Ramón Eritja

Ramón Eritja

Professor in CSIC

Dr. Ramon Eritja Casadellà was born in Lleida (Spain) in 1955. He graduated in Chemistry in 1977 and in Pharmacy in 1983 in the University of Barcelona, Spain. He received his Ph. D. in Chemistry 1984 at the University of Barcelona under the supervision of Professor Ernest Giralt (Dpt. Organic Chemistry, University of Barcelona) in the subject of peptide synthesis.

Postdoctoral training was done in the field of oliognucleotide synthesis. The first postdoctoral stay (1984-1987, 42 months) was at the Department of Molecular Genetics Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, Los Angeles (California) under the supervision of Dr. Keichi Itakura and Dr. Bruce Kaplan. The second stay (1987-1988, 13 months) was at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Colorado at Boulder under the supervision of Dr. Marvin H. Caruthers. He returned to the Organic Chemistry Department of the University of Barcelona as postdoctoral fellow in 1988.

He become a member of the Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo of the Superior Council for Research (C.S.I.C.) in 1989 when he started his own research group in Nucleic Acid Chemistry.

During 1994-1999 he was Group Leader of the Nucleic Acid Chemistry Group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (E.M.B.L.).

He returned back to Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo- Instituto de Biología Moelcular of Barcelona (C.S.I.C.) in July 1999 where he continues work in the field Nucleic Acid Chemistry. He become Profesor de Investigación in 2005.

Dr. Eritja is co-author of more than 190 publications in peer-review scientific journals with 3100 citations in SCI (1985-2005). The group has been awarded competitive grants in European projects (Biomed BMH1-CT93-1669, IST 1999-11794, FP6-2003-NMP-TI-014006) as well as several national agencies.

Dr. Eritja has expertise on oligonucleotide and peptide synthesis especially on the methodological aspects of solid-phase synthesis (monomer synthesis, preparation of solid supports, synthesis and purification). The group has previous experience in most the areas related with the synthesis and properties of oligonucleotide derivatives including non-natural bases, phosphate and backbone modifications, oligonucleotide-peptide conjugates and RNA derivatives. The interest of the group of using DNA derivatives for the assembly of nanomaterials started in 1999 and the Group has obtained important results in the functionalisation of nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes. The group has previously collaborated with the groups of Dr. C. Dekker (Delft U. Techn., The Netherlands), Dr. G. Redmond (NMRC, Ireland), Dr. D. Pum (BOKU, Austria), Dr. D. Fitzmaurice (UCD, Ireland), Dr. H. Weller (U. Hamburg, Germany) and Dr. J. Wessels (Sony Europe, Stuttgart, Germany).

Dr. Eritja has established intense collaborations with companies focused mainly in the Pharmaceutical sector. From 1999 there is an ongoing collaboration with Cygene Inc., Florida, USA in which new DNA derivatives are being developed for gene silencing using antisense strategies. Last year a collaboration with the Crystax Pharmaceuticals, a SME based in Barcelona, was started to develop new antiproliferative drugs based on DNA binding.

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