Hormones

Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto; Vadola, Paul A.; Danishefsky, Samuel J.

journal of the american chemical society


Conformational Analysis of Peptides and Glycopeptides Derived from the Consensus Sequence for beta-O-Glucosylation

Somovilla, Vctor J.; Martinez-Saez, Nuria; Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto; de la Torre, Beatriz G.; Andreu, David; Jimenez-Barbero, Jesus; Asensio, Juan L.; Avenoza, Alberto; Busto, Jesus H.; Corzana, ...

current topics in medicinal chemistry


Recognition of synthetic glycopeptides by HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies and their unmutated ancestors

Alam, S. Munir; Dennison, S. Moses; Aussedat, Baptiste; Vohra, Yusuf; Park, Peter K.; Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto; Stewart, Shelley; Jaeger, Frederick H.; Anasti, Kara; Blinn, Julie H.; Kepler, ...

proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of america


Chemical Synthesis of Highly Congested gp120 V1V2 N-Glycopeptide Antigens for Potential HIV-1-Directed Vaccines

Aussedat, Baptiste; Vohra, Yusuf; Park, Peter K.; Fernandez-Tejada, Alberto; Alam, S. Munir; Dennison, S. Moses; Jaeger, Frederick H.; Anasti, Kara; Stewart, Shelley; Blinn, Julie H.; Liao, ...

journal of the american chemical society