Raúl Pérez-Jiménez
Raúl Pérez-Jiménez
Ikerbasque Research Professor
Ikerbasque Research Professor
Synthetic Biology Lab
Address: Bizkaia Science and Technology Park, building 800, Derio (Bizkaia)

Raúl Pérez-Jiménez obtained his BSc in Chemistry from the University of Granada and continued his scientific pursuits by completing his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Granada, Spain.

In 2005, Dr. Pérez-Jiménez joined the laboratory of Prof. Julio Fernández at the Columbia University in New York where he participated in the new development of methodologies to investigate enzymatic reactions at the single molecule level using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). In 2013, Dr. Pérez-Jiménez obtained the position of Ikerbasque Research Professor and joined CIC nanoGUNE as principal investigator of the Nanobiotechnology laboratory.

In 2023, Dr. Pérez-Jiménez joined CIC bioGUNE as an Ikerbasque Research Professor and Group Leader, leading the Synthetic Biology Lab. His laboratory is focused on the design of novel enzymes with modified and enhanced activity for biotechnological applications. Currently, these lines include design of novel CRISPR enzymes for genome editing, and design of biomass-interacting enzymes for the obtention of novel bio-based nanomaterials.

Awards & recognitions
Enrique Perez-Paya award to young researchers under 40 by the Spanish Biophysical Society (2016).

Latest Publications

The current lines of research of the Synthetic Biology laboratory have a strong translational component, focusing on the study and design of enzymes for their application in both biotechnology and human health. The group studies enzymes that interact with biopolymers such as DNA, RNA, cellulose, and chitin, developing tools based on molecular evolution and structural design. The group has created enzymes and biopolymers with unique properties for industrial biotechnology applications, including biomass conversion, new biomaterials, CRISPR gene editing, DNA synthesis and transformation.

The main research objective of the laboratory could be summarized in the design of custom non-natural biological systems with multiple applications for the benefit of society.

Research line 1: Designing of novel enzymes using molecular evolution and structural design
In our group we have developed ancestral sequence reconstructions as the basis for designing new proteins with new and enhanced properties for biotechnological applications.

Research line 2: Gene editing
In our group we create novel CRISPR-Cas system with properties not present in current system such as Cas9. Our enzymes have properties such as PAMless activity, substrate promiscuity or dual activity. We test our enzymes both in cell lines and animal models such as mice.

Research line 3: Designing of novel biomaterials using enzymatic upgrading
We develop enzymes capable of transforming natural resources such as cellulose and chitin into high-tech materials for application in microelectronics.

Research line 4: Mechanobiology
Understanding the role of mechanical forces in biological systems.

Our group have maintained and maintains collaborations with national and international groups including several research labs at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), University of Granada, Harvard University, University of Toronto, Aalto University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Helmholtz Institute, among others.

Latest Publications

The strongest protein binder is surprisingly labile

Fernandez-Calvo, A; Reifs, A; Saa, L; Cortajarena, AL; De Sancho, D; Perez-Jimenez, R;



High-throughput virtual search of small molecules for controlling the mechanical stability of human CD4.

Reifs, Antonio; Fernandez-Calvo, Alba; Alonso-Lerma, Borja; Schonfelder, Jorg; Franco, David; Ortega-Munoz, Mariano; Casares, Salvador; Jimenez-Lopez, Concepcion; Saa, Laura; Cortajarena, Aitziber ...

The Journal of biological chemistry


Compliant mechanical response of the ultrafast folding protein EnHD under force

Reifs, A; Ortiz, IR; Saa, AO; Schönfelder, J; De Sancho, D; Muñoz, V; Perez-Jimenez, R;